Tech Guide

There's no better time to buy a new smartphone than right now

Key Points
  • The new iPhone isn't due out for several months.
  • The best Android makers all have new phones on the market.
  • U.S. carriers are offering buy-one-get-one promotions.
Adam Jeffery: CNBC

If you're in the market for a new smartphone, there's no better time than right now to buy one.

Almost every single smartphone maker has its latest flagship out on the market, which means your device isn't going to be outdated in a week or a month, which is what most people worry about.

It's a message I want to relay because, while eating lunch this afternoon, I overheard one of my CNBC colleagues speaking about buying a new phone for his daughter, questioning whether or not he should buy one now or closer to the start of the school year. "Now!" I wanted to yell, but I decided against it. Feeling guilty since I continued on with my chicken sandwich instead of offering advice, I decided to write this post. You're safe buying a new smartphone right now and I recommend doing so.

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You're safe buying a new smartphone right now and I recommend doing so.

"But what about the iPhone 8, Todd?" I hear you. Let me explain.

's new iPhones probably won't launch until September, although some rumors point to a 4-6 week delay for the most high-end model. That's four months from now. In the meantime, the selection of great phones has never been better, and the carriers are offering strong incentives.

The selection has never been better

Samsung recently launched its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, which we praised in our review. There's also the new LG G6, which we also named one of the best alternatives to the Galaxy S8.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are still two of the best smartphones you can buy and, since Apple always keeps its devices up to date with the latest software for a few years, they're still a top pick. They won't be outdated anytime soon.

If you're really worried about missing out on the iPhone 8 (or whatever it ends up being called), you can sign up for Apple's upgrade program and switch to the newest iPhone a year from now, which will only be a few months after the iPhone 8 launches.

Google's Pixel is another top smartphone choice, and it's unlikely to be replaced until sometime around October, when Google typically refreshes its smartphones. BlackBerry fans even have a pretty exciting new option with the BlackBerry KeyOne.

Carrier promotions

All the major U.S. carriers have recently launched promotions which are likely to expire at some point. If you're willing to sign a contract to pay down the cost of your device over time, you can take advantage of various buy-one-get-one deals on phones like the iPhone 7 Plus and even the new Galaxy S8.

A word of warning: You don't typically walk out of the store with a free phone — rather, the carrier adds a credit to your monthly bill over time. Also, sometimes carriers require you to open a new line, which is why switching carriers can make the most sense if you want to take advantage of the deal.

(Want to free yourself from carriers entirely? Follow my guide on ditching carriers here.)

Just don't wait too long

You can ignore my advice and wait, too.

Wait too long, though, and suddenly you fall within the zone, which spans most of the year, when any new phone you buy will probably soon be out of date. In addition to the next iPhones, Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, if it exists, will probably launch in September. Then we'll enter a whole new season of new Android launches until right around next April or May.

So unless you're an iPhone fanatic who has to have the newest model right when it comes out, now's the time to buy.

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