How long do you think you can go without an upgrade?

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Photo: Wachiwit (Shutterstock) – We no longer have to replace our smartphones every two years, but how do we know when it’s time to invest in a new model? As soon as I saw the first iPhone on the market, I was skeptical and derided the concept of smartphones entirely. It didn’t seem to me until my acquaintance showed me their brand-new phone that it was necessary to be able to imitate sipping a whole beer on an iPhone’s (remarkably small) screen. In the same way that everyone else has recognized that smartphones are a need in today’s world, I’ve long ago realized how wrong I was about them. As soon as we hopped on the smartphone bandwagon years ago, we were doomed to an endless cycle of new models being released every two years and being told that we had no choice but to upgrade.

Is it necessary? As technology and capabilities have progressed, it has become less important to acquire a new phone than it was a few years ago. Most people don’t need to replace their phones every two years anymore, but when should we stop? In today’s world, the answer isn’t as straightforward as it was in the past; instead, it comes down to your individual preferences and requirements.

How crucial is 5G to the future of our society?

The network a phone can use is one of the most common justifications for updating it. In light of the rollout of 5G and the demise of 3G, it may seem that you must trade in your iPhone 8 or Galaxy S9 as soon as possible or you will be left behind.

However, it is a fact that network improvements are time consuming. However, keep in mind the fact that 3G was released in 2002—20 years ago—so it’s still going strong. There is a good chance you will not have to worry about being on an out-of-date network for at least a few years, and potentially even a decade. Make an honest assessment of your needs before deciding whether or not 5G is worth the investment. For the vast majority of us, 5G speeds will be a luxury, not a need.

When a new network is introduced, it isn’t necessary to immediately update your phone in order to take advantage of the improved speeds. If you don’t want to upgrade, you can keep using your existing phone for a little longer.

Consider how far technology has come in the last several decades

Despite the fact that each new generation of smartphones brings significant technical advancements, these advancements have proved disappointing in recent years. If you’re looking to upgrade to a new phone, you’ll have to settle with “incremental” improvements like a smaller notch, a brighter display, and somewhat better camera.

And the incremental improvements cost a lot of money, too.. For the most expensive models, you should expect to pay at least four digits for a smartphone. With what you get for that much money, buying a new phone simply because it’s available isn’t worth it any more. Whether you’re going to spend full price for a new phone, ask yourself if there’s a legitimate technical need for it.

For those who are eligible for a free upgrade via their carrier or whose phone has a high trade-in value, the temptation to update merely for the sake of it could be too much to resist.

Consider the consequences for the environment

The environmental effect of updating your phone should also be taken into consideration. Every year, we generate around 25 million tons of e-waste. Because of the harmful elements it contains, e-waste is difficult to dispose of. If you can, keep your current phone for as long as possible so that you don’t end up wasting money on a new one.

How to tell whether it’s time to buy a new smartphone

All things considered, there are a few apparent signs that you should update your phone:.

  • Smartphones are fragile devices, and they will eventually break down and need to be replaced. Even while my Galaxy S4 (which I use for a variety of small activities) is still running, the chances are that a smartphone will start to cause issues after a few years of usage. Assuming the cost of repair isn’t too high, it’s probably time to get a new phone if your current model doesn’t support certain newer applications, has a poor battery life, or has a less sensitive touchscreen.
  • There are updates and security issues. It’s a significant problem if your phone is running an older version of iOS or Android and you aren’t getting security upgrades, since that’s a huge risk.
  • Capabilities that are required for success. You are the only one who can determine whether or not you need the additional features of a new phone. If you’re a filmmaker or an influencer, you may need a better camera on your phone, especially if you’re on an earlier version of the app. It’s also possible that your phone’s storage is filling up, causing applications to take longer to load and perform better. It’s always possible to free up some space on your phone, but it’s also possible to delete data and locate cloud storage space for your images and movies if that’s too much of a hassle (or simply a tedious task).
  • Value. Finally, you should think about how much your present phone is worth. As a trade-in or sale item, it may be worth a few hundred dollars right now, but that value is rapidly decreasing. To help you decide whether or not to update your phone, consider how much it is worth compared to what it would cost to do so. It’s a strong argument to upgrade if it reduces that cost greatly or perhaps eliminates it entirely, given that its worth will decrease with time.

The choice to upgrade your mobile phone is no longer an automatic one. It’s all about what you need and what you’ve done with smartphones in the past. What’s the end result? Waiting until you know whether you need an update is nearly never a bad idea. In the interim, we’ve put together a list of ideas for sprucing up your old smartphone.