Some people like to run out the moment a new phone is released so they can keep using the latest and greatest technology. Some people are still using flip phones from 2005. For most people, there’s a spot in the middle that makes the most sense.
So when exactly is the right time to upgrade your phone?
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The Short Answer: It’s Different for Everyone
The shortest answer is that this is a personal and subjective question, and the solution is going to look a little different for everyone.
Budget. If you had billions of dollars in the bank, you probably wouldn’t think twice about upgrading your phone on an annual basis. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you may want to squeeze as many years out of your phone as possible. Your budget plays a considerable role in helping you determine the appropriate time to upgrade your phone.
Time. Upgrading a phone can be a somewhat time-consuming process in some instances. For example, you might need to research different phone models, adjust your current plan, shop for the perfect phone case, and drive to the store to make the swap. If you’re currently swamped with responsibilities, you may not want to take on the burden of replacing your most-used personal device.
Technophilia. Some people love upgrading their personal technologies because they genuinely love technological advancement, and they want to be on the leading edge of the technology adoption curve. Some people are practically luddites, and they hate the idea of incorporating new technology for technology’s sake.
Current phone issues. Much depends on how your current phone is performing and whether there are any existing issues preventing you from accessing the full range of features that you need.
Factors to Consider
If you’re considering whether now is the right time to upgrade your phone, these are some of the most important factors you’ll need to consider.
On The Push End of The Spectrum:
Current phone functionality. How is your current phone operating? Are you able to make calls, send text messages, and browse the internet easily? Is your phone screen completely intact and capable of responding to all of your gestures? Or is your phone practically falling apart and incapable of doing what you need it to do?
Current phone battery life. Over time, the life and reliability of a rechargeable battery tends to decline. After a few years, your battery may only hold a couple of hours of an electrical charge, making it harder and harder to rely on the phone for emergency communication and mobile accessibility. Replacing the battery may or may not be a viable option; eventually, you’ll need to replace the entire phone.
Current phone performance. If your phone is slow, buggy, or unreliable in terms of performance, you’ll also need to consider upgrading it sooner rather than later. Some people can tolerate this better than others.
Current phone trade-in price. If you’re on a budget, you’ll also need to think about the current trade-in price for your current phone. In some cases, you may qualify to upgrade your phone with a trade in, only spending a few hundred dollars in the process.
Current phone age. Smartphones last, on average, 2.5 years. If you can squeeze more years out of your phone, you can count yourself on the winning end of the deal. If you’ve had your phone for 5 years or longer, you’ll be forced to upgrade out of necessity soon. If you’ve had your phone less than a year, you probably don’t need to upgrade.
Overall personal feelings. And of course, you also need to consider your own personal feelings. If you hate this phone and you can’t wait to get something different, you should enter the market and see what’s available.
On The Pull End of The Spectrum:
Options. Are you considering switching providers or manufacturers? What kinds of options are available to you? Do you have the potential to pick a phone that’s a perfect fit for your lifestyle and needs?
Prices. The average smartphone sells for about $790, though that price keeps climbing higher. If you’re working with a tight budget, you may be limited in what you can afford.
New features. Finally, you’ll need to think about the new features available in the latest models and determine whether those features are a good fit for your wants and needs. Would you benefit from having a camera with a higher resolution? Are you excited about the new, extended battery life?
Ultimately, it’s up to you when you want to upgrade your phone. But if you pay careful attention to the right factors, you can time the purchase in perfect alignment with your goals, priorities, and current needs.