Old vs new: what smartphone would you buy?

Each time someone asks us what phone they should get, the very same conflict arises: would it be better to buy a high-end smartphone model from last year, or settle with a new mid-range model? Well, giving a universal answer to that is a challenge since there are several pretty solid arguments in favor of either choice...
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68 Comments

25. aokde

Posts: 186; Member since: Jul 09, 2012

Have you not heard about the new XPERIA Z?

50. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I'm not looking for a phablet.

20. lovefist unregistered

Well I bought gs2 last august 2012 and paid less than half of the full price when it was released. During that time only xperia s came close. But still got gs2, didnt bother with new shiny mid rangers of 2012 coz thier prices just aint worth it compared to this... One s, xperia p, lg 4x hd, gs3 mini (god that was ugly).

21. alexzibrit

Posts: 67; Member since: Jan 15, 2013

since*

23. yazbuh

Posts: 29; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

Some older flagships or high end devices have sometimes better specs and features, like note and SII, they will be updated to 4.1 with the latest features that their newer brother the SII and Note II has, that some latest mid-ranger don't have, if you want the last years greatest check their brand if their device support is good, for me personally stay away from LG and HTC they rarely update they devices, atleast sony for now is support legacy devices though mostly late but better late than never, I have a friend that has a HTC sensation XE she is not quite a techy person until now she is stuck with Gingerbread, she said her only option is rooting the device but unfortunately she does't know how and she is afriad to do it....

57. b1acktiger

Posts: 223; Member since: May 19, 2012

Sensation XE got ICS months before. You should check at least before blaming. They push updates faster than any other OEM. HTC Thunderbolt is an exception.

24. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Im planning too buy the xperia z when it comes out. Slim design rug water proof & dust proof 1080p full hd. I always wait till ces mwc or ifa too find out latest & greatest phone. Also before making a decision gotta make sure the phone itself gets the up to date software. Plus i don't rush & go out too buy a phone because something else better will always come out.

26. Firedrops

Posts: 254; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

In addition, golden oldies also tend to have outstanding accessory support from relevant companies, plus a huge software dev(ROMs/tweaks) community, which is usually entirely absent in new, mid-ranged phones.

27. GALAXY-STORM

Posts: 328; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

If the post was written with samsung galaxy s2 in picture then old flagships ftw. sgs2 is still quite the beast

28. sabres0809

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

I went with the newer (then) mid range RAZR M . It is spec wise better than the previous RAZR line. But you can't go wrong with older phones because of the custom roms .

29. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I just upgraded to a new "old" phone. I got the Epic Touch for free by resigning my contract with Sprint (though I really wanted the Note 2 or the Optimus G). So far I'm happy with it and cannot wait to get Jelly Bean on it. I'm really thinking that it should be a good device to have for the next 2yrs, unless I can get a good paying job and something comes out that I just have to have.

31. Razorback556

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

The HD2 is still a great device and was way ahead of its time. I still use it when I go out, or do things that might damage my new phones.

32. D_Tech-tive

Posts: 104; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

I buy flagship phones because specs are usually future proof and software support is usually better. ROMs for rooting are better too. My rooted RAZR MAXX still can hang with Iphone 5 and a battery that puts 98 percent of phones batteries to shame.

33. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

I have my eyes set on Xperia TX and Xperia Acros S

55. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I just got the Acro S, and I have to say that I am impressed. I come from a Motorola Atrix (first one) and then I had the Samsung Galaxy S 3 for a few month before it was stolen from me... So not having enough for another flagship, Sony cached my attention. This weekend that past, I extensively tested the waterproof capabilities and camera. The screen is beautiful and camera is great for outdoor. Not so good for low light. I do not miss the SGS3, except for some software features.. but even so, this phone is awesome. Get it in black, and if you intent to use it as camera, I recommend putting a strap on.

63. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Xperia z is wat u should look at too

66. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

if you can help me out with half the money... then yes...

67. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Lol ... even i would look at Z in that case ...

34. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

I'd have to go with mid range new. The s3 mini vs the s2 is a good example. The s2 is struggling with software updates while the s3 mini is on 4.1.2 and nature ui with smart call etc. Both have the same processor spec but the s3 has the edge. The s3 mini can be got for 250 bucks off contract in a lot of places

35. FireDragon

Posts: 117; Member since: Nov 13, 2009

I have been searching for a low-cost smart-ish phone, that could do copy-paste and can do multi-tasking, with hardware qwerty. Although I am ready to let go of qwerty for the good price and good look of device to go all touch-screen. In my last 3 attempts I always found myself narrow down to Nokia 5530 (going through almost all the brands including older Black Berries). On 2nd I really like how Nokia Asha 303 feels but now I also like Asha 310. It is not available but maybe I will take that. If not Nokia 5530 is still on my top list, simply because it is a proper smartphone and it is available in half the price of Asha 303.

37. techtruth

Posts: 30; Member since: Feb 07, 2013

galaxy s2 is still a great smartphone....

39. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

It really depends on if the person is buying new or used... Are they considering going to their provider and buying a new GS2 at a good deal and be locked into that for 2 years? In the scenario where they are buying the phone NEW, I ALWAYS recommend people buy the latest hardware. It just makes sense from a support sense.. better chance for updates, compatibility.. etc. Of course if they can only afford $99 then it's pointless to push a $200-300 phone. If it's not really a money thing, I tell people to buy what they want because over 2 years, $100 isn't that much. The biggest thing I have against the older phones is battery. The newer phones are slowly getting better and better. I tell eveyrone I can to RUN out and get a Note 2.. for the battery alone. It's amazing! my 2 girls are clamoring for a smart phone.. if I relent and get them one, I would probably consider a GS2 or Moto Maxx.. Just say no to iPhones - too expensive used for what you get.

40. Red-Pain

Posts: 33; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

i would go for new mid-range devices for their hardware, as they started to come with last year high-end specs (for example the rumored HTC M4) which is a major selling point for me

42. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Tough question. Depends on the old model and how mid range the new one is. If dual core, 1 GB is mid range.....I have a Maxx HD that has me content. I might be content for longer than 2 years. I kept my Droid X1 for almost 2 years, longest I ever kept a phone. Now....would I get a dual core, 1GB Ram phone today vs whats out and coming out? Tough question. For me...depends on the manufacture and some other things. Money wise they will almost cancel each other out. Feature wise...if you know its mid range....are you expecting features from a high end model? Generally speaking...you cant go wrong either way.

44. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Nexus just last week, happiest I've ever been with a phone. It has pretty decent hardware and the latest software. What else could you want without getting the absolute latest and greatest?

45. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

I am really confused to choose between old and new one... In case if we take S2 and S3 mini... S2 has better quality and best dev support...S3 mini has brand new touchwiz nature UX... What to choose???

47. draconic1991

Posts: 200; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

if it has to between these two then take the s2 hands down... - s2 has a better processor (1.2 ghz dual core exynos vs 1 ghz dual core novathor) - s2 with a better primary camera (8MP vs 5MP) - s2 has a better secondary camera (2MP vs VGA) - s2 has a slimmer profile (8.5 mm vs 9.9 mm) - s2 has a bigger battery (1650mAh vs 1500 mAh ) - s2 has a larger screen (4.3 vs 4.0 inches) - s2 with better data speeds (HSDPA : 21 mbps vs 14.4 mbps) And if u need more then, - jelly bean will be rolling out to galaxy s2 somehere in March or April with the new nature UX - lower price - as u pointed out better dev support - (if u are a fan of) more options for phone cases and covers That should seal the deal.. Hope this was helpful

51. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Not to mention the S2 is a rooters dream. So much dev support out there. I'm sure they have JB already.

46. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

I got my lady a Samsung Galaxy S2 over the Christmas holiday. S2 still holds itself pretty well, it was a high end phone and after all this time it could still keep itself in the game with most mid level phones.

48. rakmvk

Posts: 17; Member since: Jun 13, 2011

dual core and 1 gb ram and developer support that enough love my s2 still a champ
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