Author Topic: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?  (Read 610 times)

sui generis

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« on: April 06, 2019, 03:57:59 PM »
I am in desperate need of a new phone since my current phone's battery only lasts a few hours at a time.  I'm on Google FI and my plan offers me a Moto X4 for $150 or a Moto G7 for $250.  I'm not an advanced user of any functions on phones.  It will be my primary camera, but I'm not a great or frequent photographer.  I mostly use it for GPS, a bit of calling/texting/emailing/Slacking and playing dumb games and listening to audiobooks and podcasts when I'm on an airplane.  So the minor differences in specs are a bit incomprehensible to me, but also don't seem like they'd be impactful for my situation. 

So the decision principle seems to be, will buying the newest model for an extra $100 get me longer life, equivalent to $101 or more, than buying a slightly older model?  I don't really know how to measure this in the first place and also don't know if a Mustachian user would realize any significant difference in durability over time (I mean, it's not like I'm looking at a 5 year old model vs newest model).  However, in my last phone, I did get the one year old model (Samsung S6 when the S7 was the latest) and I've only had it for less than 2.5 years and it's pretty bad, so I do sort of have this gut instinct that a newer model would last longer (i.e. be able to update to newer OSs longer, battery life, etc).

Thoughts?

red_pill

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Canada
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 03:59:55 PM »
Why canít you just replace the battery?

sui generis

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 04:15:36 PM »
Might be worth doing!  But the phone is pretty damn slow, too, which I assume is because of the OS...my current phone is running Android 7.0 and says it's updated. The X4 apparently comes with Android 7.1, but can update to Android 9.0 (my husband has the X4 and it shows that it is using 9.0, so I'm assuming here) and the G7 would be running Android 9.0 out of the box.  So I'm not sure if investing in a new battery (although very cheap) is worth it if I'm going to get totally impatient with the speed soon?

the_gastropod

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 184
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2019, 05:11:39 PM »
Not sure if youíre open to an iPhone or not, but you can get refurb iPhone SEís for around $100 on eBay. Apple still sells these things (on clearance for $250), so theyíll likely continue to be supported for at least another 3 years.

I use one, and Iím also on Google Fi. Itís a great little device, and still just as fast as the day I bought it.

Abe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1264
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2019, 09:15:46 PM »
Not familiar with the android-based phones, but I have an Iphone 8 and it runs well. My wife has an Iphone X based on the same concerns you have (she upgraded from an Iphone 5 hat was painfully slow for most tasks, I had a 6 that worked reasonably well). So far we haven't noticed a difference in performance between the 8 and X. That being said, I have read that the recent updates cause the older models (<8) to run slower.  You'd think that newer software would run more efficiently, but what do I know!

My thoughts are: the difference in hardware quality over 1 year is probably not enough to significantly affect performance down the road. Either the software will be so bloated that neither phone's systems are sufficient, or the software requirements will remain roughly the same and both phones would suffice.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 09:17:25 PM by Abe »

AccidentialMustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 207
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2019, 09:25:01 PM »
DW has my old X4 -- bought when they first came out so its over a year old. Its doing fine, even with her playing pokemon go. She used to use a power back for her old nexus 5 when playing pokemon because the battery would only last 30 min or maybe 1 hr. The "new" phone, she's quit carrying.

I have a new X4 (new in Dec with the travel card=phone's cost and my job has added more travel...). Seems fine, but so did the old one. The only concern I have is running out of OS updates before the phone actually dies.

We replaced the nexus 5 because the cell and gps died on it. It lives on as a wifi-only device in the house.

FIRE 20/20

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2019, 07:59:01 AM »
Might be worth doing!  But the phone is pretty damn slow, too, which I assume is because of the OS...my current phone is running Android 7.0 and says it's updated. The X4 apparently comes with Android 7.1, but can update to Android 9.0 (my husband has the X4 and it shows that it is using 9.0, so I'm assuming here) and the G7 would be running Android 9.0 out of the box.  So I'm not sure if investing in a new battery (although very cheap) is worth it if I'm going to get totally impatient with the speed soon?

The main thing that I would consider is not battery life but updates.  If you care about security (do you use online banking?  Buy things on your phone?  Have your e-mail linked to your phone?) then having an updated OS is important.  For this reason I'd consider the G7, because I think it's almost 2 years newer than the X4. 

As for the battery, it sounds like your battery died relatively quickly.  You may want to read up on ways to extend your phone's battery life, like not leaving it plugged in after charging and trying to keep it between 20% and 80% charged most of the time. 

ApacheStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
  • Location: Denver
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2019, 10:16:57 AM »
I second getting a new battery first. Also, it sounds like now is a great time to learn more about what affects the performance and battery life of a phone ó this will make you a more informed consumer in the future when you want a new phone. If you don't have a surface level understanding of a phone's hardware, then you're largely guessing and potentially spending $100's of dollars with very little ROI. If your current phone is sluggish and has a poor battery life, what's to say your new phone won't have the same issue in 8 months?

Upgrading from Android 7 to 7.1 and then to 9.0 isn't going to give you exponential performance and battery gains. You're phone's performance and battery life is largely dictated by the hardware (processor, ram, etc), the apps you run, how long you keep your battery charged, whether or not you keep wifi and bluetooth on, screen brightness, GPS/location accuracy levels and many other user-configured settings.

If you're not a "power" smartphone user and you only plan to use basic phone features and play some games, maybe ask yourself "how fast is fast enough?" when you're using your phone? If you don't demand lightning fast response times, then maybe wait around until black friday then upgrade.


lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9751
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2019, 10:38:11 AM »
Agree with the comment above that the real issue is Google's tendency to discontinue software support for older phones.  Typically they will continue updates for only 3-4 years.  I'm still limping along with my Nexus 5x that I purchased about 3 years ago, but software support has already been discontinued so once the battery performance really drops off I'll be replacing it.  Will probably go with the newer Moto phone for that reason -- better software support for the period I am likely to use the phone.

dang1

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
Re: Phones: 1 year old model or newest?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2019, 12:40:03 PM »
I'd go with a 1 year old model.
I just got an S9+. My S7 slows significantly when I have alot of apps, Chrome tabs open, also it's used as a wifi hotspot all the time. No way was I gonna get an S10 or S10+, too pricey and, didn't notice speed difference between an S9+ and S10s. Then- at least it's not a notch, but that hole-punch still only slightly less atrocious.