What phone should I get? Why buying last year’s flagship is the smarter choice
Ting Staff • February 12, 2019if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Asking yourself, “what phone should I get?” You’ve come to the right place. This article will help you make the smarter buying choice when you’re in the market for an upgrade.
Imagine you’re shopping for a new car. When you arrive at the dealership, you’ll see the shiny new 2021 models, as well as the 2020 models being offered at a fairly compelling price. You decide to test drive one of each, and while the 2021 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, many of us may end up signing a contract for the 2020 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.
What is a flagship phone?
A flagship phone is the latest and greatest from a brand. It’s the last phone they released and it’s often the phone that costs the most. Most brands and manufacturers release new and improved smartphone models every year, replacing last year’s flagship phone.
Here’s the part those brands don’t want you to consider: for all their improvements, the latest and greatest phones often aren’t that much more spectacular than their predecessors from one or two years prior. If you look at flagships from the last few years, you’ll see affordable smartphones with impressive specs.
For some users, especially power users that rely heavily on their phones for work or serious hobbies, it makes sense to get the newest phone because that bump in performance gives them a needed edge. Here are a few reasons why, for many of us, buying last year’s flagship is a good choice for your next smartphone purchase.
Patience is a virtue… that makes fiscal sense. Wait to upgrade your phone
Should I upgrade my phone now or wait? It’s true that today’s flagship smartphone models are amazing phones. They have slick marketing campaigns and lots of exciting new features to draw in consumers.
However, they’ll still be amazing phones in a couple of years, when the latest, greatest new versions are released. What’s more, they’ll likely be tens or hundreds of dollars cheaper than their price right now.
The cost of a smartphone soon after release is typically higher, helping offset the cost of all that marketing and aligning with massive consumer demand. You should seriously look at last year’s flagship model, or even go a couple years back, and objectively decide whether the difference in specifications is worth the difference in price for your particular needs.
It’s not ancient history: older phones still pack a punch
The best affordable smartphone isn’t the latest or flashiest option. Affordable smartphones can be years old now. Why? Because the technology has gotten better. There’s not that much noticeable difference between the latest iPhone and the generation before it. Heck, iPhone XR is still a solid option for Apple users.
With the rapid turnover in consumer technology, it’s easy to feel like you’re always behind the curve. Just six months after you buy that hot new gadget or flagship phone, a newer version comes out, slightly thinner and with features that you didn’t even know you wanted.
However, even if there’s a newer model, last year’s flagship phones are still great choices. They’ve come down in price because there’s a hotter option on the market, but they work just as well and have almost as many features. In addition, you’ll still receive all of the latest updates, so you won’t be falling behind. This last consideration is why, even if it meets your needs, you’ll want to avoid purchasing a new phone that’s more than a couple of years old with the previous year’s model being your safest bet.
It’s tried and tested: why buying last year’s phone makes sense
Older phones have one big advantage over the newer models: They’ve been battle-tested by thousands of consumers. Once a phone has been out for a year, you can read reviews by media outlets and users that are more objective and divorced from all the hype. After all, you don’t want to get caught up in the excitement and buy a model that ultimately flops, like the Amazon Fire Phone.
What’s more, new tech releases often come with bugs and problems that you might not have expected. It may take months for updates to roll out to fix issues with things like the display and battery. You won’t have to deal with any of the day-one defects or vulnerabilities, like the iPhone 4’s Antennagate or your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 catching fire.
What phone should I get?
So, you’ve decided to buy an older flagship model.
The Ting Shop is the best resource to find phones that work on Ting Mobile, but it’s not the only place to get a Ting Mobile-compatible phone. Our compatibility checker can help you see if the phone you’re interested in can be brought over to Ting Mobile. With coast-to-coast coverage, 5G availability and more affordable plans featuring lower data rates, there’s never been a better time to join Ting Mobile and start saving on your bills.
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