LOS ANGELES — It’s the age-old question so many grapple with all the time.
“Which phone should I buy?” And “Why do I have spend $1,000 once I’ve made a decision?”
If you’d like to save money, and want to go name brand, have you considered buying an older model? We can help you greatly today, with phones that range from $250-$400, from Apple and Samsung.
The Apple iPhone SE, which the company discontinued in 2018, is currently available as a closeout for $250 on Apple’s website. This compares to $749 for the lowest-priced new iPhone, the XR or $449 for the iPhone 7, a phone that was first released in 2016, the year after the SE first went on sale.
The Samsung Galaxy S8, a larger, more advanced phone, also from 2017, sells for $499 new on Samsung’s website, but is available on Amazon for just over $400, and on eBay from various sellers as low as $347.
Why buy an older phone? Start with saving money. Perhaps you don’t care about the latest bells and whistles and just want a basic device to make calls, send and receive texts and e-mails and surf the internet.
Drawbacks: with the SE a smaller, 4 inch screen (compared to 6.1 inches on the XR) and older technology. You won’t be able to get (or may not even care about) features like FaceID, the ability to make videos with 4K resolution and the processing chip is an A9, compared to the more powerful current A12.
Apple is unlikely to ever sell a phone this cheaply again, so if you want a good, reliable iPhone at a low price, this is the one for you. Pro tip: the $249 offer is with 32 GB of storage. We recommend splurging to $299 for versions with 128 GB of storage, which will give you more room for photos, videos and apps.
Apple is selling the SE brand new, with a 1-year warranty, not as a refurb. More on refurbished models in a minute.
If you prefer a larger, more state-of-the-art phone, take a look at the Galaxy S8.
The difference between a model from two years ago and the current S10, recently introduced?
You get 64 GB of storage, compared to 128 GB on the new model, Samsung says the S10 performs better for low light photos and has a slightly larger screen, 6.1 inches to 5.8 inches.
Other features you’ll be missing: super-slow-motion video recording, introduced on last year’s Galaxy S9 and more room for external storage, up to 512 GB.
The S10 sells for $899, while the larger edition, the S10+, starts at $999. The current top of the line iPhone, the XS Max, starts at $1099.
Beyond the SE, if you need an iPhone with a larger screen, the 4.7 inch iPhone 7 starts at $449 and the 5,.5 inch 7 Plus is $569.
However, if you’re willing to accept a refurbished model, and you should, as they come with a full 1 year warranty and a new battery, Apple has a variety of prices listed on its website for the 7 and 7 Plus models. The best deal we saw touted $469 for a 7 Plus with 128 GB of storage. This compares to $669 new.
Readers: questions about new phones vs. older, used vs. refurbs and the like? I’m @jeffersongraham on Twitter and I look forward to your comments.
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