Which smartphone is actually worth buying?

Hundreds of euros in months: that's how quickly your cell phone loses its value

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According to the list price, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus costs 949 euros, the Huawei P20 Pro 899 euros, and Apple's iPhone X at least 1,149 euros. Top smartphones are more expensive than ever. Nevertheless, every second user stated in a representative study by the German industry association Bitkom that they always buy the latest model. Six out of ten respondents even have a device that is less than a year old.

Big drop in prices

Despite these conditions, there is a ray of hope for consumers, or at least for those who do not already purchase a new device when it is released: As expensive as smartphones are currently, they also have an enormous price drop, which only continues with the release of newer devices is driven. This is shown by a data analysis of the STANDARD, for which the price comparison portal Geizhals provided the monthly average prices of some popular smartphone models from the past few years.

When is the best time to buy a new cell phone?

A look at the depreciation of the most popular models from Huawei, Apple and Samsung shows that it is definitely worth waiting a while before buying a new device. If you want a top model with the latest hardware, you should wait about half a year.

In the first year after the release, the price falls so sharply, especially in the first six or seven months, that you can save quite a bit of money - for example, with the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro it is partly after seven months far more than 100 euros.

Samsung falls sharply, Apple remains relatively stable

The price development of last year's models shows that Samsung cell phones in particular are affected by the decline. For example, the Galaxy Note 8, which is the most expensive Samsung cell phone to date with a recommended price of 1,000 euros, experienced a downright price drop over the months. After only four months, the value of the device had dropped by almost 200 euros to 831 euros, after eight months it cost only around 50 euros more than the iPhone 8, which was released with a list price of 799 euros. In the past, Galaxy Note devices had the reputation of being more stable-priced Android smartphones.

Galaxy S8 only 50 euros more expensive than Huawei P10

The Samsung Galaxy S8 lost in value particularly noticeably. Like the iPhone 8 and the Huawei Mate 8 Pro, this initially started with a recommended retail price (RRP) of 799 euros. While the two devices from Apple and Huawei were priced at around 700 euros after seven months, the Samsung device only cost around 560 euros - still below the introductory price of the much cheaper Huawei P10, which was 599 euros. The Galaxy S8 only cost around 50 euros less, namely around 510 euros.

The iPhone 8 has traditionally remained relatively stable with a loss in value of less than 100 euros in eight months. Its older brother, the iPhone X, struggled with a decline of more than 160 euros in six months. In the meantime, however, the price is rising again.

Even with the S9

In the case of the models from last year, the rapid loss of value of the Galaxy S8 becomes more obvious: after seven months, the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S8 each had almost the same price - although the S8 was 100 euros more expensive when it was released.

A similar decline is to be expected with the Galaxy S9. The value has already declined by more than 100 euros: The device had a recommended price of 849 euros when it was released, but is now around 740 euros (as of April 17). In its plus version it cost 949 euros according to the RRP, now you can find offers from around 820 euros (as of April 17).

Huawei with mediocre depreciation

Huawei devices are more likely to withstand losses in value, but here, too, it can be seen that the price increase of 100 euros for the 2017 model led to a higher price decline. Nine months after their respective releases, prices differed only marginally between the P9 and P10.

With a recommended retail price of 649 euros, the current P20 is even more expensive than previous models, the P20 Pro even costs 849 euros (RRP). A similar loss in value will probably also occur here. The regular version of the device, which is only a few weeks old, is currently around 585 euros, the Pro version around 808 euros.

iPhone X with a surprising drop in price

Apple smartphones are actually known for their low loss of value. Surprisingly, this is not the case with the iPhone X, Apple's most expensive device to date. Between the fourth and sixth month, i.e. after the Christmas business, the price of the model fell from 1,127 euros to 987 euros by a good 140 euros.

In addition, the iPhone 8, which was slightly more expensive than its predecessor with a list price of 799 euros, also approached the iPhone 7 in terms of price after just four months. Nevertheless, the device has a relatively low expiration date - after eight months the device costs 90 euros less. (Muzayen Al-Youssef, April 21, 2018)