Now is the worst time to buy an Android phone

OPINION: Looking to upgrade your phone? Well, maybe think twice and wait a few weeks – here’s why.

We’re approaching that time of year when the big refresh of Android phones begins. New devices will be available at all prices, and last year’s previous models are likely to see deep discounts – either due to official price cuts or because retailers want to make room for the shiny new options.

In just two weeks, we’ll see what Samsung is cooking up for its first Unpacked event of the year. This is where we’re likely to see the slew of new smartphones for the first half of the year, with the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra all expected to arrive.

Credit: 91 Mobiles

While leaks have shown pretty much everything we’ll see with these new devices, there’s obviously more to it than flashy specs. Judging from previous years, this line of S-series devices is likely to be among the most popular Android phones of the year. I’d also expect the flagship of the bunch, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, to compete for the title of best Android phone and best camera phone of 2023.

A week after Samsung, OnePlus is holding its own launch event to fully unveil the OnePlus 11 – the successor to last year’s very good OnePlus 10 Pro. OnePlus has gone a step further than Samsung, revealing tons of details about the device, including the return of the alert slider (which was absent on the OnePlus 10T), the Hasselblad cameras, and the quirky rear design.

OnePlus Cloud 11 release

Once those two launches are over, there’s only a few weeks to go until Mobile World Congress (MWC) – the smartphone-focused trade show in Barcelona that will host a host of phone unveilings from a variety of brands.

At MWC we could see big new devices from brands like Oppo, Nokia, Xiaomi, Honor, Huawei and possibly Sony. It won’t just be flagships either, as there will be plenty of budget and mid-range options too.

Of course, not every brand follows the same release cycle. If you’re tempted by a Pixel phone from Google, either the Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, go ahead and pick it up. Judging from previous years, the latest Pixel phones won’t arrive until much later in the year, probably September or October. It’s a similar story if you’re looking for a Samsung Z Fold or Z Flip – these nice foldables probably won’t be replaced until the summer months.

If you’re willing to hold out for a few more weeks, you might get a newer, better device for the same price as today, or you might get a bigger discount on a phone from last year.