In this market, age is a good thing
I'm holding a Galaxy S7 in my hand. It's comfortable, like a pebble, but sleek and modern, like a race car. It's also got a cool black colour option, which I like very much.
But in Canada, it's almost inaccessibly expensive, especially for customers upgrading not only to a new phone, but to a new plan. See, unless you want to spend a lot more up front, Canadian carriers now force customers to upgrade to one of their new share plans before buying a subsidized phone on a two-year contract. For the Galaxy S7, that means spending $399 at the time of purchase (a $500 subsidy over the $899 outright cost) in addition to negotiating a new plan that, in most cases, offers the same or less data for a higher monthly spend.
To alleviate some of that pressure, previous generation devices remain on store shelves once the flagships are released. Apple began doing that as far back as the iPhone 4, while Android OEMs like Samsung and LG took a few years to get on board, but you'll just as likely see a Galaxy S4 or S5 (for $0, of course) as you will an S6 or S7.
That brings us to today's topic: the Galaxy S6. Right now, it is either free or $99 on a two-year contract at most carriers. It is a bargain, a still-great phone that, once it receives Android 6.0 in a week or so will get even better. That $99 price point is manna for many prospective smartphone buyers — anything more and they balk — and it has no out-and-out drawbacks.
Device replacement cycles are extending year after year because the devices we buy are not becoming obsolete as quickly. The Galaxy S6 is a good example of such a product: it has a great screen and camera, approachable software, and decent battery life (that should improve significantly with Marshmallow). Perhaps more importantly, to the average consumer it still looks modern. One may not care much about specs, but the way a phone looks is generally always going to matter, and the Galaxy S6 is an attractive product.
2016 features at a 2015 price
It also has things that even the latest Android devices lack, such as wireless charging, Fast Charging, LTE Advanced and Voice Over LTE support, and a top-notch processor.
Some would even argue that the Galaxy S6 takes better photos than the Galaxy S7 in some instances.
An unlocked victory
If you're holding on to a really good plan and don't want to sacrifice it to upgrade to a year-old phone, why not buy the Galaxy S6 unlocked? It's relatively easy to find for around $600 CAD (though closer to $700 with taxes and shipping).
There are other options, too
Some other 2015 devices are still going strong. Expansys currently has the LG G4 for $424.99 CAD, which is also a great phone — great performance, camera, and battery; lacks fingerprint sensor — but not quite as good as the S6.
Have your say!
Would you buy a year-old phone to save money? If so, which one are you considering?