Should you buy last year’s model?

It used to be that when a new model of a device appeared, the old models were quickly phased out and removed from the store shelves. However, this is no longer the case. You can now purchase an older version of an iPhone, Android phone, or tablet at retail stores a year or more after the new models are introduced.

Old Vs New Words on Balance Scale Weighing Comparison

Image credit: Stockfresh

Price reductions

There is always an attractive price cut on these older items and they are factory-new with full warranties. In the case of cell phones, some are even being given away for free with a two-year contract. The question is, “Is this a good deal or should I bite the bullet and get the latest and greatest device?”

Naturally, the answer depends on your individual needs. In most cases the newer versions are usually better, however there are times when purchasing that older version can be cost-effective as well as fulfilling. In a situation where basic features of the newer versions have been dramatically improved, or useful new features that you find appealing have been added, it may be better to purchase the newer device. Only a detailed analysis of all the features will give you the whole picture.

When the new is better

A good example of this is the original Kindle Fire. The first version was simply called Fire. The next version was called Fire HD. The newer model had an updated operating system, improved screen resolution, more memory, and a better display. It also has several features that were missing in the previous version including a microphone, a front-facing camera, and an HDMI port. When Fire HD was announced and the price of the old version was reduced, the difference between the two was just $40. In this case the new and improved features were well worth the extra money.

mobile phones

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Model names

Be careful because in today’s high tech world, new gadgets with the same or similar names may not actually be the same. For instance, the Motorola RAZR D1 came out several months after the RAZR HD. It is smaller, has a poorer screen, smaller battery, less powerful processor, less memory, and no front-facing camera. The D1 might seem like a bargain next to the HD, but in actuality, it is not.


To get a really good price, the item you purchase may not be the latest, but if you do your research and know what you are giving up to get a good price, you can make an informed decision on whether you would rather have the best device currently on the market or a little extra money in your pocket.

Sandy Berger
Sandy Burger, based in Pinehurst, N.C., is a veteran tech journalist and regular contributor to Tech Page One. As senior editor at, Sandy covers tech tips and tricks, apps and gadgets in general. Email her at [email protected]
Sandy Berger
Sandy Berger
Tags: BYOD,Gadgets & Devices,Technology