Understand Your Data Usage Before You Buy

Knowing how you use your data plan will help you during upgrade time.

By on April 30, 2012

There are lots of things to think about when buying a new smartphone. Asking your friends for advice and reading reviews are just the first step, but there are others things to consider before you can make an informed choice.

The Verizon Wireless Data Calculator is a great tool for understanding how much data you use on your smartphone. It lets you adjust the types of content you consume to see how each activity will impact your data usage by month or by day. 

Do you watch a lot of video? Streaming or downloading video accounts for most of your data usage every month. If you use your smartphone to catch up on your favorite TV episodes every day on your way to and from work, know that 5 hours of video on a 4G LTE smartphone is 1.71 GB of data usage per month.

So, if you really can’t miss that show or movie, a smartphone like the Droid Razr Maxx, which shows videos in HD and has dual core processors for increased download speeds, could be the right fit for you. 

Comparatively speaking, games and apps don’t use as much data as video does. If you find that downloading and playing new games constitutes most of the data you use, a device with a AMOLED screen like the Galaxy Nexus may be better suited to your habits.

If you are a shutterbug, keep in mind that uploading 300 pictures a month amounts to 1.46 GBs of data usage leaving plenty of room to download an app like Instagram that will help you manage all these photos. If you’d like a smartphone that meets your photo-taking habits, the LG Spectrum can double as your digital camera, help you capture the world and share it with friends and family. 

Before you head to the store, break out the calculator or check the sizes of games and photos, and ask yourself a few honest questions. It will go a long way to ensuring you buy the device that best suits your needs.