Is a Brand New Budget Phone Better Than an Older Flagship Phone?

In today’s digital age, our lives are intertwined with technology. Smartphones, in particular, have become virtually indispensable. However, many of us often find ourselves in a predicament when acquiring a new device: Is a brand-new budget phone a better investment than an older flagship phone?

As experts in phone recycling, we aim to compare these two options from all angles, including their pros and cons and the environmental implications of both options. So, if you want to upgrade to something new, find out whether an older iPhone may still offer the same technology as a cheaper, budget-friendly smartphone.

What is a budget or flagship phone?

Before comparing which option is best, let’s define what we mean by budget and older flagship phones. A budget phone is a new but affordable smartphone targeted towards people looking to save a penny or two. Many brands specialise in budget phones, such as Alcatel. Whereas some smartphone brands, such as Samsung, create lines of budget phones under £400 to cater to all types of customers. These phones often belong to lower-tier or mid-range lineups of popular brands.

On the other hand, older flagship phones were previously top-tier devices with high-end specifications and features. So, for example, in 2023, we are still enjoying the newness of the iPhone 14 series. But if getting your hands on one of these devices is a bit out of your budget, an iPhone X may be a preferable choice – still utilising Apple’s top-of-the-range technology, just a little more budget-friendly. However, do these compete with a brand-new smartphone from a budget range?

The allure of budget phones

Budget phones have carved a niche in the smartphone market. They can be quite attractive due to their affordability and accessibility. Often their technology is good but offers limited capabilities. For example, Samsung has developed the A series of phones, which uses some of the famous Samsung technology, but in a more compact and limited function.

The A series is affordable and provides decent features and functionalities, but it might not match the performance or quality of the S series. This phone series is designed as a mid-range device and typically uses less powerful chipsets, which may affect the speed and overall performance of the device.

New budget devices also come with a warranty and often feature specifications and technologies that cater to the requirements of the price-conscious segment. Top brands focus on providing higher value at lower prices, leading to decent budget phone options.

The advantages of refurbished phones

On the flip side, older flagship phones often stand the test of time. Samsung, Apple and Google all have a line of phones which offer the latest smartphone technologies. These phones are usually the top of the range upon release, with big excitement each year with what features they’ll develop next.

They’re built with high-quality materials and incorporate advanced technologies, such as the Samsung S23 Ultra, which the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor powers. This chipset boasts a top CPU clock speed of 3.36GHz and also sports an Adreno 740 GPU. This technology offers the best performance and the quickest response time of any other device on the market.

So, if you’re looking for an iPhone as your next device, a three-year-old model will still probably use the most advanced technologies compared to cheaper budget phones.

Brand new budget vs old flagship

To show how a budget phone compares to an older flagship device, we have likened the iPhone XR and the Motorola Moto G53. The XR was released in 2018, whereas the Moto G53 was released at the end of 2022.

Screen quality

Taking a look at their displays, the iPhone XR features a 6.1″ LCD screen with a 1792 x 828 resolution and 326 PPI, while the Moto G53 has a slightly larger 6.5″ LCD screen, a 1600 x 720 resolution and 270 PPI. The iPhone XR provides a sharper visual experience, but the Moto G53 boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, enhancing smoothness in navigation and gaming.

Camera quality

The XR offers a singular lens with 12MP picture quality, whereas the G53 can provide an impressive 50MP. However, unlike the G53, the XR utility technology can improve low-light performance. So whilst the lens size may look more powerful, without the processing to match, it could compromise your images.

Battery power

Now, we must admit that many exclusively budget phones on the market score fairly well for battery life. However, this isn’t because the flagship devices are incapable of higher battery power. Still, due to the complexities of onboard processing, they consume power much quicker than less advanced hardware systems. The XR has 2942 mAh, whereas the G53 features an almighty 5000 mAh.

Like many budget phones, wireless charging isn’t possible with the G53. The XR doesn’t just offer wireless charging; it also charges quickly, so even though it may run out quicker, it will be fully charged in no time. However, make sure to charge it slowly where possible to save your battery health (find out more in our battery myths debunked blog).

Processing and internal power

If you’re looking for a phone that can multitask, deal with complex apps and be a hub of resources and instant results, a budget phone is not likely to fit the bill. To compare iPhones vs Androids is a little more complex due to the different systems they use. However, when you compare the G53 to a Samsung S20 Ultra 5G, it’s clear that the flagship phone offers a much more powerful system chip. The G53 uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 480+ SM4350-AC, whereas the S20 Ultra 5G uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SM8250, a much more capable internal system to keep on the go from anywhere.

The 5G worry

One potential concern when considering the purchase of an older flagship phone versus a new budget phone is the rise and widespread implementation of 5G networks. Although 5G technology has been available for some years now, not all older models support this newer, faster network. If you’re looking for an upgrade, it’s worth verifying the network compatibility of the model you choose.

Older models, such as certain Samsung phones, may lack this feature. Therefore, before you decide to sell your mobile, it’s important to assess whether potential replacements, even if they’re flagship models, are phones compatible with 5G.

Environmental considerations

When deciding between budget and refurbished flagship phones, you must also consider the environmental impact. Due to their lower cost, budget phones might be manufactured with less eco-friendly materials and less environmental factor considerations.

However, the likes of our refurbished phones are inherently more environmentally friendly. By choosing to upgrade your phone to one of ours or even trade in your phone with Mazuma Mobile, you contribute to reducing electronic waste, as we give a second life to these devices, promoting recycling and contributing towards a sustainable future.

The ultimate decision

Deciding between a new budget phone and an older flagship model can be challenging. When making this decision, it’s critical to weigh up budget, technological needs and environmental concerns. With brands like Mazuma Mobile allowing you to sell your iPhone and buy a reliable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective refurbished device, it’s worth considering us for your next phone upgrade. After all, a competent flagship phone continues to be excellent, even if it isn’t the newest one on the block.

Shop our refurbished phones online and get a great price for your device. Even if you want to sell a broken phone, we are happy to take it off your hands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.