Early 2019 is a particularly fraught time to be in the mobile phone market as either a buyer or a seller. Global sales are flat; it appears the world can only absorb so many smartphones. But at the same time, the industry is on the very tip of commercial deployments of 5G networks, while flashy (and pricey) foldable phones are being demoed in anticipation of hitting the market later in the year.

The eternal technology purchase question — do you buy now or wait for prices to drop and new features to emerge? — may be harder to answer for mobile phones today than at any time since 4G was first being deployed. At the cusp of the age of 5G, should you be buying the last generation of flagship 4G phones, even if you don’t know exactly what 5G speeds will truly mean or when 5G will come to you?

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