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How To Buy A New iPhone Or Android Phone In 2021

Whether you're looking for an amazing super phone like the iPhone 13 Pro Max or Galaxy S21 Ultra, or your sights are set on something more affordable like the Pixel 4A, buying a new phone can be a serious headache. The vast amount of choice from a wide variety of brands, each promising to offer the best experience, means it's never been more difficult to decide which phone is the perfect one for your specific needs.

To help you cut through some of the jargon and help your money go towards exactly what you need, I've put together my top tips for buying a phone in 2021.

Get Last Year's Flagship

Sure, you can spend a few hundred dollars on a brand-new midrange phone, but you also might be able to score the same price on one of last year's flagship models that likely offers better specs and performance. When new phones are released, older models are usually discounted, and carriers frequently offer the same, or similar, promotions on these phones as they do on the new versions.

Don’t Forget About Big Sales

Finally, don’t forget to consider big sales that happen at various times throughout the year.

The biggest sales tend to pop up on phones one generation old when a new phone comes out. For instance, you can probably get a good deal on the Samsung Galaxy S20 right after the Samsung Galaxy S21 comes out.

Price

Are you willing to splash out for the best phone you can find, or are you strapped for cash and want something cheap and cheerful? Check out our guide to the best cheap phones if you're on a budget, or find out about our top phones this year if you're not.

Size, Shape, and Design

You're going to be using your new phone a lot, so make sure it's one you like holding. Huge phablets, chunky compact phones, sleek metal, and colourful plastic all look and feel very different. Large screens are ideal if you browse the web, watch videos, or play games a lot, but smaller screens tend to be cheaper.

Operating System

iPhone or Android? Each comes with unique benefits… and problems. iOS has excellent connectivity and can sync with your iPod, iPad, or Mac seamlessly. Androids, on the other hand, are super customisable, but look a little different on every phone. Going for an Android? Find out what our favourite ones are in our guide.

What Features Do You Need?

Start by drafting a list of the most critical features you need your smartphone to have. Use the list to compare devices. Ask yourself: Do you need a phone with a large screen? Do you prefer one that you can use one-handed? Are you looking for extended battery life or the best camera phone available? Do you need a lot of storage for your music or photo collection? Maybe you’re a frequent traveler and need a dual-SIM phone. Is 5G going to be part of the landscape in your area?

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