Android Central

It seems like there's a new Android phone coming out every week.  As with all things electronic, the new stuff looks better than the old stuff.  It's enough to drive anyone, especially an Android blogger, insane.  But it's darn near impossible to justify buying a new phone, off contract and at full price, every couple of months.  And let's face it -- sometimes we just love what we have.  A lot of people stuck with the first Droid, or the Nexus One because nothing else has caught their eye just yet.  There's a lot of variables, and there could be a lot of answers.  So the logical thing is to just ask.  Let us know in tonight's poll.




Reader comments

Late night poll: Do you keep your phone for the duration of its contract?


Was supposed to have the DInc for almost another year but decided that I needed to use my dad's upgrade to get the Gnex :)

Waiting on DeviceFidelity to bring out the NFC sdcards so I don't have to buy the GNex and give my little brother my Evo 3D.

Well my pre plus was not turning on so the 6 months left on it turned into 2 years with a galaxy nexus.

I assume garciaop is flipping the whole bill for all 8 lines, otherwise that would be a rotten thing to do, sick everyone else with the same old phone year after year while he or she comes home with a shiny new phone a few months.....

Droid X. Will hold out till best option after march. First time I've ever owned a phone for full contract. F bb and the storm. Perhaps galaxy SIII in the near future?

I could not wait til March for my early renewal on my DX. So in November I upgraded to the family plan with my girl so I could use her upgrade, hers was a few years overdue and was still set to get $100 credit. The Galaxy Nexus became mine right after the holidays in late December.

Prior to the DX, I had a blackberry for full contract and before that the original chocolate for full contract.

I used to feel the same way. Then I realized: if you are on a carrier for 2 years and dont sign a contract *you just lost $200-$300*. Just sign a contract. If you want to leave pay the ETF. Simple as that. Most ETF's are prorated so the longer you do stay the more money you just saved. Worst case scenario you break even. I mean, how often do you plan on switching carriers?

I guess I cant criticize switching because in the last 6 years I have had all 4 major carriers but I was on ATT for 2 years and never signed a contract. That was a mistake. The principle sounds great (yeah freedom!) but do what actually saves you the most $$.

I'm not sure how you're figuring the $200-$300 people lost if they didn't sign a contract. A few things you could be meaning are:
1) You didn't get a discount on your phone.
2) Contract prices stay constant while non-contract prices may rise.
3) Contract prices are lower than non-contract prices.

Either way, I can say that this depends on the carrier.

The bigger carriers will advertise the same price for the service whether you get the "free" phone or not. However there are carriers that will offer a discounted price if they are not subsidizing your phone. Also carriers often have service plans that are not advertised, and you may be able to get a better deal when you're using a paid-for phone - on or off a contract.

Shopping around is key.

Bottom line: Sometimes you lose money by not being on a contract. Sometimes you lose money by being on a contract. Always understand your options.

Yes ,but that only true if you want a carrier branded phone...

I have always used the carriers upgrade's with my 3 lines, but I would really like to be carrier free. unfortunately there isn't a phone i want , that's out there right now. Need a GNexus with 32GB and a better camera and unbranded with GSM. So its a waiting game for the G S3. Hope it meets my expectations.

Bought a nokia N900 when its price dropped a little, it was my first smartphone and I had the best texting experience ever with that awesome qwerty slider.

I use to when I could get a new phone every year but Sprint took that away I switched to T-Mobile for a month had to try the LG p999 duel core but hated the phone so switched back to Sprint for the Evo 3d now 7 months in im thinking ill keep the phone for 2 years by then the pay as you go crowed will have great phones lte all for less im guessing that's what ill do in the future

Added a new line in December, got the iPhone 4s, just traded it for a Skyrocket, which will be sold and the money will be used for an AT&T Note, which will most likely be traded for an International Note. I switch phones like crazy.

No way could I do that. Last year I had an Evo 4G, an Evo 3D, a BB Bold 9930, two iPhone 4S's, a Samsung Focus, a Pre Plus, and a Galaxy Nexus (switched from Sprint to Verizon). That said, I could actually see myself keeping a Nexus device for a whole year until the next one...that's progress I suppose=/

No choice for No Contract? I'm on VM no contract with a Motorola Triumph running CM 7.2. It's awesome & I love it!

