Buying or leasing your smartphone: Which is better?

As more smartphones hit the market, there are also now more options for buying a new smartphone. You can get a phone contract deal or a bad credit phone deal if you have bad credit. You can buy the phone upfront if you have the cash or you can always apply for a mobile phone financing plan. Then there’s also another option that’s becoming more popular today—not buy the phone at all. In other words, just lease the phone.

Choosing which smartphone to buy is already difficult enough. Now you also have to consider how to buy your smartphone. To lease or to buy, that’s the key question to answer. Keep reading and we’ll help you decide in the end.

Buying vs. leasing

When you buy your phone through a phone contract deal, you’ll pay a fixed monthly fee for 24 or 36 months. Once the contract ends, the phone is yours. You can opt to continue the contract by just paying for the phone services or upgrade to a different plan, get a new phone and pay the monthly fees.

Leasing a phone mostly works just like buying a phone. You pay a fixed monthly fee but this is cheaper than if you’re buying. At the end of the contract, you need to return the phone because you only rented it after all. Leasing fees can get even cheaper if you have a current phone you want to trade for a leased phone.

Which is better?

If you want to own your phone, then buying is the way to go. But before you go ahead and apply for a phone contract deal, remember that these contracts run at a 24 or 36-month term. By the time your contract’s over, newer phones are already available, which in most likelihood you’ll also want to get your hands on.


If you want to own the latest mobile phones every year, leasing makes more sense. Not only will you pay a lower monthly fee with a leased phone but you can also upgrade your phone as soon as a new release hits the market. Provided that you’ve been paying your lease for 18 months, upgrading is a breeze and also cheaper than if you upgrade early from a phone contract deal.