Today we’re going to have a quick chat about why buying a new phone is a bad idea. To be real clear here right out the gate, I don’t mean all new phones – only new phones that’ve only just been released. This goes for all brands, no matter the place or carrier – and it’s only very recently become more important than ever before.
5. Different Colors, Better Editions
Mobile phones are released in a limited number of colors, editions, and sometimes even materials. Companies such as Huawei, Samsung, and OnePlus are no strangers to releasing special editions just weeks after their initial phone release date. See, for example, the Sunrise Gold and Burgundy Red Galaxy S9.
Also remember how the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was launched in just two colors: Lavender Purple and Ocean Blue. Pretty as they were, given the chance, some users would’ve preferred more traditional colors. Not particularly long after launch of the first two colors, Samsung released the Galaxy Note 9 in white, black, and silver. Same phone, different colors.
4. Major Price Drops
Take the case of the Essential Phone PH-1. The PH-1 was a big idea, and it remains a pretty good device. It was made by the godfather of all Android, but at the start it was a huge work in progress. Right around two months after launch, the Essential Phone PH-1 got its first major price cut.
The phone was launched at approximately $700 on August 17th, 2017. By January of 2018, the base price of the phone had been reduced to closer to $500. Sometimes waiting just a few weeks can have a huge impact.
3. A lack of accessories
This is becoming less of an issue as time goes on because manufacturing brands are launching accessories specific to phones as said phones are launched. But for those that don’t, beware the consequences. Buying some phones on launch day means you might be waiting for weeks before you’re able to buy a smartphone case and/or screen protector.
Phones like the OnePlus 6T launch with cases right out the gate. And they’re not half bad! Phones from OPPO, Huawei, Xiaomi, and others launch with basic phone protection packaged with the phone. If we lived in an ideal world, all phones would be indestructible – but that just isn’t so.
2. Parts for repair
On a note very similar to that of the point immediately above, it’s not often easy to repair a phone that’s been damaged in the first few weeks after launch. A recent story about the Google Pixel 3 reminded us of the potential for this unfortunate situation. Not only was Google not able to repair a broken Pixel 3 not long after launch, but 3rd-party repair brand(s) didn’t get the necessary parts to repair a busted glass backside for a month.
1. Major software updates
We’ve got a few relatively major examples of necessary software updates coming to phones not long after launch. Take for example the iPhone 8 screen fix update. Without said update, those people that had their display fixed by 3rd-party repair shops (see #2) experienced an inability to control their iPhone with touch controls.
Almost immediately after launch, the Razer Phone 2 was found not to work with Verizon sim cards. The fix came relatively quick – but wouldn’t have been an issue at all if users bought their Razer Phone 2 after a month or two instead of right at launch.
The idea that we might not buy a phone at launch is, without a doubt, a big bummer. As it were, reality dictates that if it seems too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true. In this case, the bit that’s too good to be true is the idea that a just-launched smartphone will be a perfect experience for the end user, every time.
For judgement on phones – that you’ll buy several weeks or months after release, NOT at launch – see our reviews portal. Head over to our Reviews hub and see some other strange devices while you’re at it.