I’ve been drooling over Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone ever since my last contract was up a few months ago. But barring an unanticipated disaster, I’m afraid I’m going to stick with the faithful old Galaxy S, at least until after the holidays. It’s going to be quite a challenge. The lure of 4G, a large, bright display, and super-fast performance is very compelling and I don’t want to miss out on any of the fun.
First and foremost is the cost of a new Galaxy S III. On a new AT&T contract, that will set me back $199.
In spite of all the bluster and claims from election season, money is tough to get and even tougher to hold on to these days. Prices for everything from food to gas to just “stuff” keeps going up every time you turn around.
And what will 2013 hold for everyone? Will there be layoffs? Will taxes go up? What will be the hot ticket to fame and fortune? Nobody knows, so everybody is sitting on their cash.
Spending that $200, plus activation fees, a new case and perhaps an accessory or two might not be the most prudent use of limited cash reserves.
Being Locked Into Another Contract
Right up there with spending that $200-plus is the new two-year commitment. Currently I’m on month-to-month billing. Signing up for another contract means that I’m locked into the provider. If my current service provider ticks me off I can easily switch to another one, possibly with a better plan.
My Old Phone Still Works
I’ve taken very good care of my Samsung and had it encased in a Bodyglove before I even left the store. It’s kind of a rigid rubbery plastic protective case that has served me well. I’ve dropped the phone on concrete from four feet up without any problems. Fortunately, I haven’t hit the screen with any sharp objects. I also carry the phone in the front pocket of my pants, instead of the back. (If you put your phone in your back pocket you’ll inevitably sit on something hard and sharp, inevitably cracking the screen. But you already knew that, right?)
The phone is rooted, so I typically run it at it’s maximum 1 GHz speed. Which brings me to…
The Hassle Of Rooting
Rooting a new phone can be a challenge. In my case, the Galaxy S running Android version 2.2 was pretty easy to root. When upgrading to the latest version of Android, it’s not always possible to retain root privileges. Sometimes it’s impossible to root a new version, without going back one or two revisions. That’s a lot of work.
So part of my plan is to time my Galaxy S III purchase so enough people have shaken out the rooting process to where I know it will work. I may very well miss that narrow opportunity before a new device or new version comes out and people lose interest. No interest, possibly no rooting.
We Won’t Be Standardized
Finally, if I move up to the new phone I’ll no longer have the same phone as my wife. As her support person, it makes sense for us to standardize on one model. Virtually every enterprise follows exactly the same strategy. It just makes support that much easier. And, my wife can pick up my phone and use it without trouble.
If I had my kids on smartphones, they’d all have the same model as well. Since I’m not made of money, I can’t see spending $25 to $30 per month per phone for each kid’s data plan. Don’t forget that each additional line is $10 more per month, as well. In my case, it would be an extra $120 per month.
We’ll move over to smartphones for the whole family when the data costs either approach zero or my kids come up with the extra cash.
Bottom line: There are a bunch of reasons why I’m not moving over to the Galaxy S III. Of course, everybody’s situation is different. If you’re thinking of upgrading, just make sure you consider why you’re making the move — and all the associated implications.