I always *intend* on keeping my phone for the contract duration but always end up coughing up the bucks for the new shiney thing.

Contract? :D

Virgin Mobile with Optimus V here!

Low-End (now. It was Mid-Level when it was new) and loving it!

I use to keep my phone for the 2 years before I got my first smartphone (a Blackberry Curve 8330) around Christmas 2008.
My smartphone history:
Sprint Blackberry Curve 8330 - Dec 2008 - Aug 2009
Sprint Palm Pre - Aug 2009 - Sept 2010
Sprint Epic 4G - Sept 2010 - Aug 2011
Sprint Photon 4G - Aug 2011 - Jan 2012
Sprint Nexus S 4G - Oct 2011 - Jan 2012 (my "play" phone with my Photon)
Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Feb 2012+

I definitely believe I could keep this GN for the full two years. This is a fantastic phone! Ever since I first put an ICS ROM on my Nexus S 4G I've wanted to combine the internals of my Photon 4G with the awesome nexus-ness of the Nexus S 4G together. I have found that in the Galaxy Nexus!

Yes sir exceptional is beyond words concerning this galaxy nexus stock android and ics is a true champion. If you own a Galaxy Nexus then just know till Nov 2012 you have the best device on the market till the next nexus arrives on verizon. Don't be fooled by no quadcore skinned device that might arrive from april to july of 2012 why because nothing is ready for quadcore no application and definately no battery life. The proof is in the pudding because today the galaxy nexus is the only dualcore device actually optimized for ice cream sandwich and applications are still building on ics so their is a long way to go. Galaxy Nexus owners should be proud because we are the first to ics and will be the first to upcoming jellybean...

You sir are the biggest troll since isheep. Look, the Nexus is a great phone. But when the GS3 gets unveiled, it will wipe the floor with your precious Nexus. Plus, how do you know Verizon will even get the next Nexus? That's right you don't know. LOL Stop with the useless nonsense.

Here we go.
1. "If you own a Galaxy Nexus then just know till Nov 2012 you have the best device on the market till the next nexus arrives on verizon" Two things wrong with that. A) with the way Verizon mucked up the released of the Galaxy Nexus, I would bet Verizon won't be getting another Nexus phone for a few years, at least, not first. B) When the Galaxy S3 comes out, it WILL beat the GN, as will several other flagship phones that are to be released in the coming months. It's ridiculous you think otherwise and really shows how little you know of the "real world".
2. "Don't be fooled by no quadcore skinned device that might arrive from april to july of 2012 why because nothing is ready for quadcore no application and definately no battery life." 3 things wrong: A) your use of the double negative ACTUALLY means that we should be fooled by "quadcore skinned device[s]". Use more grown-up speak. B) the phrase "quadcore skinned devices" in itself is wrong. You can't put a quadcore "skin" on a phone, it's either there or its not. C) if you really knew anything about Android, you would know that virtually no mainstream apps even make use of dual-core, so why do you have a "bitch slapping" Galaxy Nexus?
3. "Galaxy Nexus owners should be proud because we ... will be the first to upcoming jellybean" Wrong again Dicky. The next Nexus phone will be the first to get Jelly Bean, if in fact that's what the update will be named. Those are the cold hard facts that prove how stupidly wrong you are. Try coming up with a retort that doesn't involve the words "useless", "idiot", "bum" or "sucks rotten eggs", moron.

I think he was referring to the fact that nexus devices are the first to get the new updated software. And the fact that any device with a skin overlay will have to get it later than any nexus devicd. Although the guy can be pretencious, and some consider him a troll, doesnt constsntly bashing him on every comment he makes and insulting him whenever he makes a mild mistake also make you a troll? Just saying. I got the jist of what Richard was saying. And on some points, i agree. Such as the nexus being a great device.

