I just wanted to make this announcement one more time because it came up in the past week. Verizon is shutting down their legacy CDMA calling network on 1/1/2020. If you are on the Verizon network (including 3rd party providers) and have an iPhone 5s or older or an old flip phone or an older Android phone — you need to upgrade. Please ask for help if needed. This announcement does not affect ATT or T-Mobile customers
How Old Should I Go?
I had conversations with several clients last week about getting new iPhones or smartphones in general. I get asked, which iPhone should I get? Firstly you have to remember that Apple is really not competing on price. They will claim that their devices are just better and offer a premium user experience. If you buy an iPhone, you are buying a computer for your pocket and a device that is priced like a computer. I knew that some of the major carriers were still selling the iPhone 6s, possibly for a price in the $200s or maybe through some hocus pocus for “FREE”. It came to my attention that there may even be some iPhone 6 models for sale as new. WOW. I think its a shame that they are doing this. Here is the thing, even if an iPhone 6s was produced last year or this year, it is a 2015 era phone. It features 4 year old technology. I know what you might say — well, I don’t need all of the newest features so this will probably work great for me. It might! However, remember that Apple does not support iPhones with feature and security updates after about 5 years. Starting this fall, the iPhone 6 will no longer receive the new version of iOS. The iPhone 6s will still receive the new software. Next year, it may not. So if you buy an iPhone 6s now, you may only be buying an iPhone for 1 year.
If you really want an iPhone — the oldest I would go at this point is an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. That was released in September 2017. It is also the last iPhone that supports the traditional design with the Home Button. All newer iPhones have no home button, you simply swipe on the screen to mimic the home button. Most clients learn this in about 1 day or so. No big deal. So if you buy an iPhone 8 now, you are likely buying an iPhone that will be good for 3 years provided you don’t break it or it doesn’t slow down to a point where you can’t use it enjoyably anymore. In general, I think an iPhone XR would be best (unless you really want the camera superiority of the XS or XS Max and want to pay for it), but an 8 will be just fine. Keep in mind, new models will be coming out in September (based on Apple’s past track record).
There are many great less expensive phones too. I think the new Google Pixel 3a is the best phone you can buy for under $400. https://store.google.com/product/pixel_3a It works on all the major carriers and can also be used on Google’s FI cellular service which starts at $20 per month.
The Moto G7 Power from Motorola is $250 and is also a very powerful phone for the price. If battery life is your thing, this phone is like the Energizer bunny.
The carriers sell several inexpensive Android smartphones between $100 and $200. Some of these phones are OK, while others are not great. It depends on your needs and what you want to do. If its just calling, texting, a little e-mailing, and Google searching — a less expensive Android phone will probably work out just fine. Keep in mind, these Android phones are usually 2 to 3 year phones.
** There is one asterisk I want to put on this conversation** I don’t know if they have changed their policy in the last month or 2, but to the best of my knowledge, ATT has been very nasty about not allowing clients to use all the features of their phones IF THEY DON’T PURCHASE THE PHONE DIRECTLY FROM THEM. iPhones will be fine. But if you buy an Android phone directly from the company that made it or from a 3rd party, they may not be willing to activate LTE calling or WiFi calling. I think that’s just plain wrong. Verizon and T-Mobile customers have less of these issues. A phone is a phone, a network is a network. With that said, I do not have major problems with ATT as a network. Their service is quite adequate across the country.