It can seem like there's never a right time to buy a smartphone. Every week you wait is one week closer to that model being replaced. Don’t you just love the relentless yearly upgrade cycle?
Even if you're buying close to a phone's release, there's always the question of whether you're buying too soon. Should you hold off on upgrading for another year? Can you wait until the device in question goes on sale? Smartphones are hard.
Depending on what device you're after, there are times when you should get spending, and times where you should just wait that little bit longer.
With that in mind, we're taking a look at whether now's a good time to buy a new smartphone.
The iPhone 11 family is here, repping bigger batteries, more cameras, and far too many plan options. If you want to get your iPhone 11 through a telco, the decision isn't exactly easy. There are three models, each available in three different storage variants. That's nine different phones, with at least 15 different plan options across Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. It can be a little overwhelming. To help, we've picked our favourite plan from each provider for each new iPhone.
Is now a good time to buy a new iPhone?
The latest iPhone models - the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and iPhone 11 - are practically factory fresh at this point. If you’re looking for a new iPhone, now is literally the safest time to buy one.
iPhones rarely go on sale, and when it comes to buying an Apple handset on a plan, prices are typically lowest at launch. While this might sound counterintuitive, historically, we’ve typically seen iPhone plan prices creep up across the duration of the year. Telcos often want to put their best foot forward during the launch period, when interest is at its highest.
In short, now is a pretty good time to buy an iPhone.
If you’re okay with paying your phone off over 36 months, Optus has a standout deal. $99 per month will get you a 64GB iPhone 11 Pro with 100GB of data. Not bad at all.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer a 24-month option, we quite like this plan from Vodafone. It gets you a 128GB iPhone 11 and 30GB data for $98.29 per month.
If you're after something a little different, here's a small selection of iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max plans.
Is now a good time to buy a Samsung smartphone?
If you're after a Samsung flagship smartphone, now’s not a bad time to pick one up. The Galaxy S10 family is a couple of months old now so we’re seeing some pretty great deals.
For example, Optus has the 128GB Galaxy S10 with 60GB of data for $89 per month right now. If you sign up before October 7, you’ll also get a bonus Galaxy Watch Active, valued at $349.
Telstra recently cut Galaxy S10 prices by $288, which works out to be a $12 per month discount over 24 months. This means you can get a 128GB S10 with 15GB of data for $95 per month.
On the other hand, the Note 10+ is still pretty new, so we’re not really seeing the same kind of discounts on that device yet. However, there are still some solid options around, such as this plan from Woolworths Mobile. $112 per month gets you a 256GB Note 10+ and 40GB of data.
History suggests we’ll see some killer S10 and Note 10 deals right before Christmas, but if you need a new Samsung now, there are plenty of good offers.
Here are a few more Galaxy S10 plans:
And here are a few more Note 10+ plans:
Is now a good time to buy a Google Pixel?
Now is a terrible time to buy a Pixel. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are about a year old, and Google is set to reveal the Pixel 4 on October 16. Even if you really want a Pixel 3, you’re better off waiting a couple of weeks, as the older models will almost certainly get a price-cut.
The one exception to this is the Pixel 3a, which only came out in May. We’d be super surprised if Google announced a budget Pixel 4a alongside the Pixel 4, especially because pretty much everything from the company’s upcoming event has already leaked.
If you’re after the wallet-friendly Pixel 3a, here’s a selection of plans you can get it on. Vodafone is the only provider ranging the Pixel 3a right now.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.
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