5 Reasons why you should defer buying a new cell phone

New cell phones are released almost everyday from a lot of new manufacturers. In addition, the Android operating system is continuously being updated, with a major revision released every year. On top of that, new apps are also released every single day which can make communication easier for every user. These are all valid reasons you might want to buy a new cell phone. However, when in doubt, and you are still on the fence about buying a new phone, here are some reasons to think about.

 

1. It still works

 

As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In today’s throwaway society, that means that if it is still in perfect working condition, then there’s no reason to replace it. Most phone users buy because of envy. There is a newer phone, and the phone you bought two years ago looks dated. That sort of reasoning may be okay with those who want to be hip or those who want to impress their peers. It also says a lot about you if you buy a new phone every year or every six months.

 

Older people, specially if they already have a family would understand why using an old phone is not a problem. They are not trying to impress anyone, anyway. What it comes down to it is that a phone is a utilitarian device, and not a piece of jewelry. On the other hand, old vintage jewelry are given due respect and are not sold just because they are old.

 

In most instances, it would be better to have a second phone, specially if you need a second number, or a number from a separate carrier. That does not mean that you are leaving your old number behind, or that you are no longer going to use your old cell phone. It is a matter of convenience to have more than one phone. A lot of people have multiple phones that they use for different purposes.

 

2. What do you use it for?

 

The number one use of a cell phone is for checking the time. Phone calls and text messages come in second and third. However, messaging apps are becoming more popular everyday, and these should take over the second place sometime soon. Another popular use of a cell phone is for browsing the internet. Of course, with the popularity of games on the smartphone, it should not be a surprise that most users have game apps on their phone.

 

This is usually a big reason for buying a new phone, or sticking with the older one. If you only use your phone for checking the time, calling friends and sending text messages, it is better to stick with your older phone. It already has your contacts as well as threads in conversations. The same is also true if you use messaging apps.

 

For most people, the only real reason for upgrading to a new phone is the ability to use a particular app. There were a lot of new phones sold due to Pokemon Go because older phones were not able to play the game. However, if you don’t play Pokemon Go, then there’s no reason to buy a new one.

 

3. Expected Lifetime

 

You would be surprised at how long people can use their phones, before these just wear out. Some people think that phones only last two years, hence that is also how long their phone agreement is with their carrier. The truth is that if you used your phone properly, you should be able to use it for longer than three years, and possibly for more than five years.

 

Of course, there are some phones which are lemons the moment they go out of the factory. The recent cases of battery explosions is a case in point. By the way, this is not a new problem. More than ten years ago, batteries of some phones burned out and caused fires due to overheating while being recharged. This is a behavior of batteries and not necessarily of the phone. Unless a new battery technology comes along, or electronic safeguards are put in place, batteries will still explode and cause fires in the future.

 

Exploding batteries aside, phones are tough and durable. The only way they could be broken is if these were dropped from a good height (at least four feet), dropped in water for more than a minute or placed near the heater. These are conditions which the manual says are beyond the operating conditions of the phone.

 

With regular use in normal conditions, there should be no problem using a cell phone for more than two or three years.

 

4. It is fully paid

 

Some people buy a new phone, or sign up for a new contract with their carrier because their old phone’s contract has expired. Just because a phone is fully paid, does that mean that you need to replace it?

 

This is actually a good reason to keep your old phone. You should be able to sign up for a cheaper plan from your carrier. Or you can let go of the contract and sign up with a different carrier but still using the old phone. This is an automatic savings, and there is no reason to splurge this savings on a new phone, just because the contract has ended.

 

5. Do you need new features?

 

There are usually no backward compatibility between new apps and old phones. When a new app is released, it usually has a minimum operating system requirement which is a version older. If the OS is version 5, then any new app is usually compatible with version 4. If you need the new app, you might still be able to install it on your one- or two-year old phone.

 

Think about the features of the new operating system. Is there any compelling reason to ditch your phone because of a software update?

 

In terms of hardware, is there any new hardware feature that you really need? Is a USB-C port really indispensable? Do you need a better camera in your phone? Do you want to buy a new phone just because your current phone cannot use the latest update of a software you are already using? These are the questions you have to ask yourself before you buy a new phone.

 

Summary

 

Buying a new phone can be expensive. This is specially true since most people would want to have the top-of-the-line model. But, seriously, you can defer buying that new phone and still have a perfectly usable phone for the next two years.

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