Weekend Gadget Guidance: Lower your phone bill

It's tempting to choose a cell phone plan by the shiny toy that comes with it, but we all know that it's too easy to get roped into the two-year terror of a contract you don't like (or worse, can't pay for) when distracted by, say, that shiny new Samsung Instinct.Enter Billshrink.

It's tempting to choose a cell phone plan by the shiny toy that comes with it, but we all know that it's too easy to get roped into the two-year terror of a contract you don't like (or worse, can't pay for) when distracted by, say, that shiny new Samsung Instinct.

Enter Billshrink.

This new online service, now in beta, presents "comprehensive usage analysis, including a listing of the user’s most-called contacts and networks," when you enter in a cell phone number and your mobile account password, according to the guys and gals over at TechCrunch. If you're not into giving away personal information, you can put in specific information such as how many minutes you use, but of course, that's a bit more time-consuming.

Billshrink

In the end, a list of comparable plans is displayed, with the hopes that head-to-head, you'll find a plan that works for you for a smaller price tag. In addition, the site also has neat features such as maps that graphically represent each carrier’s cell phone strength and a “Commute Rating” that analyzes connection strength over a route calculated by Google Maps.

TechCrunch reports that the site is still buggy, and I haven't fully vetted it myself, seeing that I'm fairly happy with my current carrier. I did give it a quick whirl, though, and it certainly looks like it could be of great help. The company says its site allowed the average beta tester to save $225 annually.

Tell us, readers -- have any of you tried this? Would you switch carriers for a better price? Or is it all about that shiny, pocket-sized toy? Tell us in TalkBack.