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The True Cost of Smart Phones

All of these phones are loaded with special features that can fit into – and burn a hole in – your pocket. And the price on these things is only half the picture. The true cost of this new batch of smart phones is much higher when you factor in the myriad service charges they bring with them.

Daniel Dumas, associate editor for Wired magazine, explored the pricing plans of the iPhone, G-1 and Storm. While all three had similar base prices, it turns out the total costs when including voice plans and data plans over the two-year contract plus activation fee were much different.

Apple iPhone on AT&T: Total cost $2016

Google G-1 on T-Mobile: Total cost $1535

BlackBerry Storm on Verizon: Total cost $1916

Dumas said he recommended the iPhone, even with the higher total cost, because of its touchscreen capabilities, which he said the new BlackBerry “almost” beat, but not quite. The G1 suffers from T-Mobile’s subpar data network, he said.

A final tip from Dumas: Pass on the providers’ extended warranties, which are often “worthless.” Instead, invest in a case for your new phone and you won’t have to worry when you inevitably drop it.