The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the smartphone market, to put it mildly. Many people are facing economic hardship, and those that aren’t are more interested in essentials like food and work-from-home computers. There’s not as much point to buying a flashy new phone if you’re mostly staying at home, after all.
That hasn’t stopped tech giants from introducing new smartphones, however, and in some ways, the market is more exciting than ever. Flagships like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are more powerful and audacious, while even budget phones like Google’s Pixel 4a deliver top-notch photos and surprising performance. It’s tempting — the question is whether or not you’re tempted enough to splurge at all in 2020 if you haven’t already.
The cases for and against buying now
It’s entirely understandable why you might save your money for 2021. Simply speaking, it might not make financial sense to buy one. And if you’re not too keen on risking your health just to snap a few flower photos, you might not bother buying a new phone. If your phone is relatively recent and works well, why buy a new phone when you might only use it to call friends, order deliveries, or take pictures of your pets?
That’s not to say buying a new phone is a waste, however. If you do need to leave home for work or prefer socially distant walks, you’ll still get plenty of use out of your phone — you might as well have a powerful tool in your pocket.
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There are plenty of uses for a new phone at home, too. While your computer may be your most important asset for work or school, a new handset can help you juggle those tasks that do need your phone. And let’s be honest — a fast phone is better for the mobile games you’re playing while you’re cooped up inside.
There’s also the question of value. Some of the phones launching in 2020 deliver a lot for the money, like the previously mentioned Pixel 4a and the OnePlus Nord. They can often take photos, play games, and run apps as well as (or in some cases, better than) phones costing two or three times as much. Prices are likely to go up for future phones, so why not buy a phone now and save a little money?