Shopping for a new cell phone? If you’re looking to upgrade to a new smartphone, there are lots of things to consider, including taking a look at your current contract, carrier and service.

The first step is determining whether you’re currently locked into a contract. If so, what’s the upside of cutting out early and paying that dreaded termination fee? If not, are you willing to sign a new contract to save some money up front?

Next, are you happy with your current service? Are you due for an upgrade soon? Or, is a contract even something you want to deal with when other options, like pre-paid plans, are available?

Bottom line: Paying full retail price for a smartphone is going to cost you. And signing up for a contract is appealing based on the discount you’ll receive on a new phone. However, it’s important to consider whether a contract plan is a smart plan based on your larger cell phone plans and needs.

Use this guide by to navigate through your considerations when choosing the right path for buying your new smartphone.

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