Do you preorder or wait for hands-on time before you buy a new phone?

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Apple iPhone X

When a company announces a new device, there are certain bullet points we look for as potential buyers. The specs are certainly one part of it, with some elements being more important than others. We’re also looking for how much a new gadget is going to cost us. Finally, that release date. How long do we have until we can get that shiny new device in our hands?

In most cases it’s a few weeks, or months, after that initial announcement that the phone or tablet or smartwatch will be available to actually buy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t splash down your cash well in advance, though, all in the name of a pre-order you probably don’t need.

Unless you want an iPhone at launch, which means either a pre-order or standing in line.

We see pre-orders all the time, and more often than not they’re hyped up by the smartphone company as a means to secure your device right at launch. Sometimes that means a lot of bonuses attached, too. Just look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. It has more than a few different bonuses attached to its pre-order, depending on where you opt to secure your device. You can save money on the handset (which is probably a good thing if you plan on picking up the 512GB model), or you can get a ton of goodies in the popular Fortnite Battle Royale title.

Smartphones, and tablets for that matter, have basically hit a rhythm, which means you can probably already guess how a device is going to feel or look in person without really having to worry about it too much. Not many surprises in those cases. But that doesn’t mean waiting to get some hands-on time with a device is a bad move.

As someone who typically picks up an iPhone at launch, I’ve avoided pre-orders by standing in lines. I don’t mind typically, but I’m probably going to go with a pre-order this year. I’m kind of hesitant, though, because rumors point to LG putting together the display for the iPhone X Plus (or whatever Apple calls it), rather than Samsung. And if there has ever been a phone launch that I’m skeptical about, it’s the iPhone X Plus — because of that display.

Now, I really like the Pixel 2 XL as a whole. I think it’s an awesome phone and I’ve loved my time with it. However, I really dislike the display. I had to replace my first unit because of a dead pixel, and then even after the software updates Google brought into the mix, the display just paled in comparison to the Galaxy S8’s or the iPhone X’s. It wasn’t good enough for a high-end flagship.

That’s why I’m skeptical about the iPhone X Plus, if the screen is indeed manufactured by LG and not Samsung. There’s just no denying that Samsung’s process for building smartphone displays is second-to-none, and with Apple’s specifications in place the two companies worked together to make yet another fantastic panel in the iPhone X last year.

Sure, it’s been a year and LG has probably improved since the launch of the Pixel 2 XL. That’s exactly why I want some hands-on time with the device. Or that’s why I would like some hands-on time with it. It’s not going to happen, though, because I want a new phone at launch. I don’t want to wait weeks, which will probably be the best case scenario as usual.

In any event, I’m curious: When a new device launches, do you immediately pre-order and then make a decision whether or not to keep it from there? Or do you wait until the phone launches, specifically to get some hands-on time with it? Let me know!



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