I always kept them for the duration before I got a smart phone. I almost kept my Pre Plus for the duration until it became too difficult to use due to hardware issues. Bought a Pre 2 off of ebay. It was horribly unstable so after 3 months I got a DInc2. Loved it but returned it and paid the restocking fee and have a GNex now. I will keep it for the duration but may use an upgrade for another line on my plan to get something else that uses a 4G micro sim and switch back and forth between the two phones.

Where the Hell is the "I don't buy phones on Contract" Option.

I have bought 4 phones (Vibrant, Nexus S, Sensation 4G, GSM Galaxy Nexus)in the last 15 months (Full price) and I am not on a contract. I am on the Even More Plus™ Unlimited Talk + Unlimited Text + Unlimited Web with T-Mobile.

Wow I can't believe how often people are switching phones!?! The Blackberry Curve 8330 was my first smartphone which I kept for the 2 years on Sprint. Then switched to VZW for the OG Droid in 2009 and kept that for the length of the contract and then just jumped to AT&T for the Skyrocket in December. It's an awesome phone and I can definitely see myself keeping it for the length of this new contract. Geez, I don't know how people can go through 5+ phones in 2 years! You must all be made of money paying full price ($500+) for phones!

I usually stick with the phone that I started the contract with but this time I switched phones after finding out that Team Douche wasn't adding CM7 to my device. So I decided to switch to a more current device, that was being supported.

I have had a crazy android ride which started so innocently in Jan 2010 with some serious research into platforms. I had some stupid metro pcs keyocera phone in 2008 which didn't even have a camera till july 2009. Went without any phone till my first android purchase. I selected sprint as my carrier and brought my Htc Evo 4g in june 2010 the granddaddy of all 4g devices. Then used my first upgrade on june 24th 2011 and brought my Evo 3d sold my Evo 4g for 200 dollars got my evo 3d didn't cost nothing. Had great wimax 4g coverage and thought i was on cloud nine then i moved to an area where wimax was dead and my beloved evo 3d which was a fun great device turned into a paper weight 3g device and from sept 2011 to nov 2011 i couldn't get a 4g signal on sprint wimax couldn't penetrate the walls. Had no choice enter verizon from here i got mad creative sold my evo 3d for 250 caught a black friday special on amazon for one penny and purchased my very first GSM device on at&t the Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket my first samsung device which in my mind would prepare me for my best move ever. I kept my skyrocket for 20days and man did i ever enjoy that device i almost kept it but the data package prevented that from happening4gb just was not enough. On Nov 24th i jumped on a free Lg Revolution on verizon and at that time i also jumped on the double the data promotion 10gb for 50 dollars this was the best thing ever. The revolution sucked eggs but it was a lte device and it was free plus i had 10gb of data and boy it was speedy and fun. Then the dream unfolded exactly as i planned on Dec 15th my very first stock android device presented its self on launch day i went to verizon in manhattan stood in line and got my GALAXY NEXUS just added another line to my account. I sold my Lg Revolution for 150 turned one line into a dummy line and transfered my number to my galaxy nexus and have not looked back my GALAXY NEXUS IS KING OF THE SMARTPHONE MARKET. In my future in the upcoming months i will either purchase the Nexus tablet or the Galaxy Journal/Note who knows maybe i will get the next Galaxy device that will arrive to verizon this December with jellybean i can't wait...I feel great knowing i can sit back for the next 7months till something comes out to dethrone my galaxy nexus which won't happen anytime soon. Nothing beats stock android...

hahaha weren't you the troll who would bash Verizon at every chance you got and would say that sprint was the greatest and "Verizon sucks eggs" - hypocrite

Lol that Richy dude is the biggest hypocrite ever. Every phone he owns is the "king of the world". Lol First it was with the EVO its Nexus. He even said the Nexus would suck and look at him now. He's a joke and only used for comedy relief.

