Many a smartphone or tech enthusiast is caught in a cycle where a brand new smartphone is inevitably bought every year. That’s true of me, and I know it’s true of a lot of people reading sites like Android Central, where we write a lot of words about a lot of new phones.
I’ve decided that I’m going to break the chain and not buy a phone until I actually have to buy one. If I don’t lose or break what I have now, that means I’ll miss the whole of 2023. I won’t miss anything because of this.
I have a Pixel 6 Pro on the desk in front of me. It’s not the best Android phone ever made, and it’s not the worst Android phone ever made. But it’s a good phone that has been reliable while in my hands.
Google really wants me to buy a Pixel 7 and will surely have many more reasons why I should ditch my phone that works perfectly for another phone that works just as perfectly; just a little more perfect. Or so.
Google knows that people who buy one Pixel are more likely to buy another.
Google is not unique here. Samsung, Motorola, Apple and every other company knows that in the enthusiast market it is easier to attract an existing customer than to poach a customer who is satisfied with another company’s product.
It doesn’t matter though because Samsung and everyone else will do the same and try to convince you that you need the next Galaxy S because it’s somehow better than your current Galaxy S. Add Fold, Flip or even iPhone here a because the same is true. Companies do it because it works.
There are many reasons not to buy a new device, but the biggest is that what you have is still great. If not, then forget what I’m saying, find the phone that you think is best and it’s going to last you a while. People still using something like a Galaxy S9 are probably ready to move on, and 2023 would be a great time to pick up a heavily discounted Galaxy S22.
Not buying a new cell phone also helps the environment. Aside from the things that need to be dug out of the ground to build a phone, building new products involves shipping costs, packaging materials, energy costs, and more and sell older ones. Santa might be able to use elves and magic dust, but in the real world, companies use electricity and diesel fuel to get products to consumers.
I want to believe that the environmentalist in me is the reason I won’t buy another phone, but being eco-friendly is just a side benefit. I’m sitting out 2023 because I don’t want to spend the money. It’s a decision based more than anything on my stingy nature.
But I can get away with it. My Pixel 6 Pro will do everything it did when I bought it in 2023. It will have software support and will even get a new version of its operating system once Android 13 launches. The same could have been said for the Galaxy S21, which I replaced when I got it, but I just didn’t give in to the little voice of cheapness telling me to save my money.
This is a big deal though, because not so long ago you couldn’t count on a company to support their products when it came to Android phones. Yes, Google has a vested interest in it, but until Samsung decided it was important, it just wasn’t a thing. Thankfully, most companies (if you look at Motorola) have realized that when they’re spending that much money, people expect a certain amount of post-purchase attention.
If you don’t buy a Pixel 7 or Galaxy S23, you’re almost certainly missing out. I’m not trying to say there won’t be differences. What I’m saying is that things like 5% more battery life or “seems faster” are no longer good reasons to part with something that’s already working for you, unless you see a feature that you know that it will enrich your life.
I know it’s a bit crazy to see someone who makes a living writing about new smartphones and the features that make them great and tell you that you probably shouldn’t buy one of them. But I’m also a strong consumer advocate and I think this is really good advice.
Don’t buy a new phone unless you absolutely have to. You’re doing what’s best for the planet, saving a ton of money, and really not missing out on much.