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Upgrading to a new phone? 5 things to keep in mind, especially with 5G support

If you’ve been waiting to upgrade to a new phone, the second half of the year usually seems like the best time. September will be here soon, and so will the new iPhone 14 series, which Bloomberg reports will be September 7th. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 will also go on sale at the end of August. Brands like Vivo, Oppo and OnePlus already have some new products available in the market. We may see a few more releases before the festive season officially starts around October. After all, the second half of the year is filled with festive sales, discounts and offers on smartphones. So if you are looking to buy a new phone or are planning to upgrade in the coming months, you need to keep a few points in mind before buying.

price bracket

This is the most important factor when deciding on your next phone, and it completely depends on your circumstances and budget. But you will also need to moderate expectations based on the budget. For example, if you are playing in the Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 market, you may have to compromise somewhere on the camera and performance. The phones in this segment might not even have the most premium design.

If you are willing to pay more than Rs 20,000- let’s say Rs 25,000 and above, then it is possible to get better performance, good camera performance and battery life. If you are willing to go further- Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000, there are now several mid-premium options to consider, from Nothing phones (1) to Google Pixel 6a to OnePlus, Samsung Galaxy A series to older until. iPhone. It may seem like the iPhone is the only option if you have more money to spend, but that would be a very narrow way of looking at things.

Apple iPhone 12 in blue Good discounts can be found on the iPhone 12 after the festive season sales start. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia / Indian Express)

new or old variants

This is another difference to keep in mind, and no, it doesn’t just apply to someone who is buying an iPhone. There are a number of older phones in the market for each series, which offer perfectly good performance and specifications, and may be available at low prices. Especially in the Redmi and Realme series, you can find that some of the older versions are still available for sale at a discounted price, and you can consider them. If your budget is tight and you don’t care about the latest processors, older phones may offer better deals.

However, some of the older variants also have a drawback. With iPhones, you may want to keep software updates in mind, as these can be limited. Plus, many older phones may not be 5G ready, and if you’re planning on adopting early, you could be in for a disappointment. Also, some older 5G-ready phones may have limited band coverage, so this could again be a problem, especially if you are planning to pay Rs 25,000 and above.

Adequate 5G support on your phone is important if you’re upgrading this year.

5G support

This brings us to the next topic to remember, which is 5G support. Airtel has already announced plans for its 5G rollout later this month. With the 5G auction now complete, telecom players like Jio, Airtel, Vi will work to make the network a reality. Many of these companies are already testing 5G network performance on some of the latest devices launched by smartphone makers.

For those who are not aware, 5G is the next generation mobile LTE network, capable of offering very fast downloads, low latency networks. However, your phone needs to support the required 5G bands. As we noted in this article, the best 5G-ready smartphones support all the major 12 5G bands. But if the phone supports the following bands: n28, n5, n8, n3, n1, n41, n77, and n78, this should be enough. Phones with good 5G coverage include iPhone 13 series, Nothing Phone (1), Realme GT2 Pro, Galaxy S22 series, OnePlus 10T, Redmi K50i, Redmi Note 11T Pro, Realme 9 Pro 5G, to name a few.

If you are getting a phone in the above Rs 25,000 range and you are someone who usually uses the device for a year, we would recommend you to ensure adequate 5G support, if you are on the network at some point. Let’s decide to go for the upgrade.

Redmi Note 11 is visible in this file photo (Express Photo)

discount and time

Discount season is soon upon us again, although if you open any e-commerce website, it can seem like everything is on discount all the time. But the downside is you should double-check the launch prices. Some products may feel like they are being offered a deep price cut, which may not be the case. Also for some products, the discount price may include bank offers. Also, you may get a better deal if you are exchanging an older phone. This is generally true when you hand over an older iPhone – these usually fetch a higher exchange value than most Android phones.

Another aspect of the sale season is that the exchange offers come with an ‘exchange bonus’. This means that if you trade in an older device, you get the value of the phone, plus an added bonus to make the deal sweeter. We’d also suggest comparing offline and online offers if you’re preparing to upgrade. Who knows, your local dealer may offer better deals during the festive season.

While it may seem prudent to wait for the festive season sales to get the next big iPhone, a OnePlus or Samsung phone, if your phone is in bad shape or almost broken, we suggest you upgrade now.


Even though we mention it last in the list, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the specifications. This aspect is important, especially in the mid-budget (Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000) and mid-range (Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000). You want to pay the best price and get the best specifications.

When we talk about the specifications, we focus on the processor, the amount of RAM and storage you get, and the battery size with fast charging. As with the camera, we’ve noticed that the megapixel count is no assurance for performance, given that there are several software aspects that dictate the end result. Still, we recommend that you read/view several reviews before deciding which phone you want to buy. Also, if you are considering an older phone, remember that an older chipset may not mean a compromise in performance. But this may mean no 5G support in some cases. We suggest you also check out the product page and check out the full band support for older 5G phones before deciding to buy.

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