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We asked, you told us: Most of you are open to buying an older phone

There are loads of reasons to opt for an older phone, and it looks like polled readers agree.
By
May 26, 2022
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE upright front
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

New flagship smartphones get released every year, but we thought that buying an older phone such as last year’s flagship makes more sense than ever before.

It’s easy to see why, as performance is still great on many older devices and several brands offer long-term update support. But are readers open to buying an older phone though? That’s a question we posed, and here’s how you answered it.

Would you buy an older smartphone?

Results

We posted the poll in our opinion piece over the weekend, with just over 1,100 votes counted up until now. The results show that two-thirds of polled readers are indeed willing to buy an older smartphone over a current device.

This is certainly an understandable choice, as we haven’t seen massive meaningful performance gains in the last couple of years, while camera performance hasn’t changed too dramatically either. Several readers also pointed out the obvious benefit of these devices being much cheaper.

More reading: It’s 2022, phones should be built to last five years or more

However, almost 28% of respondents say it depends on how long the smartphone in question is supported. This is a valid point too, as you might not want to buy an older phone that won’t be getting Android version updates or security patches.

Finally, only 5.38% of polled readers said they wouldn’t buy an older smartphone. Presumably, these readers simply want the latest and greatest or are impressed with the current crop of smartphones from a feature and price perspective.

Comments

  • Martin Pollard: I probably won’t ever buy new again if I can help it (just like I’ll always adopt a pet from a rescue instead of buying from a breeder or, worse, a pet shop). Prices for the previous generation of phones are usually pretty good on sites like Swappa if you don’t mind slightly used, plus most phones these days last for years (especially if you’re willing and able to go the custom ROM route to extend their lives even longer) so buying last year’s model is still a good investment if you don’t absolutely have to have the “latest hotness.”
  • GammaRayTech: I recently got a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra for a good deal. Very impressed with how it still holds up and the micro SD card support is a godsend in today’s climate.
  • Brian Simmons: I’d certainly buy a used Pixel 6 in great condition before I bought the new Pixel 6a. They will be the same price.
  • Cryio: I bought my OnePlus 8 Pro almost Day 1 of its release. Here we are, 2 years later, still scheduled to get 1 OS update to Android 13 and another 2 years of Security Updates to go. Phone is faster today than on release (assuming High Performance Mode is enabled). After official support ends, I’ll throw on it a 3rd party ROM and continue enjoying it. I’m not missing anything from newer phones.
  • Sandeep: Good to buy yester year flagship for cheaper price. But the question is where do we get it? As soon as the OEM release a new phone, they will discontinue the old one and it is nowhere to be seen. I think manufacturers deliberately destroy the unsold tech, so that people keep buying new stuff. PS I would never buy a used phone. Wait and save a bit more for new phone.
  • Coldcase: Here in Canada with the dollar exchange rate it’s even more dramatic than in the US. I decided to go with a brand new S21 Ultra and paid literally half off. That’s a huge chunk of money.
  • BigEnso: Currently I have a Samsung S20. Excellent camera and great battery life. I miss the 3.5mm jack and not a great fan of curved edge screens (never seen the purpose of them). I have a feeling this will be my last Samsung though. The new models are beginning to look too much like Apple phones in terms of features. No 3.5mm jacks and no memory card slots. I’ll most likely buy a new S20 to keep in reserve.
  • bradavon: I preordered the S22 Ultra hated how impractically big it is, sent it back and got a refurbished Grade A+ S21 Ultra. Stupid size fixed and I saved hundreds.