Last evening, my phone was accidentally stepped on by a child. The screen was smashed. This was disappointing, but also an opportunity to evaluate my options for a new phone.
The injured phone (it is still limping along) is a Nexus 5 and was purchased from Google immediately after it was released. This has been a perfect device, staying up to date, relevant, and functioning without issue for almost 3 years! I have not seen another modern phone with similar abilities.
I have ordered its newer version , the Nexus 5x. The life of my previous Google phone definitely played a role in my immediate acceptance of its younger sibling, but so did a strong recommendation from a friend who loves his after switching out from an iPhone.
I wanted to evaluate my monthly cost with both the phone and my plan. I use the $24 PureTalk plan and mooch off of all the free WiFi around me for my data. This keeps me off my phone and present with friends, family, and while driving. (I encourage all people to do something similar – it really helps keep your sanity.)
To estimate my cost of ownership, I made a quick chart to average out, by month, what my cost will be:
As you can see, the first month is the most expensive (full cost of the phone at $300 and the plan $24). The second month is much better at around $150 (+$24). The more months I own and use the phone, the more balanced out my cost will be. I decided that for me, a monthly bill less than $50 is acceptable, especially if it continues to decrease with each month. I will pass that point around month 11, which I find reasonable.
I really want something less than $35/mo. At 18 months, I will be approaching $40/mo and by 2 years, I will finally be at an average of $35/mo. Given the track record of my recently broken phone, I think this is a reasonable life expectancy for my next phone. For all the time after 24 months, I will essentially have an average monthly cost of somewhere between $32 and $35!
This is outstanding, and after contemplating potentially paying $50 or so to try and fix the screen myself knowing I will need a new phone before long anyways, this seems like the most responsible and financially wise move forward.