Just wait for the next… Oh that’s a great phone, but I read online that… Yeah, mine does have a great camera, but… Yes, it’s true, there is always something better coming out sooner or later. The question one has to ask is if it is worth a premium for that next generation device or if they will only use a fraction of the power to begin with. With the generational gap of smartphones becoming smaller and smaller, it stands to reason that their life spans should bet getting longer and longer. As we look back at some amazing phones from the last few years, it becomes apparent that last year’s discounted model is a much better investment than it was just a few years ago.
The Samsung Galaxy line is one of the most successful smartphone lines on the planet, and some would say it is the most successful smartphone line that will ever exist. With the higher end Galaxy S line and the lower end Galaxy everything else. Yes, Samsung has done quite a marvelous job since the Galaxy S3 arrived on the scene. Timeless, and almost limitless hardware setups that continue to chew up even the most current version of Android and keep on chugging along. Of course, with each new generation, prices on the previous ones fall. Currently, the S3 can be found in refubished form for $100, while carrying a nearly $200 price point for a new model. The S4 is about $100 more. The S5 continues the trend adding another $50-100 to that price. Of course, the newest member of the family will set you back about $650-850 depending on colors, configurations and carrier models, but is it really that much better and a S4 or S5 that is half the cost?
What nobody has taken into account in the smartphone race is that last year’s flagships are cheaper, but getting enough phone to fit your needs can be much cheaper than you think. For example, the BLU Life One X is a 4G LTE GSM phone that will set you back $150, or about the same as that 4 year old Galaxy S3. It’s running a 13MP camera, 5.2” HD display and a great little Octa-Core processor to keep it moving. That compares to the 8MP camera, 4.8” display slightly slower Quad-Core that that older Galaxy comes with pretty well, but it won’t have something that the Samsung does, accessories everywhere online and even at places like the Dollar Store.
This is where last year’s, or even 3 year’s ago, flagships still hold their advantage over the smaller makes. Sure, the specs are just as good, but long term support just isn’t there from the younger devices. For example, the lower cost devices usually suffer from a lack of camera or RAM to keep the devices running smooth. Another common cost cutter on the sub $100 devices is cutting the internal storage to 4GB, which isn’t enough for much more than a few Apps. Even that GS3 has 16GB of internal storage on board, which is more than enough when you put your media on the external SD card.
In short, don’t buy more phone than you will use. Sure, there’s always something better around the next tech jump, but remember that the S6 will be $100-300 cheaper when the S7 comes out, so if you aren’t thinking you’ll need the extra fluff, going a generation or two older may not be the worst move you could make. In fact, it might just save you a few hundred bucks of stuff that you’ll never use.