Affordable smartphones and warranty options built to withstand the rigors of college life

Affordable smartphones and warranty options built to withstand the rigors of college life

Summary: People drop their phones all the time. A recent survey shows that 50 percent of college students break their phones. Here are some low cost options and warranty options to protect your investment.


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Topics: Mobility, HTC, iPhone, Nokia, Smartphones, Windows Phone

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  • The nokia 635 is amazing

    and so cheap it's basically disposable, buy 3 or 4 and leave them everywhere like chapstick.

    Just use google voice on them all.
    • Any Nokia

      That the advantage of non-popular phone - COST IS GREAT! Ebay has a lot of deals on new Nokia phones. Spec for spec a lumia smartphone is the best value.
      Sean Foley
    • Yep

      I got the 521 for the same reason. If I break it, I can go grab another one at Best Buy and be back in business in an hour for not a lot of money and no contract. I also picked up a battery only charging cradle and extra battery so never get stuck if I forget to charge it or traveling all day.
      Buster Friendly
  • I'm seriously rethinking my smart phone purchases.

    Last year I spent $1,800 on smart phones (HTC 8x, iPhone 5, and my current HTC One M7). A stupid amount of money for something to makes calls, text, browse the web, and take pictures.

    I ended up buying my friend a Nokia 521 and found it to be a great, inexpensive phone (bought it from Walmart for $79.00). While not high end by todays standards its specifications were reasonably matched to the iPhone 3GS she was replacing. With such an inexpensive phone no need for a case nor worry about damaging it.

    With all this said when it comes time to replace my HTC One I'm definitely giving the inexpensive phones a look. I'm tired of babying my phone. Time to return to the days of old when a cell phone didn't need so much care.
  • ASUS PadFone X Dock's Build Quality: Not So Great

    I dropped my dock once (less than 3 feet) and the back of the tablet dock became unsnapped, leaving my dock useless until I snap them back into place. I really thought the build quality is fine, but that's something I have to be careful with.

    More details here:
    Grayson Peddie
  • AppleCare+ for the iPhone


    Buy them a used IPhone for less money and tell them they pay for the replacement if they break this one.

    How about teaching college students self-responsibility day one? I've had the same phone for years and have not broken it.

    It's not that hard to protect your devices if you bother to try.
  • even for college kids

    warranties are a ripoff statistically. unless maybe it includes lost phones- so many of my friends in college left their phones in cabs. simply getting in the habit of patting your pocket kinda solves that tho...
  • Buying your new collage kid a new iPad or iPhone?

    Are you kidding me? Have you been to college? Its like soda, beer and dirty laundry everywhere. Its where people go to transfer from being a kid to being an adult. iPhone and iPad are already the most breakable phones out there (every phone I see with a broken screen is an iPhone and my kid broke two iPad screens within a year). Even if they have an iPhone, have them keep it at home and give them a cheap Android or Windows Phone for the dorms.

    Besides breaking, I-devices are the most stolen devices. I could probably leave my WP8 520 out on the sidewalk and most people wouldn't even bother to bend over and see if it worked. That's security. If no one wants it, no one will take it. When you're passed out on a couch, its nice to wake up with change and a phone on your pocket.
    A Gray
    • And if you're a woman...

      ... your clothes.
  • Kids (and many adults) will get more joy for fewer dollars

    from a Jellybean phone with fully functional microSD card. Good specs are discounted now. I would never buy anything but a high-end Kit Kat phone with enough guts to compensate for crippling the microSD card.
  • I wonder when Apple raised it's AppleCare+ service fee for iPhones?

    I purchased AppleCare+ when I bought my iPhone 5. It's two year coverage was due to end at the end of September of this year. Just last week, my iPhone had a 'bad day' and I accidentally dropped my phone screen down on the cement outside my car.

    Yup .. screen shattered. But a replacement screen was installed the next day at my local Apple store in under an hour. (Must make an online appointment first)

    The total cost was $49.00 dollars (the same service fee cost that now applies for an iPad under this plan)

    All in all, I guess AppleCare+ was worth it although I hate paying for insurance.
    • Was it really worth it?

      You had to pay $49 to get your screen replaced even though you had Apple Care? That seems like a rip-off. You can get an iPhone 5s screen replaced for at most $140. So if Apple Care cost you more than $90 its wasn't worth it. Apple Care for iPhone is listed at $99, so ultimately you paid $9 too much at most (and you can get your iPhone screen replaced around town here for $69 if you look around).

      If you have Apple Care it shouldn't cost you anything to get it replaced.
      A Gray
      • There are always deductibles for insurance policies.

        Taken as a "one time" occurrence, your math is pretty accurate.

        However, AppleCare+ allowed for three "Oops" moments and, as such, would have paid for itself after the second display replacement. (Fortunately, I haven't had need of that service yet.)

        Besides, it only took an hour of my time and it was replaced with a factory warranty.

        So, let's call it a wash for a "one time event".
  • BlackBerry 10 is Great

    Get them a BlackBerry 10 phone, the prices have come down and they seem to be more durable. Plus they might tend to use some of the superior communications and Flash enabled browser.
    John Hanks