unsubsidized

Should I buy my next phone before moving to Italy?

Episode 1198

Michael from Sacramento, CA

Michael is retiring to Italy. Leo says that's exciting! He has a Samsung Galaxy Note III. Will it work in Europe? Leo says probably, but he'll have to have it unlocked. If he wants to get a new one, should he get it where he is now in the US or in Italy? Leo says that if he buys it here, again, he'll need to unlock it. He'd also have to buy it outright, and not subsidized through a carrier. The key is to be sure it has all the frequencies he needs. But he should get ready for some sticker shock because there is no subsidizing in Europe, plus there's VAT taxes, exchange rates, etc.

Should I buy my iPhone off contract?

Apple iPhone 5S

Episode 1102

Kim from Santa Clarita, CA

Kim wants to switch carriers and wants to know the best option for getting an iPhone. Leo was going to suggest T-Mobile, but that's where Kim is and she doesn't want to have a contract. Leo says that without a contract, she'll have to pay for a phone unsubsidized. She can also buy the iPhone 5S unsubsidized and make payments on it, but that's just like having a contract. Should she wait? Leo says we'll know when the iPhone 6 is coming out in a couple months. It'll probably be out in September.

Can I get a smartphone that doesn't have a data plan?

Motorola Moto G

Episode 1090

Joshua from Greenville, WI

Josh is on his dad's plan and he doesn't want to pay for a smartphone with a data plan. Is there an affordable option? Leo says that buying an unlocked phone will be a bit pricey, but then he won't have to have the data plan. He could get a Motorola Moto G for about $150 unlocked and unsubsidized, which is what he'll want. Then in two years, he can put a SIM card in it when Josh is on his own contract.