New is Not Always Better

John Krautzel
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Not all smartphone buyers want to spend hundreds of dollars to get the latest high-end device. A less expensive way to get online is to purchase mid-range or budget smartphones. However, this may not be the best way to get good value. Many buyers are shunning the latest budget smartphones and buying older versions of the flagship phones instead.

When consumers search for low-cost smartphones online, retailers are keen to promote the deals they offer on the latest mid-range and budget smartphones. For example, in early 2016, many retailers offered fantastic deals on the third-generation Moto G, a mid-range phone packed with the technologies that most users are seeking. Budget smartphones like the Moto G don't look as flashy as flagship models, but they can be a good option for people who are looking for a basic device.

The latest budget smartphones typically start out at around $100. Anything up to $350 can be considered a mid-range phone. Phones that sell for more than $350 are top-of-the-range smartphones, which have cutting-edge designs and technologies.

Of course, as phones get older, their prices tend to drop. Many older smartphones that were best in class at the time of their release now sell for even less than the most modern budget devices. Smartphone buyers who are looking to get a good deal on a phone that was designed to be a luxury device should consider these older models when searching for their next iPhone or Android.

Many older models are still available to buy, either new or used, from online and traditional retailers, which may offer big discounts on this old stock. Often, the cheapest way to buy a phone is to buy the handset outright and enter into a SIM-only contract for calls, SMS messages and data, rather than purchasing a phone plan that provides a new handset.

Older smartphones can have benefits beyond their low purchase prices. The trend in recent years has been for smartphones to get bigger and bigger. Larger displays are great for viewing videos or reading documents, but some users miss the compact phones of yesteryear, such as the 4.5-inch iPhone 4S, which could fit easily into a small pocket. Buying an older phone instead of a new budget model is a good way to buck the trend and embrace the more compact designs that were popular in the past.

When it comes to technology, newer is not always better. Many consumers have realized that buying an older model of a flagship phone offers better value for money than purchasing one of the latest budget smartphones. With the frequency at which manufacturers are producing smartphones and releasing updated models, there are several options for anyone looking to purchase a new — or not so new — device.

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