As we all gear up for holiday shopping, chances are that a new smartphone is on the list for someone in your family. And with the decision to make that purchase comes more questions. Do I get a plan? What type of phone do I get? Do they need a text plan? There are several cheap TMobile phones that make awesome gifts for the smartphone beginner, or someone who needs an upgrade. A smartphone purchase does not have to give you a headache. You just need to be armed with the right info.

T-Mobile recently shared some awesome tips with us that might be useful for you:

Holiday Shopping Tips
By T-Mobile

Tips for buying and giving a mobile device this holiday season
A smartphone or tablet is a gift with a personal touch that can help people stay connected long after the holiday season. Shopping for one doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. Selecting the right device is simply a matter of knowing how to decipher the person’s mobile style, asking the right questions and talking to the experts! T-Mobile has a wide array of 4G smartphones and tablets this holiday season – so there’s something for every type of user. Below are some tips and suggestions to help make your holiday shopping even easier.
Here are some key questions to arm yourself with before your purchase and make sure to review with any sales associate:

  • What does my rate plan cover?
  • What kind of speeds/data am I getting?
  • How much will my monthly payments be and/or other charges?
  • What’s the exchange/return policy?
  • Is my/my recipient’s home and workplace covered by your network?
  • What are roaming charges?
  • What are your warranty/insurance policies?

Helpful Tips:

Below are some tips to keep in mind whether you are purchasing a device as a gift or for yourself:

  • Switching to a new phone doesn’t mean you will lose the information on your old phone. T-Mobile retail associates can use a phone-synching device to seamlessly and effortlessly move your contacts, pictures, calendar appointments, etc. over to the new phone so it is set up and ready to go!
  • If you make calls to people outside the country, consider getting a prepaid plan to control your costs. T-Mobile offers a variety of international prepaid plans that offer great deals for people in the U.S. who want to stay in touch with people abroad
  • Do you want to know which data plan is best for your communication needs? T-Mobile offers a data calculator to help you figure out the plan you need based on your daily usage, check it out at http://www.t-mobile.com/Tools/MBCalculator.aspx
  • Giving a child their first cell phone, especially a smartphone, can be a big decision for a parent. T-Mobile offers safety and control applications that empower families to keep each other safe and responsible by encouraging individual behaviors that benefit the whole family, and the flexibility to let parents maintain control on their terms, such as:
  • DriveSmart™ Plus – Distracted driving is dangerous, especially with new drivers. DriveSmart manages distractions by silencing incoming notifications, sending callers to voicemail and auto responding to incoming text messages. With DriveSmart Plus, you get automatic driving detection, parental controls and notification of cell phone activity while driving, providing additional peace of mind
  • FamilyWhere™ – If you’ve ever wondered where your kids are, this feature is for you. It allows parents to track the location of any phone on their family plan. You can even schedule alerts as a reminder to check where your kids are during the day and view up to 7 days of location history
  • Not having strong coverage at places where you spend a lot of time can be very frustrating. Wireless carriers can help you avoid that situation by running a personal coverage check to see the strength of the network at your home, workplace, school, etc.
  • Smartphones have become so advanced they can often serve multiple purposes. Several of T-Mobile’s smartphones have premium digital camera features offering consumers a viable alternative to their digital point-and-shoot cameras. They can also work as mobile hotspots, mobile music players and GPS navigators. Think about what devices you use most and consider a smartphone that can eliminate the need to carry multiple electronics

Don’t Try To Go It Alone – Talk To The Experts
T-Mobile associates are experts at finding the right devices to best fit the needs of every type of customer. All you need to do is go into a retail store, explain the type of person you are looking to buy a gift for and how they would use their device and you’ll be able to walk out with the perfect gift that will help the recipient stay connected.

Consider Service Options

  • If you would like to purchase a smartphone and service for the recipient on your existing T-Mobile account, it’s as simple as adding a line or upgrading a line
  • T-Mobile offers a Value family plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text and unlimited data with 2 GB of high-speed data for only $49.99 per line for two lines
  • TIP: If you’d like to give a smartphone as a gift to someone on your family plan as an upgrade, activate service after the phone has been unwrapped to maintain the surprise
  • If you would like to purchase a smartphone for someone who will pay for service on their own account, you can purchase the device at the no-annual contract price and pair it with a Monthly4G prepaid service so the recipient can start using the phone right away and decide whether or not they want to sign up for a contract term later
  • T-Mobile offers a variety of Monthy4G no annual contract and Pay by the Day plans

Finding The Right Device

A sales associate can help you match the recipient’s personality with the phone that will best meet their needs. Below are some suggested devices for various communication preferences.

Smartphones

  • For the aspiring techie: Samsung Exhibit™ II 4G — Rich entertainment at an affordable price
  • For the text-hungry teen: LG DoublePlay™ — A dual-display multitasking and messaging powerhouse by LG
  • For the minimalist or first-time smartphone adopter: T-Mobile® myTouch® & myTouch Q — Two easy-to-use smartphones
  • For the tech-savvy gadget-lover: Samsung Galaxy S™ II – One of T-Mobile’s Fastest Smartphones Ever: Speed meets stylish entertainment
  • For the shutterbug: HTC Amaze™ 4G — Most Advanced Camera of any Smartphone, and it’s svelte and sporty
  • For the practical professional: BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 — T-Mobile’s first 4G-capable BlackBerry smartphone
  • For the stylish socialite: BlackBerry Torch™ 9810 — The first slide-out keyboard BlackBerry smartphone on America’s Largest 4G Network®
  • For the overachiever: HTC Radar™ 4G — A new Windows® Phone with 4G speeds

Mobile Broadband

  • For the frequent traveler: T-Mobile Sonic™ 4G Mobile HotSpot — Fast 4G speeds on-the-go
  • For the technology buff: Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 — A 4G tablet delivering the ultimate mobile entertainment experience
  • For the deal-seeking family: T-Mobile SpringBoard™ with Google™ — The affordable way to discover how fun and useful a 4G tablet can be

Don’t forget to accessorize!

  • Accessories: T-Mobile’s exclusive line of accessories, D3O®, delivers more impact protection than other popular brands of gel skins and shell covers. They are the ultimate impact protection accessories to help safeguard your investment
  • Portable Chargers: Power up your gift by helping your friends and family charge their devices whenever and wherever they need with one of T-Mobile’s portable chargers
  • Bluetooth® headsets: As more states enact hands-free driving laws, this is a critical add-on; if you need to be untethered, consider an upgrade to a Bluetooth headset
  • MicroSD storage cards: A great way to enhance your smartphone gift with more room for music, files, photos and more!
  • Insurance: Too many lost phones in taxicabs or toilet drops? Now that more people are using higher-end phones, insurance plans are advised more than ever; T-Mobile offers a variety of Premium Handset Protection® (PHP) plans and sales reps at any retail store can provide counsel on which plans will best fit the customer’s needs

Understand return policies
Upon activation of a new account, T-Mobile contract/upgrade customers have a 14-day trial period (30 days in California) during which they can cancel service without paying an early termination fee. For phones purchased from T-Mobile at full price without a contract or service, customers may return the device within 30 days. In both contract and non-contract scenarios, the following restocking fees apply: $25 for phone-first devices and laptop sticks, $50 for smartphones and $75 for tablets and netbooks.

Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign with T-Mobile and Mom It Forward.