A funny story with three smartphones and two cases

Everybody has a personal approach on what a smartphone means to them, what gaps it fills and what it adds (assuming that all the smartphones add value) in the daily landscape of activities, starting with usefulness, digital interaction and fun.

I need another phone. What should I buy?

I will try as briefly as I can to identify three scenarios and draw a conclusion, doubled of course by my personal choice.

Let’s buy a brand new one!

“It’s all about that fresh new feeling, fantastic!”. I totally agree with that, a new phone is like Santa Claus coming through the chimney. But the price tag plays in the same league. When you pay about a 4 figures sum on a smartphone, the very next thing is to buy a case. So that fantastic feeling will truly happen only when you will take that case off, maybe once a year, to replace it with another one.

So, after 2 years of keeping the beauty caged but paying the hefty price, your smartphone becomes deprecated and you are in the middle of the same question you were two years ago…

Let’s buy the best second-hand one I can get!

“New is for dummies. I will buy a second-hand one!”. I totally agree with that, as well. Now you know all the second-hand smartphone markets and you’re looking for a best deal, studying pictures, zooming, asking for additional pictures, asking around the typical questions: why are you selling it, was the screen protected with Tempered Glass, does it have any damages, what’s the battery life and so forth.

Because you are already in the second-hand area and your budget is probably around $500, your main concern is what you’ll do with your smartphone in two years, so you want to buy one as good as possible. Of course, after you find your fabulous second-hand device you buy a cheap plastic case to keep it protected. For who? Of course, for the next owner!

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Let’s get a smartphone I’ve always dreamed about!

Does it have a small crack on the back and some wear and tear? Great, that’s a $200 discount. Does it also have a little scratch on the display, somewhere almost impossible to spot? Perfect another $200 discount. Was the model launched 11 months ago? Wow, that was fast, seems like yesterday! Another $200 discount.

If you look closer at this deal, the premium flagship launched 11 months ago is now in your hands for a quarter of the original price! And guess what: you will enjoy it in all of its beauty, case-less, because you really don’t care if you’ll sell it again or not.

A little bit of math

Buy a good looking second hand one with $500, put it in a case and use it for two years, then sell it probably with $200. You lose $300 while holding a plastic in your hands. Not good.

Buy a $300 not-so-good-looking second hand smartphone, use it like it was designed and enjoy every bit of it stress-less. If you cannot get any money on it after two years, at least you had a great experience. And as a bonus, eventually you can make it a fulltime controller for your PHILIPS Hue smart lights by installing the application and conecting it to the existing bridge/hub.

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My conclusion

Don’t hesitate to buy a little bit outdated flagship phone with usage marks but fully functional, you will enjoy the experience more that anybody. That’s what I would (and, actually, soon) do.

Now, a little help for all three buyers profiles

1. For brand-new-one-ers, you can get a great deal for a brand new phone here
2. If you think refurbished is OK, though, maybe this one is for you
3. And finally, for the folks in the third category, you are already lifehackers, so keep up the smart thinking, you know what to look for!

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