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Russell Cellular independently operates this site and is a Verizon Authorized Retailer.

Buying a New Phone Online vs In-Store

When you’re looking to buy a new phone, there are a lot of decisions to make. Android or iOS? Large screen or pocket-sized? 5G Play More or 5G Do More? And, of course, buying a new phone online vs in-store?

To help you make your decision, here are the main advantages and disadvantages of buying a new phone online vs in-store.

Buying a new phone online


  • Since you have hundreds of online retailers to choose from, you’re not limited to your local stores. That means you can browse a much wider variety of makes, models, and colors.
  • As you explore the available options, it’s easy to check specs, features, and user reviews for each phone. This information gives you a better idea of what each device is like so that you can find the right fit.
  • High-street retailers generally only carry the most up-to-date phones on the market. But online, you can buy second hand or refurbished phones for much less than their recommended retail price.
  • It’s much easier to take advantage of promotions and deals online because they’re easier for retailers to advertise. That means you can save money on your new purchase and perhaps even grab some free accessories.
  • You can take as long as you need to research the right phone and add-ons for your usage habits with no pressure from sales staff.
  • You benefit from fast deliveries and returns that match your schedule, and you can order from the comfort of your own home.


  • With access to so much information about specs, features, and user experiences, it takes significantly longer to make a choice. And if you don’t like your phone once you receive it, you might experience buyer’s remorse.
  • While you have a wider range of choice when buying a new phone online, you might experience compatibility issues between devices and service providers. This doesn’t apply when shopping in-store, as brick-and-mortar retailers only stock compatible phones.
  • You won’t receive personal guidance when setting up your phone, which can make it difficult to transfer data or learn how to use it. Instead, you’ll have to rely on online guides, which might not have the answers you’re looking for.

Final verdict

Buying a new phone online means you have much more choice and information. So you’re more likely to find a phone that suits your needs and you might even save a few dollars. But it can take a long time to carry out all that research, which doesn’t even end when your new phone arrives.

Buying a new phone in-store


  • Since retail staff have a detailed knowledge of their products, their advice makes it much easier and quicker to find the right phone for you.
  • Once you’ve bought the one, staff can set up your phone for you to give you a great user experience right away.
  • Because you don’t need to wait for delivery, you can start using your phone immediately.
  • Verizon-authorized retailers like Russell Cellular only carry phones that are compatible with their specific service provider. That means there will be no compatibility issues that prevent you from enjoying your new phone.
  •  If there’s a problem with your phone, store staff can offer easy post-sale support to fix the issue. You can speak directly to a real person rather than struggling through weeks of emails and online checks.
  • With a physical phone, you can try before you buy rather than relying on images and testimonies that might not reveal the whole truth. That means you can check whether the size, weight, and features are right for you.


  • Stores only carry a limited selection of phones and might not have the model or color you want in stock. If you don’t like the available phones, it can take several days to order the right one in.
  • Phones bought from a store are usually locked to that service carrier. This makes it very difficult to change carriers while keeping the same phone.
  • Unless you’re willing to travel to another city, you’re limited to local stores. And if you live in a small town, you might have barely any choice at all.

Final verdict

Buying a new phone in-store is often quicker and easier than buying online. Store staff can offer advice on good models, they can set up your phone for you, and you can start using it that same day. On the other hand, you’re limited to local stores and the phones they stock, meaning there are fewer options to choose from.

So what’s the best way to buy a new phone?

Whether you decide to buy a new phone online or in-store depends on your priorities. If you’d prefer to carry out extensive research and find satisfaction with the perfect phone, go for an online purchase. But if you want a smooth, simple experience with straightforward expert advice, in-store might be the best place to buy your phones.

Whatever you choose, you’ll find your ideal phone much more quickly if you decide what features are most important to you in advance. You might want:

  • A high-definition camera to take lots of pictures
  • Plenty of memory for storing files
  • A large screen for watching videos, reading, or playing games
  • A long battery life to ensure plenty of use
  • A headphone jack so you can listen to music on the go

Buy online or in-store with Russell Cellular

Russell Cellular makes the question of buying a new phone online or in-store easy by offering both options. Our knowledgeable store staff are available to offer friendly guidance and help you through the setup process, as well as advise you on useful add-ons. Online, you’ll find device listing with plenty of useful information, easy access to amazing deals, and convenient guides such as:

  • How to transfer data to your new iPhone
  • How to trade in your phone at Verizon
  • How to use mobile hotspot on your Verizon phone

Visit our website or drop into your local Russell Cellular store to find your perfect phone today.

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