Dear Lifehacker, I’m ready to get a new phone, and [insert phone here] looks great, but the [insert other, different phone here] comes out in two months. Should I upgrade now or hold off for the [slightly better phone]? Thanks, Antsy Android
I get asked this question all the time, and while the answer is “it depends”, it’s probably not as hard a decision as you’re making it. Android is rather different to the iPhone because new devices are coming out all the time. As such, there’s always going to be a better phone two months down the road, and if you want to always have the “best phone”, you’re going to be disappointed. A phone will only be the “best” until something new comes out, and you can play the “should I wait” game forever. It depends on why that next phone is “better” than the one that’s currently out.
What Features Are Worth Waiting For?
don’tnew, polished Ice Cream Sandwichget its best features now
What Features Aren’t Worth Waiting For?
If you want a phone through an Australian carrier, I suspect you won’t be seeing too many new models for a while (the Nexus aside). The phones each telco will promote at Christmas were decided months ago. A lot of new phones will get announced at Mobile World Congress at the end of February, and if experience is any guide it will be a few months after that before they hit the local market. So if there’s a phone out there that appeals, now isn’t the worst time. But the principle still holds.
How Much Will An Upgrade Cost You?
Lastly, don’t forget to factor in the cost of a new phone. If you’re on contract, you’ll have to either pay it out or sign up for a new, 24-month extension. Outright buying won’t tie you down, but will cost a lot more up front.
All in all, the decision’s up to you, but in general we wouldn’t worry too much about incremental updates or new hardware that’s only moderately different from the currently available devices. When you’re so annoyed with your old phone that you can’t stand it anymore, go ahead and upgrade. Unless you’re waiting for a major new feature, you probably won’t be missing anything.
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