It's easy to say that the latest and greatest flagship of any brand will be the best option for you or the best bang for your buck. Sure, if it was 2010, perhaps.
Gone are the days when an actual phone upgrade literally meant a good and great upgrade form its former version. Fast forward to today and, sure, it's still all great phones but are you really getting the most our of your heard earned money?
A great example is the Samsung Galaxy S7 vs the S8 vs the S9. You will experience the few updates and tweaks the Korean manufacturer decided to add; but, on the grand scheme of things, you're looking at about 10% improvement from last year and about the same from the year prior.
An even greater example arrives in the form of the iPhone. Where technologies that are "brand new" to the exclusive world of Apple have been in existence in the Android universe for the last 2-4 years and they're just playing catch-up to the small details a majority of the population are already enjoying.
In fact, try placing a brand new (this year's flagship) and (last year's flagship) side by side and run the same apps and games on both devices. You'll find, that apart from the obvious increase in speed for the newer model, there's not a lot you're missing out on apart from the small things that may or may not matter for you.
So, I suggest this, if budget is a big part of your consideration, and the high-end specifications are a requirement for your work, for example, look at last year's models. Your bank accounts will thank me for it.
Yes, it's 12 months old and is dated and will hardly have software support. True, but you'll be looking to upgrade by the time OEMs stop updating your phones anyway which is about 2 years away.
The next time you're out in the market for your next phone, do consider looking at last year's model. What you'll end up paying for this year will be marketing hype amongst other things that you're not benefiting from.
Let's all stop and think for a moment what we really need a phone for and take it from there. Let's all stop giving manufacturers what they think you should own simply because "It is built with cutting edge technology" or "it's stylish, buy it!" or "holding this phone will let you be the envy of everyone (*until next year)." Perhaps, after everyone collectively realizes this, manufacturers might just be compelled to really make a 'great' smartphone year after year instead of adding 'upgrades' to an old packaged that was just buffed to seem new again.