There's a little tip making the rounds today: If you pick up a used Galaxy S20 somewhere like Swappa or eBay, where they run around $500, you can get yourself a brand new Galaxy S21 for just $100 more. That's because Samsung's trade-in values for the smaller Galaxy S20 are outrageous, earning you $700 toward an $800 phone.
Most people upgrade phones every 2-3 years, a schedule that's often dictated by carrier promotions and on-contract deals. While our readers likely buck that trend, Pixel owners hanging onto the same model for the last 2-3 years are probably considering upgrading. In the case of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, there's not much choice — it's that or stick with a phone that's less and less secure with each passing month. So is the Pixel 5 a worthy upgrade? For some of our readers, it might be, especially if they waited out the Pixel 4, as we generally recommended.
November officially marks the end of the line for the Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL, as security updates for both phones have halted. The devices are still functional, and you can switch to custom ROMs like LineageOS to keep the security fixes coming, but the hardware is starting to age as well.
This is a strange year for phone releases, especially from Google. Owners of the Pixel 2 have three Pixel phones to choose from, if they want to stick to Google-made phones, and figuring out how they all stack up is a bit complicated. Thankfully, we're here to do all the hard work.
LG's Stylo 5 launched almost a year ago with Android Pie. When we reviewed it, we noted the device had good design and amazing battery life, but its prospects for software updates were unclear due to LG's history. While the future's still far from certain, we're happy to see that LG is finally getting around to giving the phone a major refresh, with the company starting to turn the Stylo 5's Android 10 update loose on the wild.
Buying a new phone is a big decision, especially with the prices these days. For most of us, dropping several hundred bucks isn't something that can be easily done. You've got to plan for and budget it out well in advance. But once you've made the actual purchasing decision, the credit card's been charged, and you get that delivery notification, there's one more choice you've got to make: If you still have it, what do you do with the old phone?
Google's Play Points scheme are meant to get you spending on anything and everything in the Play Store with the hopes that a freebie every so often will keep you engaged and open you up to something new. But if you're already paying out for Google One cloud storage, the company will further reward your buying with a big upgrade. And if you aren't, you've still got plenty of time to get that bonus.
Much like PCs, smartphones have become a mature enough platform that there's little benefit in upgrading every single year. Most buyers already keep their phones for around two years, and according to data collected by Samsung, the trend is shifting to three years.
With Black Friday behind us and Cyber Monday just ahead, odds are a good chunk of you just bought a new phone — or you're planning to. Whether you've got spec envy, you're moving carriers, or your old phone is just broken, there are plenty of reasons for wanting an upgrade. It may have been just yesterday or two years ago, but was your motivation the last time you bought a new phone?
Back in 2016, T-Mobile rolled out the T-Mobile One plans, which replaced the senior (and often cheaper) Simple Choice plans. Many subscribers from the era still have the old plans, and a further subset is being notified starting yesterday of a pretty swanky complimentary upgrade: unlimited high-speed data. The lucky "loyal T-Mobile customers" will get bumped to the new plans on 3/16, unless they opt out for some reason.
Manufacturer infotainment systems are, by and large, not good. More and more automakers are picking up the standardized solutions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is s step in the right direction. Mazda started shipping the interface in some new vehicles this year, and now dealerships will be able to install it in model year 2014 or newer Mazdas.