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Why buying last year’s flagship phone is the smarter choice

holding a flagship phone

Imagine you’re in the market for a new car. When you arrive at the dealership, you’ll see the shiny new 2018 models, as well as the 2017 models being offered at a fairly compelling price. You decide to test-drive one of each, and while the 2018 might have a few more bells and whistles, a lot of things are pretty much the same. Things like the engine, the safety features, and the fit, finish and feel haven’t really changed after only a year. After thinking it over, you’ll probably end up signing a contract for the 2017 model.

If you’re looking for a new smartphone, you should apply the same kind of thought process as you would when buying a car. Here are a few reasons why buying last year’s flagship is the best choice for your next smartphone purchase.

Five inexpensive smartphones with flagship performance

In modern life, our phones are a big part of everything we do. We all want the latest iPhone, Galaxy or Pixel, but the price is too high for today’s smartphone standards.

While flagship phones tend to get all the press coverage, smart buyers look beyond the hype towards lesser-known phones and earlier models that still keep up with the best.

Below, you’ll find proof that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have a legendary smartphone experience. You’ll be able to get the latest news from your favorite websites, download some games, chat in the latest app, take a picture or shoot a video.

Even though the flagship phones win at being the most expensive, that rarely means that they are the best performers. Whatever you want to do, you can do it on the road and still have money left over to spend when you get there.

These five overachievers work on one (or both) of Ting GSM and Ting CDMA networks. Just make sure to pick up a compatible SIM card from the Ting Shop and you’re good to go. No contract, no worries.

5 wise smartphone choices for less than $200

five smartphones for under $200

There should really be a category of smartphone called “wisephone;” the kind of phone you get when you like all the cool new features, but you have better things to do with your money than spend $800 or more on a phone. Like when you buy a car, you can keep a great deal of money in your pocket by choosing one from a previous model year or from a brand that doesn’t carry a huge price premium. In the mobile world, it’s especially true when you choose to go no contract. Then, you’re free to find the best deal on the phone with features you want, and you don’t have to buy it directly from your carrier.

Take a good look at these five smartphones for under $200. They are not cheap smartphones, they’re inexpensive. It’s an important distinction. These phones will work on either the Ting CDMA or GSM network and so could also be used with Sprint’s (CDMA) or T-Mobile’s (GSM) networks.

Which iPhone 7 is best to bring to Ting?

iPhone 7

Update: SIM-free iPhone 7 is now available

  • SIM-free iPhone 7 model number A1660 or A1661 (for the iPhone 7 Plus) is fully compatible with both Ting CDMA and Ting GSM

Compatible SIM cards

Other compatible models

  • iPhone 7 model number A1778 (or A1784 for the iPhone 7 Plus) is compatible with Ting GSM but not Ting CDMA.

My month with the Moto X Pure

That headline should probably read “slightly less than a month with the Moto X Pure” but that’s not what this series is called.

moto x pureMy month with the Moto X Pure Edition was cut tragically short when the phone met a tile floor and came out worse for the interaction. I didn’t think the sinking feeling when you pick up your phone after a tumble and see a haze of cracks on the screen could be any worse. Turns out, it can. Just try it with a phone that doesn’t actually belong to you.

Coming off an enjoyable month with the Moto E (2nd Gen), moving to the Moto X was quite an upgrade. A very noticeable speed boost, a much bigger and brighter screen… a generally smarter smartphone experience.

Perhaps the biggest leap forward was the camera which captured amazing, beautiful images. Great timing, given that my wife and I had our second child in the time I was testing the Moto X Pure.

A thing of beauty

Some among the tech press are calling the Moto X Pure the best Android smartphone experience you can have. After a month using the phone, I can certainly see why. I may not entirely agree (I think the title would belong to the Nexus 6P (which we’ll spend a month with soon) but it’s a close race to call and ultimately, it’s all a bit subjective.

What the Moto X Pure offers is a clean, unencumbered Android experience. Near the tail end of my testing, shortly before the phone’s tragic meeting with the tile floor, it got the update to Android 6.0, Marshmallow. I didn’t have enough time with the newly upgraded OS to determine if it solved the battery woes that had started to crop up in my time with the Moto X Pure.

Ting Unboxing and a giveaway: Motorola Moto G4

When it comes to powerful smartphones that won’t clean out your wallet, the latest version of the Motorola Moto G is worth a look. Forget everything you think you know about the Moto G line. The G4 is a whole new ballgame.

The Moto G4 sports a 5.5 inch Full HD display and a capacious 3000 mAh battery that’ll last a full day. It has some capable cameras too, with 13 megapixels in the back and five megapixels up front.

If you’re not a fan of Android skins like Samsung’s TouchWiz and HTC’s Sense, the Moto line is perfect for you. The Moto G4 is essentially stock Android; the only preloaded app you’ll get from Motorola teaches you about useful gestures like launching the camera with a twist and turning on the flashlight with a karate chop. Our favorite feature is probably “Flip for do not disturb mode.” No longer will you need to remember to turn on silent mode, just flip your Moto G4 face down and you won’t hear a peep.

If you’re in the market for an affordable smartphone that punches above its weight class, the Motorola Moto G4 is a safe bet. Like to get your hands on one? The Moto G4 is available in the Ting Shop (GSM only). If you’d like to bring a Moto G4 to Ting’s CDMA network, you can do so in the Motorola Store through our Shop listing.

Ting is also giving away a Moto G4 on YouTube and a Moto G4 on Facebook. Entry details are listed below.

Congrats to the lucky winners on YouTube and Facebook.