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Don’t be put off by Black Friday deals on phones that are a year old


Getting the latest smartphone is not only tempting, but it’s usually the best thing to do. It’s likely to last you longer due to having the latest technology and longer software support and will also have all the new features to try out. However, this Black Friday, if you find a really good deal on an iPhone that’s a year old, don’t pass it by without serious consideration.

The iPhone 13 Pro was released in October and it replaced the iPhone 12 Pro, which Apple no longer sells through its own store. There are still plenty of iPhone 12 Pro models out there, though, as retailers sell through their stock, and Black Friday means many will discount them further to help shift them ahead of Christmas and the New Year.

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro.
iPhone 12 Pro (left) and iPhone 13 Pro (right) Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I replaced my iPhone 12 Pro with the iPhone 13 Pro, and while it’s an excellent smartphone, it’s not really that much different from the iPhone 12 Pro, and when it comes to the camera, I don’t think it’s a huge leap forward at all. When I compared the two phones right after launch, I found the iPhone 12 Pro took photos that appealed more to me personally than the 13 Pro, particularly in the way it dealt with color and temperature.

Partly because of this, I don’t see the iPhone 13 Pro as a worthwhile upgrade for anyone that already owns the iPhone 12 Pro. In turn, that means if you find a good deal on an iPhone 12 Pro over Black Friday weekend, don’t pass it by just because the phone is a year old. It’s still a fantastic smartphone. What’s more, Apple’s comprehensive software support means it will receive the latest version of iOS for several years yet and will easily last you two or even three years before being technically due for replacement.

Before you leap in and buy the first iPhone 12 Pro you see and call it a day, it’s worth checking if it’s actually a good deal. The best way is to understand how much a new iPhone 13 Pro costs — they start at $1,000 for the base model with 128GB of storage space. Any iPhone 12 Pro deal, therefore, needs to come in at a lower price than this to be worthwhile, preferably with 256GB or 512GB of storage space. Remember, the iPhone 12 Pro’s basic model came with just 64GB of storage space, and it’s best to avoid that one.

Find one for less than $1,000 and with more storage space than 128GB, and you’re probably looking at a decent offer. Before settling on an iPhone 12 Pro, if you’re really looking to stretch your budget, you may find a few iPhone 11 Pro models around, too. I’d say these are less tempting as the 12 Pro really moved the camera forward, but if you find a iPhone 11 Pro Max Black Friday deal with plenty of storage, it may be worth a look.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra from the back, held in a hand.
Galaxy S21 Ultra(Image only for representation purposes) Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

What about other phones that are a year old? Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series is coming up to that age, and we do still recommend the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but deals on this phone have been common since it was released, so true bargains aren’t as likely. The Google Pixel 5 has recently been replaced by the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and while it will have good long-term software support and still has a great camera, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are significantly better smartphones in terms of design and build and have even better cameras. I’d definitely look at the Pixel 6 Pro over the Pixel 6 — and either of them over the Pixel 5, unless it’s at a really low price.

Buying a year-old iPhone model is one of the shrewdest smartphone purchases you can make, especially when the latest version isn’t a huge leap forward, and resale and trade-in values will still be strong next year compared to devices from other manufacturers. Take your time looking at Apple Black Friday deals, and you could walk away with a superb cheaper phone that’ll last you another couple of years without issue.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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