As a seasoned phone reviewer, I find myself in the unique position of being able to experience and evaluate a multitude of mobile devices. One of the most significant decisions I make each year is whether to upgrade my personal devices. This year, I am undoubtedly purchasing the iPhone 15, or more precisely, the iPhone 15 Pro model. However, the decision is not driven by an insatiable need for the latest model, but rather by the iPhone’s proven merit for annual upgrades – a distinction it holds over other devices in my collection, including my current Galaxy S23 Ultra.
While my collection includes a variety of phones, the iPhone and the Galaxy hold special places. The iPhone, due to its impressive value retention, will be traded in for the newer model, while the Galaxy will remain in my possession a bit longer. The reason behind this distinction lies in the stark contrast between the appreciation patterns of these two devices. Even after a year, an iPhone retains its value remarkably well, especially when traded back to Apple for a new model. In contrast, the Galaxy, Samsung’s flagship model, depreciates significantly over the same period.
Why I Am Upgrading to iPhone 15 But Keeping My Galaxy S23 Ultra
As a tech reviewer, I have the privilege to own and test various phones. This year, I am excited to upgrade to the iPhone 15 or, more likely, the iPhone 15 Pro. However, my Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will stay with me a little longer. Here’s why.
iPhone 15: A Worthwhile Annual Upgrade
Every year, I find myself drawn to the latest iPhone model, and this year is no exception. The iPhone has consistently proven its value, prompting me to trade in my old iPhone annually. This year, I’ll be trading my iPhone 14 Pro for the iPhone 15. Notably, iPhones retain their value better than any other device, particularly when traded back to Apple. After my trade, I expect to pay a maximum of $200 – $300 for my new phone, if anything at all.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: A Keeper
On the other hand, my Galaxy S23 Ultra will remain in my collection for a while. I bought it after selling my Galaxy S21 Ultra, and I plan to hold onto it just as long. Even though the iPhone is my go-to for annual upgrades, I always keep an Android phone handy. The Galaxy S23 Ultra, despite being the best phone on our list, is not worth upgrading every year. An older Galaxy model still holds its charm and utility, especially considering the depreciation on Samsung’s flagship models.
Catching Up: Apple’s Hardware and Software
One of the main reasons for my constant iPhone upgrades is that Apple has a lot of catching up to do in terms of hardware and software. Apple’s phones are polished and refined, but they lack certain features found in the best Android phones, such as built-in photo editing and voice recording features. Additionally, the iPhone’s camera, while top-notch, lacks features compared to the best camera phones on the market.
Apple also has to catch up on software features. For instance, iOS 17 just introduced a safety check-in feature that Google Pixels have had for a while now. Despite these missing features, the iPhone remains a worthwhile upgrade due to its sleek design and consistent performance.
The USB-C Advantage
Apple has some serious hardware catching up to do, and the inclusion of a USB-C port in the iPhone 15 could be a big step forward. Apple phones charge slowly compared to the best Android competitors. A USB-C port could significantly speed up charging times and data transfer speeds, making it a welcome addition to the iPhone. It also opens up the possibility of connecting the iPhone to external displays or hubs, bringing it closer to the versatility of an Android phone.
So, while I’m excited to upgrade to the iPhone 15, I’ll be keeping my Galaxy S23 Ultra for a little longer. Each phone offers unique experiences and features, and it’s always interesting to compare them side by side. This year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max is rumored to have improved cameras to compete with Samsung’s zoom, and potential design changes make it a tantalizing prospect. However, Samsung’s steady improvement over time also makes the Galaxy S23 Ultra a phone worth holding onto. Regardless of your preference, both phones have a lot to offer, and I’m looking forward to exploring what the iPhone 15 brings to the table.