Annnnnd no one cares because your "comment" is easily twice as long as the article. What you left out is that you were a "homeless bum" about 5 years ago, and that's the reason you had "some stupid metro pcs keyocera phone in 2008". You couldn't afford anything better. Here's the proof on page 2:
And now you think you're all "hot stuff" and "on-top-of-the-world" simply because you can afford to buy a smartphone. But the truth is, you're far from it, especially with the attitude you have of other people. Calling people "useless" because their opinion differs from yours? Saying you have the "best" phone on the market when "the best" is different to pretty much everyone? Giving your whole life history for the past 4 years when no one gives a crap? That's all indicative of a retarded 9 year old girl. No wonder everyone thinks so little of you.

For some reason I think squiddy is richardyarrel and this is all a game for him :p, that or squiddy is a internet stalker. Every comment I have seen Richard post on many sites, squiddy has a reply to :p

"For some reason I think squiddy is richardyarrel"
As odd as that is to hear, I can sort of understand it since there was a time when Richard commented under the username "Richard Yarrell", all signed in and everything, and then used a "guest" account under the same name to make even more ridiculous comments over at Android and Me. But I can assure you, based on my correct spelling/proper grammar alone, that I am not Richard.

The longest I kept a phone so far was the Droid X1. That lasted 1 year and 4 months. I wanted nothing else that came after it.

My answer is no. But I was So RAZR might beat that mark. Well since I switched to a family plan recently and have an upgrade available right can last the full 2 years and I can still get something new. If anything I might trade in the RAZR for the Maxx. Technically its still the same phone, just a bigger battery.

And I had the G Nex, Rezound and RAZR at one point. Have the RAZR and Rezound I have tried the other flavors of the month recently.

I keep them forever. I usually cant wait till my upgrade date to get a new phone so I've got quite the android army in my night stand.

Im pritty sure no one can blame me for this one I had the xperia x10 it was rooted but there were so many issues with that phone almost no rom supportsl and it was a pain in the but to get the thing to a different modified rom for those of you with the painful memories so I grabbed the HTC inspire haven't looked back I'm Runing cm 7 can't wait for a stable cm 9 mite try a beta to see how ice feels and let me tell you this thing was a pain in the ass to root I bricked it twice boot looped 4 times but I'm too stubburn to give up the trick is when it pulls up stock recovery and just says ruu take the battery out wait 15 seconds put it back hold down the power button stick in the USB while holding volume down it'll bypass the flash screen then reboot to stock and try to root it again READ THE EFFIN MANUAL ON ACCOUNT. HACK KIT OR YOU WILL SCREW IT UP I GOT LUCKY

I bailed on my iPhone 4 with 6 months left on the contract and outright bought a Galaxy S II Skyrocket. No extension of contract, but I do still need to "serve time" the next (now) four months.

And damn, this Skyrocket is a damn fine, sexy device. Love it.

I'm always getting a new phone...but. I buy them new off Craigslist. I bought my sgs2 for 300 brand new sealed in the box... Craigslist is my best friend. :)

As many people said, we need a "No Contract" option

I buy my phones off-contract & use it with my 3 lines

I bought my Atrix new about 6 months ago for 508 dollars (most expensive phone I've ever bought.... So far)
Before that, I had an OG Milestone (aka OG Dorid).. I'd to get it, I loved that phone but it got abused beyond what a phone can take (unintentionally) & survived

I also have a Nokia E75, which I'm using for my second line (considering replacing it with a WP7)

The longest time I've spent with a one phone was 3 years with a Nokia N-Gage.... I was the first one to buy it in Jeddah, got it the day before launch (was the first phone of the first shipment) & I bought a 256MB Card for it, it was the biggest & most expensive card at the time. & I was rocking it like a boss

Some one I knew was trolling other people of how his phone have a bigass 16MB card. Until I showed him mine... & behold the new King

I usually do but after seeing the Epic 4g touch.I had to give my son my Nexus s 4g . And grab the Epic 4g touch.So glad i did no regrets

I usually do, I had the HTC EVO 4G, a month after it was released, and kept it until the Motorola Photon 4G had been released. I still use my EVO 4G but as a 4.3 inch tablet. I switched because I knew I would be able to do a lot more with the Photon 4G right out of the box than I could with the EVO 4G. I didn't root my EVO 4G, not because I didn't want to but mainly because of fear of ruining the phone, even though I did read a lot about how to root I just never felt comfortable. So, when I heard about the Motorola Photon 4G, and all it could do right out of the box, I knew the time I spent with my EVO 4G was quickly coming to an end.

