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Fast Charge: Now is the worst time to buy an Android phone

OPINION: Got your eye on an upgrade for your phone? Well, maybe think twice and wait a couple of weeks – here’s why.

We’re approaching that time of year when the big refresh of Android phones starts. New devices at all prices will become available, and the previous models from last year will likely see big reductions – 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 has been cooking up for its first Unpacked event of the year. This is where we’ll likely see its 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: 91Mobiles

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

A week after Samsung, OnePlus is holding a launch event of its own to fully reveal the OnePlus 11 – the successor to last year’s very good OnePlus 10 Pro. OnePlus has gone a step further than Samsung, revealing numerous 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 out of the way, there will be just weeks to go before Mobile World Congress (MWC) – the smartphone-focussed tradeshow in Barcelona that’ll play host to numerous phone reveals from all sorts of brands.

MWC is where 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 swathes of budget and mid-range options too.

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 It’s a similar story if it’s a Samsung Z Fold or Z Flip you’re after – these fancy foldables likely won’t be superseded until the summer months.

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

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