Mobile phones have taken over our lives since their rise to prominence in the 1990s. Pretty much everyone on the planet will use a mobile phone of some description. 1.5 Billion new smartphones were sold in 2017, and most of these replaced devices that were less than two years old. In this blog, we’re going to look at some questions to ask yourself to see if you really need a new phone or are swayed by advertising and pressure from phone carriers to get a new one when you don’t really need one.
Does your phone work?
Take a look at your device. Is it running the latest software? Is there any physical damage? Generally, most people’s phones have more than enough power for what people use them for. If you can’t run the latest software, have damage to the screen or battery or any of the buttons used for functionality then that’s the time to change. Most of these things can be repaired. If repairs cost more than buying the phone second-hand I’d say that is time to change it. If not, you’re good for another while.
Do I really need extra features?
Ask yourself if you really need a new phone that is almost identical to the model you have. How much difference is a fingerprint sensor or facial recognition really going to make to your life? Do you take photographs that will really benefit from that extra 0.01MP? Everyone likes new things but are they going to be value for you?
How long will I use my new phone?
Buying a top of the range iPhone or Samsung will cost you the best part of £1000. If you intend to keep it for 3 years that’s still £300 a year you will be spending on your device alone before you choose any airtime plans. If your device still runs the latest software and is in good condition can you justify the expense of a new phone? Especially if you only plan on using it for a year?
Is my new model really much better than the one I have?
New models generally have incremental improvements, so changes aren’t drastic from model to model. Let’s look at the difference between a Samsung Galaxy S7 Compared to a Samsung Galaxy S8: Most of the features are identical. Sure, it’s got a bigger screen, more storage, USB-C instead of Micro USB and an iris scanner, but are these features enough to justify an outlay of £700? If your phone is less than a year or two old these features shouldn’t make too much difference to functionality. You’ll have the latest toys to show off, but you won’t be in any danger of not being able to run the latest apps.
Smartphones tend to have a lifespan of about 3-4 years if you look after them properly. After that length of time new technology including processors, RAM, storage and connectivity will have advanced enough to really justify a new purchase. Really though, it’s up to you. If you want to buy the latest model, by all means, go ahead, but in terms of need, you might be better saving for the model after the new one to really get bang for your buck in terms of new features.