Last year’s flagship device crop was amazingly powerful to say the least. With phones like the LG G4 and V10, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Note 5, even the HTC One M9 had some redeeming qualities to it. With World Mobile Congress now wrapping up, most of the manufacturers have launched their 2016 designs and as awesome as they are, the best deals will now fall to you via the greats from 2015 or maybe even the year before. Of course, there would be a few things to watch for when purchasing a device that is a year or two old, but they are usually things that make it pretty easy to make a great choice.
1) Can you get a replacement battery or not? Unless you are buying one of these new from your carrier, which can be a good deal right about now, you will want to watch for refurbished or reconditioned models that do not have a replaceable battery. If the phone is a year old, battery life would be about 70% of the original capacity. Two years old makes it even worse. For something like the Galaxy S5 or even the S4, this is no problem at all. You can grab replacement batteries off Amazon for a few bucks. For something like the HTC One M8, it’s a major issue as you need to send the device in for service to get a new battery put in at costs over $100 in many cases.
2) There’s more than one kind of pre-owned device. FreedomPop makes their living off preowned device sales, but so do many other sites. When you order a Certified Pre Owned device from Verizon Wireless, you will definitely get a better grade CPO than you will buying from someone like FreedomPop. The kicker on this one, usually the devices will work fine, and when you think about snagging a Samsung Galaxy S5 for $150, dropping $20 on a battery and using it for a year at $10 a month, sometimes a scuff is worth the deal. If not, stick to manufacturer refurbished devices, and stay away from CPO B-Stock.
3) Even the best devices break. After having a brand new Note 5 in my pocket for almost three months, I was dumbfounded to find a crack in the home button on it the other day. It’s frustrating to see that a brand new phone could have something crack on it without having anything happen to it. The lesson here is that even if you wait and go buy that new Galaxy S7, chances are, something will break on it – and it won’t be new forever.
So, here is the lowdown on the deals. You are the consumer. Unless you broke your phone and need a new one, you have all the cards walking in to the dealer location. Ask for discounts and accessories. Don’t be afraid to shop another carrier first and bring that information to your sales rep. If Sprint will give you half off your bill and $300 of your choice of phones, then tell Verizon that. The worst they will do is say sorry. Next, don’t make a purchase without doing some homework first. Go to the store and play, then go home and read the reviews – especially user reviews. Find out if the phone actually works where you need it to, whether that’s the camera, media playing, social networking, etc…
Most of all, remember that you hold all the cards. Too often people get flustered by the fact that the sales guy said this was better or what have you. Here’s a bit of a kick for you, that sales guy makes a larger commission off that phone you just bought. Yep, they get kickbacks from the manufacturer. How awesome is that! So, check out the devices at your local store. If that older model seems to do the job, then, for the right price, it’s worth looking at. Remember a new Galaxy S5 should set you back about half of what it did two years ago, and that’s all due to some new feature you may or may not use in the future.