I live in Canada, where the carriers force 3 year contracts down our throats. As a result I don't keep my phone for a full 3 years. I've gone almost 2, and might be able to squeeze a bit more than 2 out of my Galaxy Nexus, but it won't be 3 years.

Yup I have never gotten another device until I was able to upgrade that line with the discounted price.

My current Droid X, over a year old, is my first smart phone. Before that I was on "feature" phones that would break after about a year into my 2 year contract. Luckily they would always upgrade me for free. I plan on keeping my Droid X until next december when my contract expires, but the headphone jack has been wonky lately, and I don't know if it will last. May have to bite the bullet and update at some point if this holds true

I have in the past, the Palm webos phone was my last. I dropped them last summer in August. HP was the last straw when they said no more support. I had an original Sprint release phone, with a total of five Webos phone on my family plan had planed to stay with then for next phone but that never happened lol. I as of August of 2011 have an HTC Evo 3d phone and love it! Just upgraded my sister , brother-in-law and nephew to the Samsung Replenish do to no upgrade ($10. per phone) with sprint if I got them that phone. So far they like it compared to the Webos. My mom is The last hold out for webos she's just used to it and does not like change. I got her a Toshiba tablet for Christmas she loves the android system, so may be able to upgrade her soon lol. Back to topic, I am currently in a two year contract with Sprint and have one last annual upgrade in August due too their recent changes, I plan to get a Samsung Note phone if it comes to Sprint by then (one can hope) lol. If not I will just have to see what the largest screen available is at that time. I would love to have a bigger screen. I usually have a blue tooth in my ear to talk, so I do not care how big the phone is. I would have bought a tablet to use as a phone if it was available lol. Asus has a promising combo coming out will just have to wait and see what they offer lol. So my final answer would have to be no I do not always wait the two years.

I am still using the OG Droid - 27 months along - it works fine so very hard to justify shelling out 300 for the Nexus on Verizon and nothing else seems that exciting at the moment. Would love to hold off just long enough to see something with a stellar camera come out.

I've been known to get the latest and greatest by trading my current phone for my friends' upgrades. They get a new phone, I get a new phone and have no contract. Done that 2x now. Everyone's a winner.

usually.. but i was an idiot and bought a bionic thinking a nexus would never happen on verizon. i had to sell it and eat $300 or so then..

What the heck do you contract jumpers do with your "old" phones?! Anyone jump from a Galaxy (galaxy anything really) lately and feel the need to mail off your disgarded device? I'm stuck with an Evo Shift whose latest update consisted of a Sprint Security update and new icon for Peep.. yeesh.

Please address to:
Sloppy-Seconds-Cellular. :-D
Jacksonville, Fl

I've always kept for the 2 years and my last phone I kept beyond 2 years (2.5 to be exact) because I was waiting for my current phone to come out (Samsung Galaxy S2). I don't see myself leaving this phone yet as nothing yet has really blown it out of the water IMO.

I've been trading up phones on craigslist successfully since I got my evo. Currently using epic touch but plan to trade it for the epic 2. I hacent spent a dime or used an upgrade since the evo first came out and I don't want to just in case I decide to jump ship to Verizon.

I was trading phones a lot at first, but had to jump ship from my Blackberry Storm (Verizon) to the HTC Evo 4G a couple years ago and never looked back. I'm looking to upgrade again soon, but I'm not sure if I should wait for the Galaxy Nexus on Sprint or until the SG III comes out.

Canadian 3yr contracts means I try. I last about 18-24 months before I'm so bored I need something new (aka different). At which point I'll grab something cheap online (even if its an older device) just to change it up for the last stretch before upgrading). Currently rocking an old Blackberry until late April. New contract and maybe a new carrier. We shall see...

I normally stick with my contract, but my HTC Desire was really annoying me, so I jumped to the Milestone X. My plan is to stick with this contract and ride it out, but who knows if that'll really happen or not. Hell, C Spire may get sick of me going out of network and cancel my contract for me. We'll see...

