The smartphone market has basically reached it's own version of peak oil - the maximum rate of extraction after which there is terminal decline. Like the writer says, there's nothing particularly gripping around any more, to anybody who had a decent device in the last two years or so.
I have an original Samsung Galaxy Note. I've had mine for two years and it was launched about six months before I bought mine. Compared to the Sony Ericsson Satio I had before it, it was a dramatic difference. The large, HD screen (1280x800) meant that it was great for watching videos, it was useful for the web and the chips inside meant it had the grunt to do stuff, whereas much as I loved Symbian, the Satio was comparatively underpowered by the end of it's life.
At this point though, I'm still finding my Note to be very useful. The stylus was a novelty for a long time, but now that I'm doing things like occasionally using RDP or VNC on the Note, it's become a properly useful tool and that puts me off something like the HTC One Max, which I quite liked the look of previously. The Note is now running Android 4.2, so although not the latest and greatest, it's modern enough. I don't play that many games, so couldn't tell you how FIFA 107 is on it, but Candy Crush works fine...
I look at the Note 3 and I think, "yeah, that looks great, bigger, faster, some more features" but then I realise that it's not going to let me do things I can't already and it's going to cost me the price of a cheap foreign holiday over the course of a year to actually get it. And I'd rather drink my body weight in local beer and burn on a beach than have a higher definition screen and faster (and more invasive) Facebook.
So like my Core2Quad desktop before it, I think the Note is good enough. And a lot of people are now at that stage with their phones, so I expect to see even longer mobile contracts coming out soon. For those that had an HTC Desire or similar, you might benefit from an upgrade, since it was so close, but not quite.
But 2011 Samsungs... they were the smartphones that were Good Enough.