There are a lot of ways to get your hands on a BlackBerry PRIV in Canada, both on plans and off. No matter what, you're going to need a plan to go along with that phone, so how can you pay the least in the long term?
Once upon a time, if you wanted to go with Rogers, TELUS, or Bell, it was actually cheaper to buy the phone outright from your carrier, then jump on a BYO month-to-month plan. No longer.
Contract or BYO: which is cheaper in the long run?
The big 3 recently significantly-increased the price of their BYO plans. Now the cheapest method is to buy an unlocked PRIV from BlackBerry itself and jump on a BYO plan with a smaller carrier. At the time of updating this article, that puts the PRIV at $899 for your initial outlay.
If you definitely want the cell coverage that comes with a major network, you may as well go with a contract plan. Even though Fido, Koodo, and Virgin all operate over their parent networks (Rogers, TELUS, and Bell, respectively), it ends up being cheaper, or around the same price, over 24 months if you hit up a PRIV contract with one of the bigger names.
As a general guide, we'll stick to 1GB, or as close to 1GB, plans for the comparison as we can. For calls and text let's keep it to unlimited Canada-Wide calls. The principles for larger data, or smaller-calling, plans are the same in every instance; just more or less expensive, depending on what you're looking for. You can always check out the full range of PRIV plans from each carrier by following the carrier links at the top of a table.
No Tab (BYO plans)
Over two years - the time required for a subsidized plan - it can be as much as $700 cheaper (WIND vs a TELUS contract) if you buy the PRIV from BlackBerry and grab a BYO plan from a small carrier. Of course, this means a bigger purchase initially, as you have to pay full price for the phone.
WIND is, of course, an outlier. Comparing Videotron to TELUS is closer to a $400 difference, which is more reflective of the BYO market as a whole. Remember, prices are subject to change as time goes by, so pay closer attention to our dynamic tables than the article text.
The cheapest option with Rogers, Telus and Bell, means you'll be locked in to a 2-year contract for your troubles. That's nothing new to most customers, but be sure you'll get decent coverage in your area before making any long-term commitments.
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