Sometimes the previous generation ends up being the better choiceAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
When it’s time to go new phone shopping, it’s probably an exciting time. You’re probably doing some extensive research on the latest flagships, maybe what phones are the most cost-effective or what carriers have the best deals. There’s a lot that goes into finding the right new phone for you, but while most articles you’ll find these days will point you in the direction of the latest and greatest, you might be surprised to find that last year’s flagship models might actually be the right phone for you. It feels like there’s an unspoken stigma in this industry that the phones of yesteryear are no longer important once the new generation comes out. Essentially, it does get bumped out of the limelight. When people talk about the Galaxy S4 or the M7 today, it’s usually just to compare them to the Galaxy S5 or the M8. The LG G2 became old news once the LG G3 came to light. Still, most of these phones are still in stock with mobile retailers if you look hard enough. While their specs might not be top notch anymore, they’re usually still relevant enough to be considered some of the better specs out there, and the price generally gets bumped down a good chunk once the new one hits the market. They’re still great phones, they’re just sold at a better price now.
I say this because after the wrap-up of my 30-Day Challenge yesterday, I started thinking about which HTC One I preferred. I bought the M7 last year on my own, and was given the chance to test out the M8 this year. After using both, I realized that if I had to choose between the two I probably would have still chosen the M7. The size of the devices certainly helped that choice, but even aside from that I didn’t notice a big enough difference in performance between the two to throw the M7 out of the running. Specs are just numbers on paper; a phone can still perform just fine even if it has lower specs than another model. The M8 does have a leg up on the M7 in the end, but that doesn’t make the M7 a bad device.
Heck, the iPhone 4S is still for sale from most mobile retailers, and that phone was made in 2011. I had battery and storage issues with mine after using it for almost 2 years, but when it was brand new out of the box it ran like a champ and was beautiful to boot. The best part about the iPhone 4S right now? When you sign a 2-year contract that phone is free.
$199 may not be a lot for a new phone when you take into consideration how much smartphones cost without a 2-year contract (upwards of $500 or more) but it’s still a hefty price to pay out of pocket for a lot of people. I know what it’s like going to pick up a new phone and deciding to shell out nearly $200 for one - it’s hard. But that’s why it’s always good to remember that just because a phone costs less doesn’t mean it performs terribly. It’s been my experience that a flagship that’s hit its year mark still works just as well, it’s just cheaper now.
It’s just something that I thought I would remind people about, because I’ve seen people dismiss the previous year’s flagship models simply because it’s not the latest and greatest anymore. Maybe it’s no longer the fastest or the most expensive phone, but they’re still good choices to consider.
Readers, what are your thoughts when it comes to older smartphones? Do you think that once they’ve been replaced by newer models that they’re no longer worth looking at? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images via CNet