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5 Reasons to trade-up to a new phone this EOFY


From next gen cameras to improved battery life, here are five flagship phone features you don't want to miss out on in 2021.

This guide is sponsored by Vodafone Hot Offers on the iPhone 12 and latest Samsung Galaxy phones. Terrific trade-up deals and specials on mobile broadband plans and devices. T&Cs apply.

It's time to get excited about phones again. Following nearly a decade of samey updates, the latest generation of smartphone models have brought innovation back to the table in a big way. We're talking all-new form factors, astonishing photography software and inbuilt apps that are much more than showy gimmicks. (Which is to say, they are actually useful for once.)

You've doubtlessly seen the ads for these phones. You may have watched an early-adopter pal play with them. So what are you waiting for?

1. Grab a deal

There are some great deals around this time of year, such as Vodafone Hot Offer specials - where you can save $150 on the iPhone 12 over 36 months on any Vodafone Infinite Plan right now. Total minimum cost is $1238.80, saving off RRP. T&Cs apply.

2. Amazing cameras

Most phones are judged by their ability to take a great picture: alongside battery life, it's one of the most important considerations. This has caused an explosion of innovation as manufacturers attempt to one up each other with each successive flagship. Whoever ends up on top, the winner is always the consumer.

This year has seen some astonishingly good camera phones make their debut - from Apple's triple-lensed iPhone 12 Max to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's dual zoom lenses - running off 10MP sensors, with 3x and 10x zoom respectively.

Google's new Pixel range also continues to impress with some of the most sophisticated imaging software on the market. Some of this technology is also trickling down into cheaper handsets. Phones like the Google Pixel 4a are capable of producing great photos in all but the murkiest lighting and they don't cost anywhere near as much as a flagship. Head to our Mobile Phone Finder guide to compare the photography features of the latest handsets.

3. Foldable phones

Prior to 2019, Android flagship phones were all pretty much the same. Some were a bit bigger, some a little thinner, but they were all very similar black oblongs that only serious tech enthusiasts could tell apart.

All that changed with the birth of the 'foldable' phone factor. After years of teasing, Samsung finally launched the Galaxy Fold in September 2019. Since then, additional folding models have been introduced to an intrigued public, with other manufacturers also entering the fray.

As the name implies, foldable phones follow the same design principle as those old flip phones from the pre-smart era but with one notable difference - the whole screen folds thanks to advances in display technology. Depending on the phone model, this allows you to fold the screen out to near tablet-sized dimensions, or fold it inwards for ultra-portability. In either case, an external display allows you to keep using the phone while it's folded shut.

Currently, the top dogs in this space are the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Both phones offer a very different approach. The Fold2 is aimed at users who want the biggest screen possible, while the Flip caters to users who want something tiny and eye-catching.

If you're thinking about taking the plunge on this innovative form factor, now is a good time to buy thanks to the end of financial year sales. For example, Vodafone is currently offering $500 off the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip when you sign up and stay connected to select plans over 36 months.

4. Better battery life (and faster charging)

Phone charger
The longer you cling to an old smartphone, the worse its battery life gets (and if you're still rocking a handset from a few years ago, it was never that good to begin with.)

Fortunately, phone batteries have improved markedly in recent years. Even entry-level models can now be relied upon to last an entire day in-between charges. This is thanks to improved processing efficiency and high-capacity batteries that regularly clock in at 4500mAh and above. That number translates to all-day battery life even during heavy usage.

In addition to having bigger, better batteries, most modern smartphones also benefit from fast charging. This feature can replenish hours of battery life in just a few minutes. This is particularly handy when you need a top up before heading out the door; a predicament we've all been in.

You don't need to pay top dollar either - even relatively affordable phones like Samsung's Galaxy A32 now come with Adaptive Fast Charging as standard. It might not be the most 'exciting' feature on this list but if your current phone doesn't have fast charging, make that your #1 priority.

5. Apps that matter

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There was a period of time when phone manufacturers would throw all kinds of crazy software into their flagships in a desperate bid to stand out from the crowd. This led to a lot of gimmicks ("control text with your eyes!") that were hardly ever used by anyone.

Fortunately, the industry appears to have learned the error of its ways. The latest generation of inbuilt tools and apps have been genuinely useful. From transcribing spoken words into text to simultaneously watching movies with friends, there's a lot to get excited about.

The latest versions of Android and iOS have a ton of innovative new features coming, so make sure the phone you're interested in is due to receive an update.

This guide is sponsored by Vodafone Hot Offers on the iPhone 12 and latest Samsung Galaxy phones. Terrific trade-up deals and specials on mobile broadband plans and devices. T&Cs apply.

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