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"Should I Buy Now or Wait for the Samsung Galaxy S3?"

Steven Blum
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If you're like me, you're the kind of person who doesn't mind waiting a while for the right one to come along, whether it's a job, significant other...or smartphone. I was hoping that seeing the roster of new phones at Mobile World Congress would help me make a decision about whether to buy a new phone today or wait around for a better one to come along – like, say, the Samsung Galaxy S3. Now that the convention has drawn to a close, I find myself stuck right back where I was; not sure whether to buy now or wait for Samsung's newest superphone. Here are the options I see before me (and I bet a lot of you can relate).

Option 1: Buy a New or Used Phone Now, On or Off Contract

There are a lot of great phones out there, and my initial impulse is to go with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, just because I've tested it, and I love it. But I also wouldn't mind a Samsung Galaxy S2, either, especially at a discount. There are plenty of used Galaxy Nexuses floating around Amazon but SGS2 phones are even cheaper (-$100). But the fact that the SGS2 is STILL waiting for an ICS update is a major annoyance. I wouldn't really consider buying a Motorola RAZR or HTC Rezound as I hate both Motoblur and boring HTC designs. Actually, I wouldn't even root a RAZR because I just don't find it to be an attractive model. The Note is another option; I've always had a thing for the Note. But then I'd be stuck with AT&T. 

Option 2: Wait a Bit for a Brand New, Just-Announced Phone to Make it to Carriers

So far, it's looking like the HTC One S, V, and X may be among the first to arrive on shelves, if initial buzz is any indication. Sony's Xperia S should be making it to carriers, soon as well. If I were choosing between these models, I would definitely choose the one of the HTC's new models since they're running Ice Cream Sandwich. The One X looks especially impressive with its quad-core Tegra 3 processor. 

Of course, there are also a few very attractive Huawei phones, like the Honor and Ascend, which offer dual and quad-core power, respectively, at perhaps lower prices (though no one knows for sure yet). These are all wild cards; I could wait and see but I'd need a lot of patience, for sure.

Option 3: Wait for the Samsung Galaxy S3

To me, this is the tastiest option – even if it means slogging through a few more months with a phone I'd like to dump. The Samsung Galaxy S3 may or may not be launching next month, but even if it takes a few more months to get here, Samsung has promised a shorter time span between the day the phone is announced and the day it becomes commercially available. The phone could get expensive, even on contract, but I doubt it'll cost more $300. It will certainly blow away the competition, that I am sure. Even if it boasts the same credentials as HTC's One X, it'll likely be slimmer and sleeker. Basically, I think it would be worth the wait, but I wonder if I'll be able to hold out that long. If I can't, I suppose I could always just get a Nexus and re-sell it.

Are you waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S3? Let us know below!

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Comments

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  • Cam charles Mar 5, 2012 Link

    one of the biggest conundrums i faced recently too, finally getting to the position to afford a latest gen phone (graduated woot) and only 2 months into the nexus's lifespan here in aus so i thought sweet its settled then boom galaxy SG3 announced for as soon as april

    for me the decision came down to 3 things
    1-my current phone was a rubbish galaxy 5, it couldnt do what i wanted so i reeeealy wanted to get rid of it
    2-the nexus was being offered at the right price EXACTLY for me
    3- australia where i am is so far behind even if the s3 is released in april it will
    probably be another 2 months after before its available here

    even with those 3 factors i still would have liked to hang out for the S3 (and a short list of others lol) but in the end the want for a decent phone NOW was too much

    having said that ill be investigating the cost of recontracting with the s3 when its reeased lol

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  • Steven Blum Mar 5, 2012 Link

    Interesting! How much would it be to re-contract? Do you believe Samsung when they say they're really trying to plan a coordinated worldwide release? I want to believe but history (ie the SGS2 and Galaxy Nexus) has shown that it's really hard to pull off.

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  • PatPion Mar 6, 2012 Link

    Hi Cam. I am in the same position as you, and I am picking up my brand new Galaxy Nexus today. My decision also came down to a couple of factors:

    1) My old phone (which was almost two years old) was stolen about two months ago. I have been using a cheap, useless smartphone for the past couple of month while I 'wait it out'.
    2) The temptation to wait wasn't as strong as the temptation to get a beautiful, brilliant ICS device.
    3) @Steven, this answers your question as well... I live in South Africa. Needless to say, in a 3rd world country we will definitely NOT be getting the S3 even if it does get launched 'worldwide', which we in SA have recognized as 'All 1st world and Asian countries'. :-)

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  • chinu Mar 6, 2012 Link

    i was also tired of using my galaxy 5 since last 1.5 years.... and SG3 date yet to be announced, so i got my galaxy note

    And after getting launched in april (probably) it would gonna take another 2 months to come here in India....

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  • Chahk Noir Mar 6, 2012 Link

    Not even a contest here. Samsung screwed original Galaxy S customers by withholding ICS, and they are STILL dragging their feet on upgrading S2.

    Off-contract Nexus or bust. GNex is pentaband, which means neither AT&T or T-Mobile own my soul for the next 2 years. Being a Nexus, it's garanteed to get upgraded OS first (well, maybe second, right behind the next Nexus.) That's all I need to know.

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  • PatPion Mar 6, 2012 Link

    Good point, Chahk.

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  • Cam charles Mar 6, 2012 Link

    world wide releases are not really possible unless the phone companies start selling the phone from their own stores, ie a samsung store, but this is not possible im most places due to carrier contracts ruling the roost its crazy hard to sell phones if more then half your customer base is locked to a carrier and must/will only get a phone through that carrier or face huge charges, and the reason why world wide releases cant be done is again those carriers it takes ages for carriers to get a phone, "test" it for their network, brand it, price it etc phone makers cant wait for each and every carrier in each country to be ready or a release would never happen and they certainly arent going to give carriers a deadline which would be ideal really coz im still waiting for my carrier to release ics 4.0.3 never mind 4.0.4 but considering theres no rules forcing them to hurry up im stuck but thats a topic for another time lol

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