The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a popular and affordable smartphone that you can find for $99 or less at any cell phone carrier with a two-year contract. This phone is almost two years old, and soon it will be as low as 99 cents. Before you sign up for a long contract you need to read to see if the Galaxy S4 is still worth buying in 2015.
This is especially important during the first several months of the year because Samsung plans to announce a new Samsung Galaxy S6 on March 1st that will make the Galaxy S4 cheaper and deliver lots of Galaxy S5 deals.
If you are looking to buy the Galaxy S4 in 2015 you are probably looking to buy a cheap smartphone. This may be your first smartphone or you might just want to save money. Both reasons are valid, but you need to know a few things before you buy the Galaxy S4 in 2015.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is two years old, which is much longer in cell phone time than it is for almost any other gadget or purchase. After two years the value of a device starts to drop and the support goes right with it.
Here are the most important things you need to know about the Galaxy S4 in 2014.
Galaxy S4 Price & Deals
The Galaxy S4 is already $49 at most Verizon stores and you can buy the Galaxy S4 on Amazon for a penny with a two-year contract. This offers a tempting price for a new smartphone when many competing devices are $99 and $199, but this will all change in a few weeks.
Samsung’s next smartphone will arrive as soon as late March. This will push the Galaxy S5 price down to where the Galaxy S4 is now. For the same price you’ll get more software support, more accessories and an all around better device with more features.
Unless you absolutely need the Galaxy S4 today, you are better off waiting or looking for a Galaxy S5 deal. The Galaxy S5 is a major upgrade that includes a waterproof design, better camera and upgrades.
Galaxy S4 Software
There is a Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update coming, but this will likely be the last major update that this phone gets. Some carriers may issue a small update in the next year to fix a problem or two, but after two-years Samsung is not going to invest the energy into trying to make the new version of Android that Google announces this year for the Galaxy S4.
This may not sound like a major concern now, but if you are locking in to this phone for two years you will regret the lack of updates when 2016 rolls around and other phones support new accessories, services and deliver other cool features that you can’t get until you upgrade.
Galaxy S4 Alternatives
There are a lot of Galaxy S4 alternatives that are only a year old, or less, that are available for not much more than you will pay for the Galaxy S4.
Right now the LG G3 is free on a two-year contract at Verizon. This phone is less than a year old, offers a stunning display, better camera and loads of features. There is no reason to buy a two-year old Galaxy S4 for $49 or even a penny when the LG G3 is free on a contract. You can also get the LG G3 for a penny on Amazon on AT&T and other carriers. Read our LG G3 review for more.
If you want to stick with Samsung, you can buy the Galaxy S5 for $99 on contract at Amazon for Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. This price should drop again when the Galaxy S6 release arrives in March or April. The Galaxy S5 offers a waterproof design, better camera and more software updates. Read our Galaxy S5 review for more.
Galaxy S4 Reviews & Advice
To get an idea how the value of a phone changes over time you should read our original Galaxy S4 review and then read our Galaxy S4 review in 2014 to see how our opinion of the device changes as it ages.
In 2015 the Galaxy S4 still works, but it is slower than the competition and the design is out-of-place in the upgraded world dominated by high quality plastics and high-end metal. The basic features are there, but for most users there is no reason to buy the Galaxy S4 in 2015.
For a small amount more you can get a better phone, or sometimes for less with the LG G3, and if you wait until after the Galaxy S6 release date in March or April the Galaxy S5 price will drop even more.