1. trivor's Avatar
    Do you really need the latest and greatest device every year or even every other year. With the demise of 2 year contracts and the $199/$249 flagship are people really willing to lay out $649 (or more) for the newest flagship. Even on the payment plans your still looking at around $30/month ($360/year) for a new phone and if you decide to upgrade every year you are basically leasing a phone for life.

    So, what are your alternatives to this and are they compelling enough to be worthwhile. My short answer to this question is unequivocally yes. The economics of owning the latest and greatest are a serious chunk that should be going to saving for the future (unless you're already saving 10-15% of you pre-tax income into a 401K or pension plan).

    The alternatives to the flagship are actually quite nice and certainly supply you with a very nice experience by trailing just one generation and still nice if you trail by two generations.

    So, what kind of phones are we looking at one generation back (please do not take the order as some sort of recommendation as I'm just putting together a list);

    1. Nexus 6P - $419, 32 GB model, Snapdragon 810, 12.5 MP Camera with 1.4 micron pixels for good low light, 5.7" QHD display, $50 gift card from NewEgg and works on all carriers (yes, even Verizon). $50 more for each memory Tier, $469 for 64 GB, and $519 for 128 GB. Outstanding 1st Nexus for Huawei.
    2. Nexus 5X - $269, 32 GB model, 1080P display, Snapdragon 808, no micro SD, 5.2" 1080P display, same camera module as the 6P. Very nice phone that also works on all carriers.
    3. LG G4, one generation old, currently on sale for $299, Snapdragon 808, 16 MP camera with OIS and F 1.8 lens - competes well against the other flagships currently out (including the iPhone 6S+, GS7, excellent camera app - the first to include full manual controls), micro SD, replaceable battery (3000 Mah), all plastic construction so not up to the premier metal unibodies of other top end devices. 5.5" QHD display much improved from the G3. Available for all carriers.
    4. Moto X Pure Edition - launched at $399 and is currently on sale for $299 for the 16 GB edition and $349 for the 32 GB edition. Has a much improved 21 MP module while not quite at the top of the pack (GS6, GS7, G4, G5, iPhone 6s+) it still is much better than any previous Moto device and more than adequate in good lighting situations. Running a Snapdragon 808, micro SD expansion, 5.7" QHD display. Unlocked to work on all carriers.
    5. Galaxy S6 - only one generation old and debuted at $649 it is already being discounted as low as $419 and you get all of the new design with the best chip of its generation as Samsung skipped the heat ridden Snapdragon 810 for its own Exynos 7490 which outperformed the 810 without the heat throttling issues. No micro SD expansion, 32, 64, 128 GB models, battery was a little light as it barely made it through the day but still a very nice phone with an excellent camera and striking design.
    6. Galaxy S5 - while widely panned as the same old cheap plastic from Samsung it turned out to be an excellent phone if you toned down your expectations. Running a Snapdragon 801 with a 1080P screen and a new isocell 16 MP sensor it was actually a very nice phone and I have seen it for as little as $259 NEW. It has removeable battery, micro SD expansion, waterproof (IP 68) with a funky flap on the bottom micro USB 3.0 port. At that price it is still a very nice phone for the money unlocked (although if you're on Verizon you do need to find the Verizon model which is a world phone).

    While there are lots of new phones coming out every day and many of them are as inexpensive as the one's I've listed while performing better.

    What say you - do you really need the latest and greatest or can you wait 6-12 months to get a great phone at up to 50% off?
    06-17-2016 05:24 PM
  2. belodion's Avatar
    In my own case the difficulty is in finding just exactly the right device for me, old or new. Perhaps a particular device is too big, or lacks a FPS, or the screen res is wrong, or the sRGB percentage is too small, or the battery is not good, or the storage is not enough, or the processor is a tad slow, or the camera indifferent, or, of course, the price is too high. Or I'd have to go bottom right for back, as on Samsungs, which I'm not prepared to do.


    I can easily imagine a phone with the specs I'd like, but it wouldn't exist in the real market. If it did, I'd buy now rather than wait, as long as it was reasonably affordable.
    I have hopes for a 5" 2016 Nexus.
    The latest features may be more desirable on Nexuses, to realise the full potential of the newest versions of the OS. Fortunately the Nexuses usually are reasonably affordable.
    06-17-2016 06:28 PM

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