With the Samsung Galaxy S 4 getting ready for launch day mere days from now, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my opinions about who should and who shouldn’t (have to) upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S 4. When it comes to upgrading we sometimes wonder if our device is really that outdated or if devices just get pumped out far too quickly for us to keep up. After all, most of us only get one upgrade every 20-24 months, and unless you have a lot of money to shell out it’s nearly impossible to stay on top of these things all the time. However, since the Galaxy S 4 is one of the better phones coming out this year, let’s discuss whether you should give in and get the phone or wait it out.

For those of you carrying somewhat recently released Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy S III or the Galaxy Note II, I’m going to go ahead and give you the short answer from my point of view: stick with the device you have. While the Galaxy S 4 certainly tops specs from both phones, it’s not so much of a change that would warrant an upgrade. I look at the upgrade from the Galaxy S III to the Galaxy S 4 a lot like I did from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S – there are differences, but the differences aren’t so big that your device is necessarily considered outdated. With one you get more features than the other, but that’s pretty much all it amounts to; a camera that’s a bit better (depending on how important megapixels are to you), a little faster processor, and a little bigger screen; it's not a huge deal. It’s also worth noting that many people agree that the Galaxy S 4 is catered more towards Galaxy S II users who are ready for upgrades more so than Galaxy S III users.

As for Note II owners, you probably got the Note II and not the Galaxy S III for a reason – it has a bigger screen and the S Pen. If you switch to the Galaxy S 4 from the Note II you would lose .5 inches of screen and you would be lacking the all-important stylus. Unless you really despise the Note II, I think sticking around until the next Note comes around would be a wiser option.

Now, for people that are in the same boat as me where the Samsung Galaxy S 4 is worlds better than whatever clunker you’re carrying now, and you’re simply wondering whether you should upgrade now or “keep waiting” for that perfect device: Here’s where you have to think whether you want to go with the latest and greatest or something that’s relatively close and more wallet-friendly. You may be thinking that if you’re going to upgrade, you want to be as up-to-date as possible. After all, more likely than not it is going to be another two years or so before you get the chance to upgrade again. However, for some people top notch isn’t always an option financially, and if you’re looking to stretch your dollar and get your hands on a Galaxy then the release of the Galaxy S 4 might actually be a good thing in regards to the fact that its predecessor, the Galaxy S III, gets a hefty discount. So even if you’re in need of an upgrade but don’t want to fork over so much money then now might actually be a prime time to discover the Galaxy S III.

Whether you choose to go out and purchase the Galaxy S 4 because it’s upgrade time or because you’re just that excited for the device, I’m sure you won’t end up disappointed as it truly is a fantastic device – but don’t let that device deter you from understanding that there’s other fantastic devices on the market as well. Hype is a wonderfully evil thing in the fact that it can get you utterly pumped for a product just to see that it’s not that different from something you’ve already seen.

Despite what phone you want to upgrade to, it’s always best to think before purchasing a device regardless. Not only will it save you time and money, but it also saves you some frustration and gives you peace of mind about the product you’re about to take home. It’s tempting to run out and buy every device that comes out as soon as it comes out - being one of the first to experience something is an experience in itself. With the highly anticipated Galaxy S 4 coming out very soon, along with other competitive devices, it’s a good time to remember to do your homework beforehand to decide if you truly want to upgrade your device or wait until the next “big thing” comes out. We all know that Samsung will probably release another one relatively shortly.


