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When you upgrade you phone, do you buy unlocked or on contract? [Poll of the Week]

When you upgrade your smartphone, do you buy unlocked or on contract? Be sure to cast your vote in our latest Poll of the Week!

Published onJanuary 30, 2017

Last week's poll summary: Out of almost 5,900 total votes, 37.2% of our readers said they would not buy a phone with a physical keyboard, while 35.3% said they would buy one. 26.1% of our readers said it depends -- if the smartphone is good enough, they'll give it a shot.

One trend that’s been catching on over the past few years, especially in the U.S., is buying phones unlocked, or off contract. Gone are the days that you need to spend $700 outright or more to get a decent phone off contract; there are plenty of great unlocked options out there for $500, $400 and even $300. Plus, if you’re not locked into a contract, you can (usually) cancel your service and switch to another carrier without dealing with cancellation fees.

There’s certainly a case for buying phones on-contract, though. Over the holidays, for instance, you could snag a brand new Google Pixel for just $240, as long as you were okay with signing up for a two-year agreement. Also, if you’re strapped for cash and are in desperate need of a new phone, financing a device through a carrier is also a good option. Sure, you’ll pay more on your phone bill each month, but it’s certainly an easier pill to swallow than spending a few hundred bucks up front for a new device.

So, how do you upgrade your smartphones? Do you only buy unlocked devices, or are you still fine with signing two-year contracts with your carrier? Be sure to cast your vote in our latest Poll of the Week, and if you have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment below. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!