I've been good here recently. I had an Inspire 4G from march 2011 until a couple of weeks ago when I bought the HTC Vivid for full price. I don't regret it. When I am eligible for upgrade in a year there will be something I want and can sell the Vivid to pay for it. Now before I got the Inspire I went through 10 phones in 12 months. I was a release day buyer of the Palm Pre and loved it. I would have stuck with Palm if they hadn't screwed the pooch so bad. I still love WebOS and had fun hacking/customizing/creating themes on the Pre but when the EVO 4G came out and no new Palm device in site I jumped ship. It was lovely that the EVO would do everything the Pre could do and I didn't have to add 200 customizations. Then I regretted the size jump and missed a physical keyboard so sold EVO and bought Pre until Epic 4g came out. Epic 4G -> Samaung Captivate -> Nexus S -> Samsung Galaxy S 4g -> HTC G2 -> LG Optimus -> Inspire.

My family thought I was crazy. Except for the G2 (which bricked on me) I have always sold my current device to pay for the new one. The Vivid is the first time I have paid full price.

I kept my Treo 700W on Verizon for five years, waiting for a new WinMo phone to come along that I liked better. Once WP7 came out, I realized that I was pretty much done with Microsoft's mobile OS and I got the DroidX. I kept it for a year and then, after being lured in by Verizon's 4G, I used my one-time yearly upgrade to get the Razr on its release day.

Now that the Razr Maxx is out, I'm kicking myself for getting caught up in the excitement and pulling the trigger so quickly. I got Best Buy Mobile's Buy Back coverage on the Razr, so I'm going to try to use that to get the Razr Maxx, even though I think Motorola should bear the cost of making that swap for us foolish early adopters.

How do you contract jumpers afford paying the termination fees and new activation fees?

I'd love to drop my current phone for something new and shiny, but I'd rather wait 6 months for my contract to expire than to pay a termination fee plus $500 for a new phone.

Can't afford a new phone half way through contract but got same money for Xmas and paid an early upgrade fee (18 months in to a two year). Ditched my BlackBerry in favour of a HTC Sensation XE and haven't looked back. Hopefully going to keep this a good long while though, beyond the next two years.

Being a Sprint Premier customer, I always upgraded in 11 months. But, since that benefit is falling by the wayside, I'll probably hold onto my next phone a while longer. That's why this upgrade is more important to me. I'm going to actually wait past my eligibility date to see if Sprint give me most of what I want in my next phone. This one's going to have meet my needs a little longer.

I would always upgrade when my upgrade becomes available, so around 18 months into a 2-year contract. I hate the idea of being tied down to a contract but the reduced price on phones just makes it more affordable.

Im going stay on contract. Got my captivate for $50~ during may of last year and Im really happy with it. Its supported by a lot of Devs on xda. Ive gone through plenty of soft-bricking stages, and theres always a way back to stock rom to start fresh. And with that, ill never feel the need to buy a new phone. :)

I had a Droid 2, with nothing but issues so I used my brothers upgrade to get a Rezound. (Was previously set on the Gnex). I usually do keep phones for the full 2 years, but when you're stuck with the red-headed step child of phones like I was, an upgrade was much needed. I'm wondering though, how do people afford to switch phones so often? It can get pretty damn expensive.

I have stuck with my original Droid. Because like the article states, nothing really caught my eye. I love the Razr and was seriously considering it. Until I saw the Droid 4 was coming out. This is exactly the phone I have been waiting for.

In the past few years I have paid ETFs to 3 different carriers, 2 of those in the past 12 months alone, and have had probably a dozen or more phones on a half-dozen different service providers. I keep getting phones that have compromises I find unacceptable, either due to device limits or technology limits, and given the obscene cost of smartphone service, even the new higher ETFs aren't so bad and don't provide much barrier to switching carriers to find a phone and service I'm happier with.

