Buy a New Android Phone Now or Wait?

The new Android models are on their way, so should you hold off your purchase?

Google Android smartphone in a hand


Let's say that you're eligible for a new phone with your cellular phone provider. Good for you! So, you head out to your local retail store and begin testing out the many different Android models that are available. Depending on what provider you use and what store you go to, you may be a bit overwhelmed with all your choices. So, you decide to head home and check reviews on your short list of Android phones that you like the most. You do a Google search for Android phones, and you quickly find out that there are several new and improved Android-based smartphones set to hit the market any day now.

Android phone on a black and white map of the world

Now, what do you do? You can either wait for the new batch of phones to be released, then start the whole process over again, or you can buy one of the ones that made your short list during your store visit. 

Hopefully, this guide can provide you with the right information and pose the right questions to help steer you in the right direction. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to whether or not to upgrade your phone or wait. You can only consider what you want and need out of your phone.

All of the information below should apply no matter which company makes the Android phone you choose, including Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Technology is Always Changing and Improving

That doesn't necessarily mean that the improvements will be relevant for your needs, but some things are a universal improvement. As of the writing of this article, most Android phones are 4G and 4G LTE, but many of the "soon to be released" models are building towards 5G networks. Now, that's not to say that 5G see widespread adoption all that soon or that the speed increase will make all the difference to you personally. Eventually, 5G will become the standard, but if your 4G LTE phone is fast enough for your needs, don't worry. It'll be supported for a while.

Cellular Tower

Most of the improvements that you see in phones comes from "extra" features. These aren't things that make all the difference in using your phone. Instead, they're mostly nice conveniences, like improvements in your camera's capabilities. If there's a feature that's particularly appealing to you, it might be worth the wait. Otherwise, you shouldn't feel like you're missing out buy upgrading now. 

When New Technology is Released, Older Technology Prices Drop 

If you would rather not spend a couple (or a few) hundred dollars on a new, state of the art phone, realize that whatever phones are currently available will drop in price after the new phones are available. Just because there is new technology available doesn't mean that the replaced or upgrade technology is obsolete. 

Some Manufacturers May Stop Supporting Older Models

Consider Apple for a minute. When they released the iPhone 4, they announced that they would no longer be supporting the iPhone 3 and earlier models, but they will continue support for the iPhone 3Gs.

Android Marshmallow

Many Android phone manufacturers follow the same line of thinking, they will stop supporting older Android models as they fall several generations behind. Now, this doesn't mean that having a phone one generation back from the latest will leave you unsupported. It does mean that if your phone is getting up there in age, it may be next on the support chopping block.

This is something you want to consider. Being stuck with a "non-supported phone" with months left in your contract could force you into an early upgrade.

Take an Honest Look at Your Future Phone Needs

This may convince you whether or not you need the latest and greatest. Consider both your business and personal needs for your phone. Will your business or personal lives change enough to warrant an early upgrade? That takes an honest look at what you think your future will look like (at least your future as it relates to your cell phone needs.)

Google's Pixel 3 in hand at a press event

Jack Taylor / Stringer / Getty Images 

If you use your Android phone for phone calls, texting, web surfing and emails, any of the available phones will most likely fit your needs perfectly until your next upgrade date arrives. However, if you feel that you will be entering a new tech-based job, rely on social media presence for your business, or will need global coverage, getting the newest Android phone will probably make sense for you.

Should you choose Android or another type of phone? 

Android is not the only game in town. iPhones are absolutely a great option as well. Many corporations have standardized on supporting one or two phone systems. If you run your own business, you may choose to use proprietary software that only runs on one phone platform. If so, it would probably make sense that your smartphone is compatible with your standardized technology. If, however, you would rather use an open architectural operating system (like Android), then choosing or sticking with Android is your best choice.

Hand holding three different smartphones

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images 

When it comes time for a phone refresh, there are many factors to consider. The above ideas are just that, "ideas," that should be considered before making any commitment to technology. Whether that commitment is a new phone and new phone contract, or a computer system, taking the emotion out of the purchase and using a bit of logic and thinking should help you make a decision that you will be happy with until the next time you have to go through the upgrade decision.