Phones for the Fall – the new smartphones for 2017

Once a staple of early summer, new smartphone releases are now an annual fall tradition. This fall has already seen two major phone announcements with one more scheduled for early October.

iPhone 8 and 8 plusiOS- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X

On September 12, Apple announced three new smartphones.  Two are available for ordering now – the iPhone 8 and the larger iPhone 8 plus.  New features include:

  • Wireless charging
  • Sharper display
  • Advanced camera
  • Faster processor

For those who can wait until November, there is the technologically advanced – but much more expensive – iPhone X (ten – no idea where 9 went).  In addition to the improvements seen in the iPhone 8, its features include an edge to edge screen as well as facial recognition for security (cue Android users: we’ve had these for years!).  The new iPhone also will feature advanced virtual reality apps and customizable animated emojis.  

Pricing:  The iPhone 8 starts at $699, the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799, and the iPhone X starts at $999 (some carriers will provide discounts if you trade in an older phone).  Older models such as the iPhone 7 and iPhone SE are still available.  You can compare the available iPhones’ features here.

Android: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Pixel 2

Samsung Galaxy Note 8Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Android users have been waiting for a great “phablet.”  Samsung’s recently released Galaxy Note 8 seems like it fits that niche precisely.  Like the iPhone 8, it features wireless charging, a great camera, and a fast processor.  Like the iPhone X, it features an edge-to-edge screen and facial recognition.  Unlike the new iPhones, the Galaxy Note includes a built-in stylus, a USB port and, of course, an earphone jack.  You can compare the three phones here.

Pricing:  The Galaxy Note 8 starts at $930 (some carriers will provide discounts if you trade in an older phone).  Samsung also offers a large selection of lower-cost phones.

Pixel 2

Google will announce two new Pixel smartphones on October 4: one large and one small.  There isn’t a lot of information about the phones yet, but they are expected to feature Oreo, Android’s newest operating system. These phones will start at $650, making them much less expensive than this fall’s other offerings.

Are any of these phones right for you?  They all offer great features, but the prices leave something to be desired.  That said, you can use your new or existing smartphone to help you throughout law school.

For research, there are apps for Lexis (iOS only)  and Westlaw (iOS Android).  You can even access your Westlaw TWEN sites through a mobile browser.  You can also watch class videos in a mobile browser or through the Panopto app (iOS Android).  But please don’t play Candy Crush during class!


About Debbie Ginsberg

Debbie was the Educational Technology Librarian at the Chicago-Kent College of Law until she left for a new job in 2021
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