If you’re in need of a new cell phone but have been overwhelmed by the number of companies and plans out there, check out BillShrink.com.
The Menlo Park company has taken all that tedious information — contract details, various fees for minutes and text messages, local signal strength, data plans, family plans, etc. — and created an easy-to-use site that not only looks nice but spits out the best plan for your needs.
What I really liked about the site is that it gives me a recommendation. And I only need to spend two minutes on the site to figure it out. After plugging in how many minutes I use per month and a few other details (you can also upload your phone bill), the results don’t simply say, “Here are the plans,” but they show you how much you would save or need to spend for the various plans and carriers.
The company just upgraded its site to include a bunch of stuff that would make your eyes glaze over, but they did it in a way that looks nice and is immediately understood. For example, plan details include several ratings bars (example pictured below) to show how it compares with the competition. Hovering over the image with your mouse gives you even more useful information.
There are also coverage maps that show dead spots and flaky signals. Enter your location to git your own signal strength. And it offers details on all the available phones. More features, such as user reviews and third-party rankings, will be added in the future, according to the company.
Since I am in the market and eyeing the new iPhone, I started poking around to see how much it would cost me. BillShrink has a special iPhone page. Upgrading is going to cost me a lot.
The theory behind the site, of course, is to shrink your phone bill. Unfortunately, that may be difficult to do based on rising prices and new technology that costs more. Still, BillShrink could offer more insight into what you use — or don’t use — and what features are out there that are important, such as signal strength at home and work.