On one hand, I can't believe it's been almost two years since the 2010 Summer Free Agency where I was contemplating several phones in an event that paralleled that of a certain famous basketball player. On the other hand, I can't believe that I'm still under contract for my beloved Droid X. I haven't even reached the early bird upgrade discount set for March 2012. In the meantime, I see many of my friends and families toting around new devices and more importantly blazing along at faster 4G LTE speeds. I couldn't take it any longer, yet I didn't want to break contract or (gasp!) pay full retail price on a new phone. Read on to find out how I upgraded my phone and how you can do the same, all without breaking your contract or your piggy bank.
So, the first thing I needed was a phone. I didn't care whether it was new or used, but I didn't want to pay a huge amount for the phone. Therefore, this excluded the certified pre-owned phones that Verizon offered; these devices were running near full retail price (over $400) when purchased without a contract. Having a fair amount of eBay experience, I turned to the online marketplace and found a huge inventory to choose from. I knew that I wanted an upgrade from my existing Droid X, and I wanted to try out the 4G LTE network that Verizon has been heavily advertising. I was also realistic in that I would have to settle for a phone that has been out for a while, and not expect to pay half price for a brand new model like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The Online Marketplace
Although not for the completely inexperienced, purchasing a used phone on eBay has become a lot more common and safe. I narrowed down my search to an HTC Thunderbolt, which as the first Verizon 4G flagship phone, received a great deal of hype and sold quite a few number of phones as a result. The device also came with some battery issues, though this proved to be the perfect combination of supply and demand that enabled me to pick one up for relatively cheap on the secondary market.