There is no worse time for your BlackBerry to break on you. Even if you have an upgrade coming from your carrier, the situation still doesn’t look very good. With BlackBerry 10 smartphones just a few months away, surely you don’t want to buy a new BlackBerry on-contract. That commits you to two years with the device, and at this point there’s just no good reason to take that plunge. You’ll regret it the minute BlackBerry 10 smartphones hit the market — or perhaps before that, when you see the new smartphones in action. Still, you need a phone now, right? So what are your options? Go refurbished Many carriers offer refurbished smartphones as a cheaper alternative to new ones. Unfortunately, most of them also offer these refurbished phones on the same two-year-contract plans as new phones. Still, with an overall lower price you can sometimes find a good no-contract deal on a refurbished phone. It’s worth looking into. If, for instance, you check out Verizon’s BlackBerry page, you’ll see a “certified pre-owned” version of the Bold 9930. The new version, off-contract, costs over $500. The refurbished model costs about $150 less. When you get a new BlackBerry 10 smartphone you can then trade that in. Verizon, unfortunately, will give you just $60 for it, but that reduces the overall price to under $300. Other sites, however, might give you a better deal. Go Amazon or eBay Amazon Wireless has been a boon for bargain hunting smartphone buyers. But as you might expect, it deals mostly with two-year contracts. It’s on the main Amazon site that you’ll find off-contract BlackBerry smartphones. Looking at their BlackBerry selection, you can see a few decent deals. If this were my only option I’d grab something like the Curve 8330 for $60 and ride it out until October and BlackBerry 10. You can also find a decent selection on eBay. Again, it’s important to find the right carrier and all. But you can save a bit with these auctions and buy-it-now deals. I’d buy a Curve 8530 for $56.11 and make due. Go no-contract There are plenty of no-contract plans out there, and they can help you get some cheap service until the new BlackBerry models hit. For instance, you can get the Curve 9350 from Cricket for just $129.99. The service costs $55 per month, so it’s almost certainly cheaper than your current cellular plan. There are, of course, drawbacks to this. First, if you’re still under contract you’d have to pay both cellular bills until you’re ready to drop your prepaid plan. If you can break your contract, you can always pick it back up once the new phones come out. But Verizon has changed its plans recently, and AT&T figures to do so in the near future. When you go back, you might be stuck with a plan not as good as your previous one. The lesson: protect your BlackBerry at all costs. There is no worse time to break it. With BlackBerry 10 phones just a few months away, you don’t need much more out of your current device. Make it to October, and you can make the upgrade without hassle. But if something does go wrong, you have options. They might not be ideal, but they’re better than signing a new two-year contract four months before BlackBerry 10 drops. And it’s not as though you’re going without a BlackBerry until then.
New BlackBerry options with no contract
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