Is there a perfect time to buy a new smartphone?
The absolute short answer on this one is yes, and the perfect time is when you need a new phone.
However, the less flippant answer is a little more complex and it’s better to break it down a little.
Do you need a new smartphone?
This question is less stupid than it sounds. For example, does your phone simply need a new screen which could be done as a repair rather than replacing the whole thing?
Or is your phone actually still working perfectly, but it’s a little old and you’re so inundated with advertising for the new model that it’s impossible not to think about an upgrade?
Remember that brand new models come every year (or even more often from some manufacturers) but the phone itself will happily function for much longer than that, and may still get the software upgrades it needs to keep it fairly fresh.
To put it another way, have you been convinced you're in dire need of the latest feature that you will likely rarely use, if at all ? It’s ok: we’ve all been there.
Is the phone you want newly launched?
Manufacturers definitely like to drive up excitement for new phones, although in Apple’s case the fans tend to drive the excitement all by themselves.
The marketing can make you feel like if you don’t go buy it today, there won’t be any left, ever.
There most certainly will be plenty left over for quite a while, trust us.
Now there is a chance you might get a particularly good deal, with perhaps a new set of headphones or accessory if you pre-order or buy straight away, or perhaps your telco might be offering a bonus data deal that’s worth looking into.
However, as with any consumer electronic item, prices will drop. It's important to remember that Apple tends to fix its outright price until new models arrive, so waiting a little while might be what it takes to score some serious savings.
Do you need the latest and greatest?
If you’re happy with your choice brand's previous model, then there is a simple little trick to getting some decent savings.
Wait until a new model has been announced, but not yet launched. You’ll likely see big discounts on the previous year’s version as retailers attempt to shift stock and get ready for the new hype.
That could have you waiting a little longer than you wanted since you won’t get the absolute latest and greatest, but you will get a great deal on a phone that’s likely to be only a little bit different to what’s about to hit the market.
When can you afford it?
Mobile phones, especially premium mobile phones are expensive products. They’re really a significant investment either as an outright purchase or in your total minimum payment at the end of a contract. So be careful not to get in over your head.
Wait until this is a purchase you can afford, even if it is a bit of a luxury one in terms of the model you’re choosing. If it’s an emergency purchase, there are plenty of phones to meet every budget even if they don’t scan your face, respond to a squeeze or provide dual lens camera flexibility.
Compare 220+ plans, 25+ carriers and 30+ phones and find the right choice for you.
- This week’s bargain phones: iPhone XS, Samsung S9+ and Huawei Mate 20 Pro
- This week’s bargain phones: iPhone 8, Samsung Note9 and Google Pixel 3
- iPhone XS accessory round-up: 23 cases, screens, chargers and more compared
- We’ve got the power: 9 wireless chargers tested
- Kogan’s cheekily named Kogan Agora XS is yet another budget handset