How to Buy a Phone

30084854152_f2e42e2761_bThis is why you should never buy a phone from a mobile carrier:

According to Reuters, the deal will load up Verizon Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ devices with a number of useless apps, including Yahoo Sports; Yahoo Finance; Go90, a mobile video service that you are almost certainly not using; and Oath Newsroom, a news curation app that surfaces headlines from across the web, but primarily from Yahoo News and HuffPost, both of which are owned by Verizon.

As part of the deal, Oath will become the “premiere content partner” for Bixby, Samsung’s first-party virtual assistant. If that doesn’t sound like enough stuff that you don’t want on your phone, Samsung and Oath will also allow advertisers to place “native ads”—ads disguised as actual content—smack dab in the middle of the news feed.

What customers want this? Exactly none.

“This gets ads one step closer to being direct to consumer,” Oath CEO Tim Armstrong told Reuters, apparently completely misunderstanding or simply not caring about what consumers want. “You can’t be more direct than being on the mobile phone home screen and app environment.”

When you buy your phone from Verizon (or AT&T or T-Mobile) this is what you get. Yes, they offer you nifty payment plans and whatnot, but it’s not worth it.

Buy an unlocked phone and take it to your carrier to put a SIM in it. That lets you get the phone you want without crap you don’t want and can’t delete added to it.

(And yes, I know that if you buy an iPhone from the carrier you won’t get this stuff, but instead you get Apple’s set of apps you have to have whether you want them or not, and a computing device that won’t let you choose what email app, web browser, or messaging app you want to use as your default, plus an ugly, dated interface so… ugh, no thanks.)

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