Is the Galaxy S4 Worth Buying in 2015?

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.

Is the Galaxy S4 worth buying in 2015?
Is the Galaxy S4 worth buying 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.

You can find better Galaxy S5 deals if you want a new phone.
You can find better Galaxy S5 deals if you want a new phone.

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.

There are better Galaxy S4 alternatives available, sometimes for a cheaper price.
There are better Galaxy S4 alternatives available, sometimes for a cheaper price.

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.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 2015 review isn't as positive as it was in 2013.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 2015 review isn’t as positive as it was in 2013.

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.

5 Best Phones [February, 2015]

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will soon be joined by the Galaxy S6. The Galaxy S6 is reportedly heading to all five major U.S. carriers and that makes the Galaxy Note 4 a tough sell in February. That said, if you're in desperate need of a new smartphone, the Galaxy Note 4 is going to be a fine choice this month. We like it more than the Samsung Galaxy S5, the company's other flagship phone.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 arrived in the United States to great fanfare and it's as good as advertised. It offers you a massive 5.7-inch Quad HD display, an improved design that combines plastic with metal, a camera with Optical Image Stabilization, and a speedy processor that's capable of providing excellent multitasking and gaming.

It's expensive in the U.S., $299.99 on-contract most places, but it's certainly worth a look if you absolutely need to buy a new smartphone this month. 

10 Comments

  1. Yoan Mitov

    04/02/2015 at 12:40 pm

    Uuhm, there’s no need to buy the S4 in 2015? It’s perfectly competent even today with it’s good processor, great screen and camera. It’s better than buying a recent midrange phone.
    Comparing it to a G3 isn’t the best idea. The latter is quite a bit larger, it’s beyond single-handed operation for most – the S4 just happens to be the perfect size to me. Also the G3 has capacitive keys which take up screen estate – many still prefer hardware keys.

    Reply

    • Nnenna O

      04/02/2015 at 3:59 pm

      Same here. I hate on screen buttons XD
      i have a samsung gs4. I got it because money is tight for me right now and i dont regret it at all

      Reply

  2. tipoo

    08/25/2015 at 1:27 pm

    Recommending the G3 for “free” on a two year contract doesn’t seem like a good alternative. You’ll spend thousands on that contract, you will ALWAYS pay the carrier back the cost of the device and more on any contract with a free high end smartphone. Meanwhile you can pick up the S4 for around 200 dollars now, and then get a plan that doesn’t bleed you as much and doesn’t tie you in for two years.

    Reply

  3. Joel Campbell

    11/19/2015 at 2:47 am

    Agreed. This is bad advice. This person assumes we want a contract. The S4 is a bargain bought off contract compared to new midrange phones. You can find the s4 for 200 or less. Please show me a new phone for that price with better specs……. . . . Exactly.

    Reply

  4. etsy wunderlabel (@LinhKienGame)

    12/14/2015 at 11:07 am

    I love it but the battery life is not up to par with taiwanese phones which are newer with better specs. I love the s4 but I jumped ship to the zenphone. Sorry Samsung, I couldn’t resist.

    Reply

  5. Jkizz

    12/25/2015 at 9:14 pm

    Typing this from an s4….almost 2016. Still solid and zippy phone. No compelling reason for me to upgrade…. why when it’s paid off?

    Reply

  6. Phil

    01/13/2016 at 10:46 am

    So since mine was free and I do not need a contract.. I got a good deal ?? Im new to the smart phones and was just curious to what kind of a deal I got.

    Reply

  7. Frank

    02/21/2016 at 9:23 am

    I have a Samsung s4 had a Samsung s6 but screen broke so sold it. The Samsung s4 for me suits my needs as they are fairly basic and have to say I think the s4 has to go down as a classic now from its design is still to this day quite modern and current looking phone with decent specs.

    Reply

  8. N.A.Pirani

    07/18/2016 at 1:00 am

    We have recd galaxy s4 from a relative from USA :LOCKED.Despite several reminders to AT&T–USA for a CODE to unlock device,NO response is being recd.We would like to know whether it has STOPPED this Unlockin process for good

    Reply

  9. Frank

    11/11/2016 at 6:14 pm

    I just bought Samsung Galaxy S4. I talked to the Samsung representative for the S4 and he said they are producing the marshmallow upgrade for that phone. I bought it for 50 in the united states. You cannot get a 13 mega pix. for that price. 5 pixil with a less then hd screen are selling for 140+ brand new. The Transpyre is selling for 39 at stores for pre-paid. The S4 still exceeds that phone with speed and picture quality alone. the SCH-1545ZPVW has slow motion video 13 mp rear and 2 mp front. I do not take selfies so i do not really care about the front. PLus it has a battery that i can change out. LOL it is great that the article was written for those who like to be in debt and have to have the latest phone. For the price i get Gsm CDMA and LTE. 2g is still the best for remote areas,because of its longer range. as far as i know CDMA doesn’t get as good reception in remote places.

    Reply

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