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Don’t buy a new smartphone right now, you’ll regret it if you do

by Todd Haselton | January 20, 2017January 20, 2017 9:30 am PDT

Back in 2011, I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post with a very similar headline: “Don’t Buy a new Phone… Just Yet.” At the time, I argued that one should wait for a new crop of BlackBerry devices that were just over the horizon. How silly I was then. I don’t know that I’m that much brighter today, but I do want to relay the same message. You shouldn’t buy a new smartphone right now. If you do, you’ll almost certainly regret it in just a couple of months.

Mobile World Congress kicks off at the end of February, and we’re expecting a whole crop of new smartphones that’ll hit the market in the weeks and months that follow. Chief among those are probably Samsung’s new Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8 Edge (pending final names), the LG G6 and new offerings from Sony, Huawei, Nextbit (maybe!) and others. This is basically the equivalent of the North American International Auto Show for phone makers; it’s where many of the new flagships for 2017 are going to be unveiled. If you buy a phone now, your device is almost certainly going to be out of date by April.

The Galaxy S8, for example, is expected to upgrade nearly every feature of the Galaxy S7. We might get a bigger display, a new and more power efficient Snapdragon 835 processor, almost certainly new software and a new AI, and a better camera. Plus Samsung needs to show the world that it can still build a great smartphone that doesn’t catch fire. Expect Samsung to go big. I bet LG brings the heat with the LG G6, too, because it needs to recover from the G5 flop last year, which didn’t impress most people as much as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 did.

Sony and Huawei have announced press conferences, so I’m expecting new phones from both of them, though Sony hasn’t had a great time with carrier partners in the US and Huawei is only just getting started. I’m much more excited for the latter, which said at CES that it’s launching the amazing Huawei Mate 9 in the US with Amazon Alexa support. Nextbit, which launched the Robin at CES 2016, was quiet at this year’s CES 2017. It’s possible we’ll hear a bit about the company’s next phone since I expect the firm will also be at the show. No, Nexbit isn’t a major player, but the Nextbit Robin was a great phone at a low price and with tons of unique features.

BlackBerry, too, now being sold and manufactured by TCL, will show off the new BlackBerry Mercury yet again. We’ll learn more about the final specs and software features, as well as price and release date information that weren’t provided when we got a first look at CES 2017. We’ll also get the final name since we’re told the Mercury is just a placeholder for now.

Just wait

Sure, you can still buy great phones right now. And chances are some of them like the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL are still going to sit among the very best on the market. But if you need a new phone, my suggestion is to just sit and wait and see what comes out in just a couple of months. iPhone fans – sorry, your next update isn’t coming until September.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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