After a few years, and untold amounts spent, I think I may have finally stumbled across the first phone and service combination that didn't give me instant buyer's remorse: the Samsung Epic 4G Touch on Sprint. The phone itself is absolutely amazing. Fast, responsive, great battery life, great reception, and awesome camera. Sprint's wireless service (although not their general customer service) is also fantastic, at least on 3G. Then there's the Google Voice integration which finally gives me what I always wanted with Google Voice. I also get a better value for my money each month. Unless something changes drastically on the service provider side, this is something I truly think I can live with for 2 years.

I used to keep phones long past the end of the contract, but once I got my first smartphone, I kind of got the bug. Some of my first smartphones (non-Androids) were a bit frustrating in any case with the freezing and not so easy to use interfaces. I actually still like the phone I have now, but still I'm most likely going to upgrade (newer, bigger, better?) soon after I am eligible.

I stay updated with the newest phone. I just trade my phone to the sprint store and i get any phone i want for 50$ gotta love sprint

My local Sprint store let's me trade in my new phone for any new phone and i get 150$ towards whatever phone i want and most phones are 200 with 2 year exst... So i only pay 50$ I'm waiting for the galaxy nexus.. then when I trade my EVO 3d for it.. ill wait for the galaxy s3 and trade the nexus galaxy for it and only pay the 50 difference or whatever the difference is :)))

I will usually wait for the contract to be over. But when I can sell my current phone for a good amount and pay under $100 or less for the new phone then I will go ahead and get it. Of course with sprint I could get a new phone every year even though my 2 year contract was still in effect. But like every other company that is trying to stick it to the customer, they no longer have that.

I try, but I normally wind up buying a newer phone though usually used not new, and selling my current phone on ebay, trying to stick with my tbolt until my upgrade is up because the phone has such a bad name and it's not worth anything. Though it's actually the best smartphone I've owned, and after a lot of updates the battery life is not as bad as they make it out to be.

Though I'm switching my work AT&T phone early because I'm really bored with my wp7 phone, so I just ordered an sgs2 on ebay and I'm selling the wp7 phone on ebay.

I usually don't do contracts in the first place because I don't like to feel restricted by my carrier and I'd rather save my cash for new devices over paying ETF's. I usually ride a device for about 18 months or so depending on what is on the horizon that is a big enough jump to make me want to step up "2 or 3" steps. I've also experienced poor customer service while stuck in a contract and excellent customer service once that contract ended. I paid 2 ETF's to get away from AT&T.

When I was with T-Mobile I stayed contract-free on my Vibrant because my service was actually $10/month cheaper.

That said, I did do a contract with Verizon for my GNEX because my service was the same price either way, and, since AT&T is out as an option for me, Verizon has the only network large enough to do what I need to do for business use. Despite all of the misguided and incorrect statements about Toro over the past 24 hours, I do not regret it.

Ok going back to my Voice Stream days. Had a V60 then went to an unlocked V600 from Cingular to a razor. Bought an OG Iphone and Jailbroke it to run on Tmo.

Went to Sprint for the Pre-. Loved WebOS hated the hardware(what else is new there). At the one year mark used my upgrade to get the Evo4g. Great phone memory for apps sucked with Sense. Was going to pay full for an Iphone5 when instead the 4S came out. Due to a change in my finances (thanks to my former F@^%#d job). I just bought an unlocked GNex and i'm using it with the 30 dollar prepaid for Tmo with Walmart. Hate to break contract but 85+ compared to 30.00 it's a no brainer. That and the GNex is smokin.

I used to keep phones for the full length of the contract, but the technology is advancing so quickly these days that I figure I'll be upgrading about once every 12-18 months. My smartphone history is:

Palm Treo -> T-Mobile G1 -> Droid 2 -> Droid 4 (soon)

I bought the D2 on a one-year contract that ended last August, but unfortunately Verizon is no longer offering one-year contracts.

Yes. I have been good with keeping to my verizon contracts until i purchased a piece of junk that's called the htc thunderbolt. i was going to suffer through it until the galaxy nexus became available.

Buy a unlocked GSM phone (galaxy s ii in my case) + put on straight talk, pay $45 unlimited everything = win? Google "Howard forums straight talk android" to see how to do this :D