Are you thinking of purchasing a new phone? Even if you’re a regular in the smartphone swapping business, you should still take a back seat and read this guide - you might come across something you hadn’t previously considered.
Usually the first hurdle in any sale: cost.
Know your budget - can you afford the newest iPhone or Samsung? Even if you’re desperate to show off your flashy new smartphone, you should still consider the price. Can you buy the handset outright, or will you have to be paying it and the contract off for a number of years?
It’s important to prioritise your needs and your budget. If you don’t think you can afford an upgrade, it’s safer to stick with the phone you already own.
We have a list of budget friendly phones you can look at as a cheaper alternative to the newest models.
We use smartphones for everyday tasks, from checking social media, calling friends and family, to playing games. There’s also an app for pretty much every purpose you could imagine.
However, you should evaluate what you really use your phone for. If you’re slightly more traditional and tend to stray away from anything outside the usual phone functions of calling and texting, an upgrade may not be the best choice for you. The newer phones are often designed to meet various high-tech needs, stretching far beyond the original use of a phone.
It can be helpful to make a list of what you rely on your phone for, and weigh those needs up against the services each upgraded phone offers. This way, you can find the best phone for you, and avoid overspending for things you don’t use or need.
The Nokia 3310 is a great example of a phone that has been re-released to match its smartphone competitors, but still harbours the similar price point of its predecessor. You don’t always need the newest upgrade.
Manufacturers usually have set dates for new releases, meaning they will still put out a new phone even if it’s not vastly different in hardware or software from their previous release. iPhones, for example, don’t always have huge differences between each new model because there’s not enough time to make vast improvements.
If you have one of the most recent models of a device, and a new one is just released, you should see whether the technological advancements justify the price to upgrade. Sometimes, you might be better off waiting for a few more versions while the technology continues to develop. That way, you’re not spending a lot of money just for a slightly larger version of the phone you already have.
For example, the Galaxy S models are not majorly different between versions (the S8 and S9 are quite similar), but then there’s a huge technological advancement from the S7 to the S10.
Keep an eye out for your favourite brand’s new releases, and compare with your own phone to see if it would be worth the upgrade.
If your phone is no longer performing at its best, there are other cheaper options you could consider before swapping it out for a new upgrade.
Many manufacturers offer battery replacements and extra storage to solve the most common problems people tend to have with their smartphones. Battery capacities slowly decrease over time so replacing it might be a better alternative to replacing the whole phone, especially if it’s not particularly old or it’s performing well otherwise. Before throwing in the towel, you should try and maximise your current battery’s performance - you’ll be surprised how much longer it could last.
Storage can also be altered to suit how much space you require, and you definitely don’t need to buy a new phone to acquire extra GB. Many phones have expandable storage, allowing you to use a micro SD card to increase space. Alternatively you could use cloud-based storage, like Dropbox or Google Drive. You should also consider how much storage you really need - you may discover you don’t need half as much as you thought.
If the performance is what’s making you consider an upgrade, try these tips first before swapping out your phone. A factory reset can also be a lifesaver to refresh the phone’s life (just make sure you’ve backed everything up first).
The biggest rule to shopping for anything, mobile devices included, is: are you happy with what you already have?
Just because a bunch of new devices are coming out doesn’t mean you need to jump on the bandwagon and buy them all. If your current phone is working great for you, and you’re satisfied with everything on it, an upgrade seems quite pointless. New phones don’t automatically make their older counterparts redundant; technology takes a while to be overrun.
So if you’re happy with your current device, there’s no need to upgrade. You might as well save your money to spend on something else, or wait a few more years for a newer model.
Looking to change mobile networks at the same time as your handset? Read our ultimate guide to switching providers.
Convinced about keeping your old phone? Why not upgrade in a different way and consider the benefits of Pay As You Go.