Images via Samsung

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39 Reactions to this post

"What kind of research do you conduct before upgrading devices?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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John B. Robinson III I start my research 6 months out from upgrade date. tons of youtube videos/reviews, hundreds of user reviews, and opinions from people who use their smartphones similar to how I do. and I NEVER buy a phone right at launch. my new phone will be at least six months old.
Jason Vargas On a Galaxy S. None
Paul Alexandru Specs are for faggots, i buy the phone if it works,i don't need to waste my money on a phone i can customize when i have a PC better than everyone here for that...
Gordon Christie I always take a look,at videos on YouTube then visit shops to have a look at the devices I see before I get one
Ferdinando Satria Perkasa Ask friend who use the device or that phone's OS. Read, look, & watch reviews like yours. Find a shop that have the real device for try. And find the shop that sell the cheapest! Hahaha.
Charissa AsOne-PrintandDesign lol yeah me too.. the hours will add up to weeks.
George Ling Read and watch reviews, and wait for a few weeks/months after launch to see if thr r any issues on the phones
Marcus Duff I still still have an old razor flip phone because my research, in-store and online leaves me more confused than when I started. Nothing seems to do what I want them too. I would probably pick an iphone but they're too limited and has no flash. Droids seem to big and thin and don't feel natural. I have Verizon but it's gotten too pricey and they restrict a lot of the functionality i.e. talk and surf. my perfect phone would be a Galaxy s3 that's the size of an Iphone that will allow me to watch live tv when the power is out or I'm away and with affordable data. I guess it doesn't exist yet so I'll flip phone on for a little while longer I guess......
Colin Knutsen more like weeks for me lol
Bryon Barnes The extensive kind... usually as soon as their announced im reading reviews and previews, watching videos, and trying to find out what stores it will be in and when so I can go hands on. After I compare all the variables I make a decision. Most recently a note 2 on oct 25th of 2012 although I have played with an iphone 5, xperia z, and htc one. Still no reason for me to change phones.
Robert Jones I read your reviews along with gsmarena`s
Jamie Crane Specs reviews read Facebook pages of experienced tech geeks, build quality that's why got HTC one now and all research was worth it as it's quality through and through
Nikola Karovic Cpu-gpu-ram specs, screen guality. If its best on market I buy it.
Rupert Spartacus Bayldon have an s1 :/ lol
Gary Brown I do about nine months of research on YouTube, different websites. Top 10 smartphones list .
Auston Groth I have the s2 i pre ordered the s4...thats all the info i needed.
Marcus Edwards I'm not buying one. There are forty phone that come out every week. I will just wait for my upgrade and get whatever phone is free at the time.
Dan Vo My research goes something like: is it a nexus device yes or no
Felix Tran Being obsessed with mobile gadgets, I always have in mind a pretty good idea what I wanna buy.
Kal El I know EVERYTHING about a phone, before I upgrade, buy or trade.
Edgar Rodriguez Hardware some software can entice me as well. S4 here in the states is a joke to me considering we are getting outdated technology I fell for it once with the s3 only because I got a good deal on the phone not this time though
Juan Araya I always research specs and battery life. I have a note 2 and love it on Verizon. Since I root my phone a and research for ROMS and add ons.... my friend a and family come to me. I'm completely obsessed with mobile technology and probably need to join a group of recovering ROMer and xda developer roamer . so everyone else I know ask me which phone to buy. :)
Mark Belkowski of course i researched it. and its not "launching" for almost two weeks.
George Tsvetkov I am gonna upgrade my note with Htc one... SGS4 is just like SGS3 and I dont like it!
Zach Chapman gsmarena.com and play with the phones in the store.
Anthony Bailey I left Sprint for AT&T a year ago, and have never looked back. AT&T has been wonderful for me. Their LTE at its weakest is better than Sprint's at it best. Voice service is the difference between night and day, between the two carriers.
Charlie Ebner I usually YouTube professional and user reviews, as well as read user comments that are posted on my wireless providers website.
Eric Magana What ever attracts you, but do check if there is a major problem etc
Michael C Rogala I made the mistake of buying the Bionic on launch day & regretted it. I then got a Galaxy Nexus from ebay AFTER researching it and it was SOOOO much better. About 4 weeks ago I did the same thing and researched the Note 2 & even asked a friend who had one and it is now the BEST phone I've ever owned!!!! So DO YOUR RESEARCH before buying. You don't NEED the newest phone on launch day. Let others be the guinea pigs!!
Blake Cicheskie I'm sure anyone who follows PhoneDog.com must do little research. However, I don't think many people do.
Santiago Alexander Cruz For me the S4 will be my next phone. And I will be leaving Sprint, heading to At&t because Sprint's network is becoming to be very frustrating. No 4G lte and barely any 3g, basically I have a Ferrari (GS3) with a Honda engine. That's not going to work .
Charissa AsOne-PrintandDesign Hours of research between experts, YouTube videos, websites and friends personal experiences.
Jesse Ling The extensive kind.If you pick a device and you dont like it youve nobodg to blame buy yourself
Carlos Zarate The most important thing is never ask someone for an opinion on a phone, if you like it go ahead and buy it. Just because someone doesnt like it doesnt mean you wont like it neither :P
Santiago Alexander Cruz Specs, Android version, camera and what future devices are to be released.
Anthony V Cannata I'll wait until the note 3
Jordan Brown I would've bought the Nexus 4, but its not compatible with CDMA networks.
Jordan Brown I ask people who actually own the devices to give me their honest opinion of it. Like when I was moving networks, I was considering getting an S3 from an iPhone and my friend (a Fandroid) told me that he doesn't really like his.

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