Buying a phone outright using beats getting a "discount" with a contract. Of course, that might depend on the carrier and the phone plan. This calculator tells you how much cheaper it is, over time, to buy the phone outright or lease it. WalletHub's Cell Phone Calculator crunches the numbers to tell you which is the better option -- buying the phone outright or leasing it via contract. You enter both options and the tool tells you the total cost over a two-year period. This calculation is based on net present value, the changing value of the phone over time and it also assumes a five per cent annual discount.
In most cases, you'll find that buying outright is the more frugal option in the long run, but it's still interesting to see how much the cost varies.
Try the tool out for yourself at the link below.
Call Phone Calculator [WalletHub]