Thanks to its upcoming Android 5.0 Lollipop update and extremely attractive price point, the Samsung Galaxy S4 continues to draw attention from consumers looking for a new smartphone. And while it might seem attractive, there are some reasons why you probably don’t want to buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 right now.
Nearly two years ago, Samsung took the stage in New York City and announced the Galaxy S4, its much anticipated follow up to the Samsung Galaxy S3. The company used Broadway actors and a series of teasers to promote the phone’s release. Several weeks later, the Galaxy S4 went on sale in the United States and in several regions around the world.
For two years, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has reigned as both flagship high-end phone and budget Android phone. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is now the top dog though it too will be replaced in the coming weeks by a Samsung Galaxy S6, a device that’s heavily rumored to be coming in early March at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.
The Galaxy S4 remains an attractive option to those that want a solid Android phone without a hefty price tag. It also helps that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is confirmed for early 2015. That update should breathe new life into a phone that’s nearing its second year on this planet. That said, consumers should proceed with caution.
Android 5.0 Lollipop and its price point make it a tempting proposition but there is reason to pause, at least for the moment. Here, we take a look at why right now is a horrible time to buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 and why you’re better off waiting a few weeks before jumping in with Samsung’s aging former flagship smartphone. Here’s why.
Cheap(er) Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is better than the Galaxy S4 and like the Galaxy S4, it’s cheap on-contract. There’s also a very good chance that it’s going to get cheaper real soon.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 comes with an improved design that features water and dust resistance and a fingerprint sensor. The perforated plastic back is plastic but it’s much better than the Galaxy S4’s glossy polycarbonate plastic that we thought was one of the device’s big disappointments. It also has a better camera, a better software, and more refined software if you’re looking for other benefits.
The Galaxy S5 is still $199.99 on-contract at some carriers but its far cheaper at retailers like Amazon. Buying through Amazon might sound scary to come of you but know that the process is pretty fluid. You may not get that instant gratification that you get by going to a store but you’re going to save a lot of money by waiting a day or so to get your phone.
Now here’s the kicker. With a new Galaxy S smartphone almost certainly on the way. And with that launch said to be taking place in just a month or so, the Galaxy S5 price will almost certainly drop even further in the coming weeks making it far more attractive than it is right now.
So while there are all sorts of Galaxy S4 deals going on right now, avoid them for now. You might be able to get the Galaxy S5, a superior phone, for a similar in the coming weeks.
Samsung Galaxy S6
That new Galaxy S we’re talking about is the Samsung Galaxy S6, a heavily rumored to successor to the Galaxy S5. Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have been flying around for weeks now and they suggest that the Galaxy S6 will be a massive step up from last year’s model. Samsung’s mobile business is struggling and the company’s almost certainly looking to jumpstart sales.
Will the Galaxy S6 be its savior? It’s hard to tell at this point but all signs point to a heavily upgraded device that could include a premium design, impressive display, toned down TouchWiz software, a new camera, and more. It’s a device that’s almost certainly going to come with a flagship price tag but it’s a device that we think you should wait for.
One, you might want to buy it. And two, because of the inevitable Galaxy S5 price drops we just mentioned. Choice is extremely important when it comes to buying a new smartphone and you’ll have more options once the Galaxy S6 arrives. Maybe you like the Galaxy S6, maybe you like the Galaxy S5 and its price tag more. It’s worth investigating and to investigate, you’ll need to wait a few weeks.
Uncertain Software Future
Now, it’s not all about the Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S4 is gimped in a way that makes it far less appealing than some of these carriers and retailers make it seem.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is almost two years old which means that it has exhausted nearly 24 months of software support. Google recommends 18, Samsung typically goes with 24 or so, so there’s no telling what kind of future the Galaxy S4 has after Android 5.0 Lollipop arrives. It may not have one.
That kind of uncertainty makes it a hard device to recommend. This is an Android phone which means that you can fall back on the developer community to get updates but not everyone has the time to do that. There’s also a shelf life for bug fix updates. At some point, they will stop and if you’re dealing with problems, you’re on your own.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 and other Android flagships like the LG G3 aren’t even a year into their software shelf lives. Something that these companies won’t tell you and something that you absolutely must consider.
Don’t Buy the Galaxy S4 Right Now
The bottom line is this. The Galaxy S4 isn’t the best Android phone out right now. It isn’t even the best Galaxy S smartphone out right now. The Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung’s flagship, is cheap and getting cheaper. Other devices like the Moto X, LG G3 and Nexus 5 are fairly inexpensive at this point too.
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 (and the HTC One M9) will almost certainly help reshape the current market and we think these devices, and the inevitable price drops on top phones from 2015, are reason enough to hold off on the Galaxy S4 right now.
The Galaxy S4 was once the top of the line Galaxy S smartphone but there’s little incentive to buy it right now.