Leasing vs. Buying Smartphones: Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages

Examine the pros and cons of leasing smartphones to determine if this option aligns with your technology needs.

Leasing and buying smartphones both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The choice between the two options depends on your personal preferences, financial situation, and how frequently you want to upgrade your phone. Here's a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of leasing and buying smartphones:

Leasing Smartphones:


  1. Lower Upfront Costs: Leasing typically requires a smaller initial payment or even no down payment, making it more affordable in the short term.

  2. Frequent Upgrades: Leasing often allows you to upgrade to the latest phone model every year or sooner, which can be appealing if you always want the latest features and technology.

  3. Included Warranty and Insurance: Many lease agreements include device protection and warranties, reducing the cost of repairs or replacements.

  4. No Long-Term Commitment: Leases are typically shorter term (e.g., 12-24 months), which means you're not tied to a phone for an extended period.


  1. Higher Overall Cost: Over time, leasing can be more expensive than buying, as you don't own the phone at the end of the lease term.

  2. No Ownership or Equity: When you lease, you don't build any equity in the device. You return it when the lease ends.

  3. Strict Terms and Conditions: Lease agreements may have strict terms, including restrictions on phone usage and wear and tear that can result in extra charges.

  4. Upgrade Pressure: The frequent upgrade cycle might pressure you into upgrading when you don't really need to.

Buying Smartphones:


  1. Ownership: When you buy a phone, you own it outright, which means you can keep it for as long as you want or sell it when you're ready for an upgrade.

  2. Lower Long-Term Costs: Buying the phone outright or through a payment plan (if available) can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to leasing.

  3. Freedom and Flexibility: You can switch carriers or plans more easily when you own your phone, as it's not tied to a specific carrier or contract.

  4. No Upgrade Pressure: You're not pressured to upgrade your phone until you're ready.


  1. Higher Upfront Costs: Buying a smartphone can require a significant upfront payment or a higher monthly installment if you choose a payment plan.

  2. Limited Warranty and Insurance: You may need to purchase separate insurance or warranties for protection, which can add to the cost.

  3. Depreciation: Phones can lose value quickly, and you may not recoup the full purchase price when selling or trading in your old phone.

  4. Potential for Repair Costs: If your phone malfunctions or breaks, you are responsible for repair or replacement costs.

Ultimately, the decision between leasing and buying a smartphone comes down to your financial situation, your preferences for device ownership and upgrades, and how you value the flexibility to switch devices. Carefully evaluate the terms and costs associated with each option before making your choice.

Pros and Cons of Smartphone Leasing.

Smartphone leasing is an increasingly popular way to get a new phone, but there are both pros and cons to consider before making a decision.

Pros of smartphone leasing:

  • Get the latest model phone every year or two. Smartphone leasing allows you to upgrade to the latest model phone without having to pay the full cost upfront. This can be a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest features and technology.
  • Lower monthly payments. Leasing typically results in lower monthly payments than buying a phone outright. This can be a good option for people on a budget.
  • Warranty coverage. Most lease agreements include warranty coverage for the phone, so you're protected in case of damage or defects.
  • No need to sell or trade in your old phone. When your lease is up, you can simply return the phone to the leasing company. No need to worry about selling it or trading it in.

Cons of smartphone leasing:

  • Total cost over time is higher. While your monthly payments may be lower, you will end up paying more for the phone over time if you lease it instead of buying it outright.
  • You don't own the phone. At the end of the lease, you must return the phone to the leasing company. You have no option to keep it.
  • Early termination fees. If you decide to terminate your lease early, you may have to pay a fee.
  • Usage restrictions. Some lease agreements may have restrictions on how you can use the phone, such as mileage limits or data caps.

Is smartphone leasing right for you?

Whether or not smartphone leasing is right for you depends on your individual needs and budget. If you want to always have the latest model phone and don't mind paying more for it over time, then leasing may be a good option for you. However, if you're on a tight budget or want to own your phone outright, then you may want to consider buying a phone instead.

Here are some additional things to consider when deciding whether or not to lease a smartphone:

  • How often do you upgrade your phone? If you upgrade your phone every year or two, then leasing may be a good way to save money on your monthly payments. However, if you keep your phone for longer periods of time, then buying a phone outright may be a better option.
  • How much money do you want to spend upfront? Leasing typically requires a smaller upfront payment than buying a phone outright. This can be a good option for people on a tight budget.
  • Do you want to own your phone outright? At the end of a lease, you must return the phone to the leasing company. If you want to own your phone outright, then you should buy it instead.

If you're still unsure whether or not smartphone leasing is right for you, it's a good idea to compare the costs of leasing vs. buying a phone. You can use a calculator to do this.