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    Galaxy S4, LG G2 and iPhone 5S: are they still worth buying in 2016?

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    Carlos Laforet Coll
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    Is it still worth buying top smartphones of 2013, like the iPhone 5S, Galaxy S4 or LG G2? With affordable prices, the old top of the line became “intermediaries” and, curiously, the new cell phones of many people. But is it worth betting on such an old top cell phone, especially when it comes to games? Check out!

    See also:

    • Top 5 Best Used Cell Phones to Buy in the Crisis in 2016
    • Samsung will officially enter the used cell phone market

    - Initial considerations

    If you have followed the evolution of smartphones in their transition, from the very beginning, from 2003 to 2013, you know that a lot has changed. The market was evolving at an absurd pace. However, since 2012, the requirement for a top-of-the-line device no longer exists. For example, those who had their Galaxy S2 or S3 could perfectly enjoy all the releases in apps and games that would come to the Galaxy S4 of 2013.

    There isn't a game that runs on 2016's top models that doesn't run on last year's top models. It gets worse, I mean, it gets better, for those who have Android. It's very rare to see an Android game requiring Marshmallow or Nougat. In fact, the vast majority of games on Google's system require a maximum of Android 4.0.

    In this scenario come the top smartphones of 2013. Devices with good hardware, average for today, but still very good.

    - Samsung Galaxy S4

    We start with the most emblematic example, the Samsung Galaxy S4. With mid-range cell phone configurations, for today, the Galaxy S4 has a 5.0-inch screen with 1080×1920 pixels, 2 GB of RAM and two types of SoCs. The i9500 model is an Exynos 5410 Octa, Octa-core (4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & 4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A7) and PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU. The i9505 model is a Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600, Quad-core 1.9 GHz Krait 300 and Adreno 320 GPU.

    In both configurations, the Galaxy S4 makes "friendly fire" with several basic and intermediate Samsung's own cell phones. Among them, the Galaxy A5 2016. Despite similar configurations, the Galaxy A5 is better optimized and has more current components, such as faster memory. As a result, the A5 does better on the Benchmarks than the Galaxy S4.

    However, the gaming experience is almost the same. Only a few games are incompatible on the S4 and compatible on the A5, but it's something quite difficult, like Assassin's Creed Identity. The A5 presents the same lags that other intermediaries present in some heavy games like FIFA 16 Ultimate Team, some stages of NOVA 3 and etc.

    It is worth mentioning that due to the old hardware, it may be that some heavy game is incompatible with the Galaxy S4. But for those looking for a cheap phone, the S4 doesn't disappoint. Games like HIT (with Unreal Engine 4 resources), run smoothly on the device.

    While the Galaxy A5 costs R$1.400 to R$1.600, the used/remanufactured Galaxy S4 can cost from R$450 to R$600. That is, the thousand reais more when purchasing the A5 2016, does not translate in a performance worth the price. It would be more interesting for the mobile gamer to get a Galaxy S6.

    Another good example of the power of the 2013 smarts are the custom roms. With a little bit of brushing, it is possible to install Android 6.0 via Cyanogenmod on Galaxy S4. The result is a much leaner and faster device. Keep in mind, though, that you'll miss out on a lot of the S4's camera features.

    - LG G2

    LG's G series is one of the best examples of how people underestimate the high-ends of the past. The LG G2 was a monster with a 5.2-inch screen, with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, 2GB of RAM, Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 SoC, Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 and Adreno 330 GPU.

    It's definitely a device that doesn't look bad these days. LG is a company that manages to be ahead of competitors when it comes to performance, and how to maintain it over the years. That is, your devices do not slow down over time. Watch the video below, where a Galaxy S7 can barely beat an LG G2 in a speed test.

    LG G2 is one of the best Android phones of 2013. Although its hardware is no longer top of the line, the Snapdragon 800 line is something that is hard to beat even these days. Games like Vainglory, HIT, Modern Combat and etc, all run smoothly on this smartphone.

    The LG G2 can be found used/remanufactured with prices ranging from R$588 to R$700. However, it is still possible to find the new device, in stores like Casas Bahia, for the price of R$1.299 reais. The price you usually see in intermediaries that are far from the quality of the LG G2.

    - iPhone 5S

    When we posted our top 5 used cell phones to buy in the crisis, many people complained that the iPhone 5S should be on the list instead of the iPhone 6. It's true, the iPhone 5S remains a good device, but the arrival of the iPhone 7 has already starts to bring the first incompatible games like the 5S as Submerged.

    The iPhone 5S's set of hardware doesn't impress. It is a 4-inch screen with 640 x 1136 pixels, Apple A7 Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone SoC (ARM v8) and PowerVR G6430 GPU (quad-core graphics).

    However, this does not mean that the iPhone 5S is a thing of the past. The 2013 iPhone is still a great input device that manages to run the vast majority of iOS games well. Which includes exclusive titles like Afterpulse, Oceanhorn, Heroki and many more.

    The big problem with the iPhone 5S lies in its screen. Those who are used to large screens, larger than 4,5 inches, will find the 4 inches of the iPhone 5S strange.

    Of the three devices, the iPhone 5S is the most expensive. You will hardly find the device, in good condition, for a value below R$ 1.000 reais. Which makes the purchase interesting only for those who already know iOS and know what it has to offer.

    - Conclusion

    We have never seen such a great offer on used cell phones as we see today. There are many stores and companies that already work just like refurbishing old cell phones. In this scenario, the top-of-the-line cell phones of 2013 remain relevant. With an affordable price and performance that makes basic and intermediate smartphones envious, iPhone 5S, Galaxy S4 and LG G2 are still good buys for those looking for devices that “do it all” and don't cost a lot.

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