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Do you need a New Smartphone? Guide to Phone Upgrades

New phones may differ in some ways, the pitch is the same. The old phone is not good enough. This new one has a better camera and a brighter screen. It’s also faster. Give the old one to someone less tech-savvy or trade it in for credit towards a new shiny gadget.

This hype cycle causes an annual dilemma: When is it the right time to upgrade? Our phones stop working as well after a while. You might not be capable of running the most recent apps. It may feel slow. Components such as touch screens can start to fail.

It becomes practical to buy a new phone at some point. This could be when there are too many negatives or too much cost for a repair. Sometimes, upgrading is unnecessary as the parts that cause us to be unhappy can be fixed with some care.

Let your situation, not the allure and compulsion of phone season, guide you. Take your time to think.

“In general, it’s best to not tie the upgrade to: “Hey, there’s an iPhone out.” “Now is the right time to think about it,” said Nick Guy, senior staff writer at Wirecutter (The New York Times’ sister publication that tests products). There’s nothing wrong with getting a phone sooner than you need.

These are questions you should ask and some practical advice to help you make this decision.

Are you unhappy with your phone?
Your satisfaction with your phone is the first and most important thing. You can pinpoint the issues that are making you unhappy by examining your phone.

Many of the things that make us unhappy with our phones are easily fixed.

It is not possible to fix all major problems. For example, a broken touch screen could cost $200 to replace. This is comparable to the cost of a decent new phone like the $400 iPhone SE and $300 Google Pixel 4A. If a repair costs more than half of the price of a new phone it might be worth considering trading in your old device for credit towards a newer model.

Are there software updates available?
Software updates are regularly released by phone manufacturers. They include new features and address security vulnerabilities. It’s important that you keep up with the installation of these software updates. It is a good rule of thumb to upgrade if you are unable to get software updates.

Apple phones receive software updates for up to six years. Apple’s iOS 15 software will work with iPhone 6S and 6S models starting in 2015. Android devices receive them for a shorter time — approximately two to three years.

Sinan Eren, an executive with security company Barracuda Networks, stated that security updates are essential, but it might not be feasible for some people to update as soon as the software is out. He said that electronics can be subject to various taxes in countries such as Turkey. This means customers are more likely to keep their devices for five years or longer.

Mr. Eren stated, “It’s difficult and therefore it’s a luxury even to think about security.”

There are solutions. Malwarebytes and other anti-malware apps may help older Android phones run more safely. Apple phones can run apps such as 1Blocker which prevents malicious ads from loading on sites.

What would a new phone do for me?
It’s important to visualize how your life would be if you had a new phone. Guy from Wirecutter. An upgrade to a newer camera can make your phone experience a lot more enjoyable if you have a baby or a toddler.

If you use your phone for simple tasks such as browsing the internet, making calls, and messaging, then a faster model won’t matter much. Phones have been fast for many years.

“Don’t try to replace something that’s working just fine because you have a better version,” Mr. Guy stated.

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