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Data is a major factor in buying a new smartphone. You'll use plenty of it, and it's better to get a smartphone which consolidates your email, social network and instant messaging.
BlackBerry devices have data compression, so you can still access the same old content but for much less bandwidth and therefore at a lower cost. In short, BlackBerrys are ideal for students and high-end data users, but they are not for everyone.
If you are to buy an iPhone, ensure that you are getting a decent data plan which will allow you to potentially use more data than you would do so on a BlackBerry.
You shouldn't really use any more than 500MB of data in a month, but be careful anyway. If your mobile contract is up soon, or you are using pay-as-you-go, check with your mobile network and see how much data you use on average per month. This will allow you to bump up the data allowance if need be.
And be sure to get a combo-device - so a phone that has a decent camera, a music player, and most of all, a good battery life!
E-books can be on the whole vastly cheaper than buying books from Amazon, and often if you check Amazon's pages, e-books are on offer anyway.
But people are under the impression that for e-books, you must get a Kindle device. Sure, if you buying a load of them and studying above anything else, a Kindle can be most useful. But it is not entirely necessary. Kindle software is available for most smartphones and the PC, so you can download them as and when you wish onto the platform you want.
Also, they are stored in the cloud so you can download copies onto multiple machines and smartphones so they are on demand whenever you want them - except when the cloud is broken, that is.
But then again, if you do prefer to have a book in your hand, you can find second-hand books at very low costs on Amazon too.
If you use Google Books and whack in the ISBN number, you can often find a cheap second-hand retailer in the side menu. You can do the same on Amazon, or even use Wikipedia Book Search to manually search with ISBN numbers which will kick back a list of results.
In some cases, you can rip out chapters that you need from Google Books without needing to buy them. Most of the time, pages will be missing, but it is certainly worth a shot.
Always be sure to check the "new", "used" and "collectable" links on Amazon, and do not automatically be drawn to one. A book is a book, and if you want a cheap and shabby copy of the latest edition, that's better than buying an expensive one in a better condition. As long as it's readable, it shouldn't matter too much.
To read more on this, head over to the iGeneration blog.