Is it time to upgrade your phone?

Woman using mobile phone

Should you upgrade your phone, or make do with your current model? There are a number of key considerations to take into account when deciding whether to stick or twist with your mobile…

Across the globe, the smartphone market continues to grow at an incredible rate. Beyond the headline numbers, however, it’s interesting to note the rising popularity of basic feature phones, which may lack advanced functionality but are available at far more competitive price points. The low-cost nature of these more basic models make them appealing to students and value conscious consumers.

Whether you own a smartphone or a basic feature handset, however, choosing when to upgrade is an important consideration. While the average smartphone contract currently lasts for a little under 23 months, fewer customers are bound by the traditional, two-year upgrade cycle, while brands such as Apple also have tariffs that offer access to a new handset after a single year of use.

With this in mind, what are the key considerations when choosing whether or not to upgrade your phone? Let’s take a look:

Does your handset run the latest version of its operating system?

From iOS to Android and Windows, mobile operating systems continue to change on an annual basis. This is why flagship phones – particularly Android handsets – are typically provided with software updates for up to two years following their release, so that devices can remain relevant for the two-year upgrade cycle.

Budget, feature and mid-tier handsets do not always receive the same level of support, however, meaning that your phone may not be able to run the very latest version of its OS. This may not be a major cause for concern, depending on your behaviour and the precise ways in which you use your mobile phone. Still, it’s definitely a consideration if you’re a serious gamer or tech fan, or if you utilise a wide range of constantly changing apps on a regular basis.

Similarly, newer versions of an OS are better equipped at addressing potential security vulnerabilities, enabling you to operate more safely and without concern.

Has the phone’s performance declined?

On the subject of gamers and avid tech fans, these individuals demand that their smartphone boasts exceptional performance. This applies to both processing speed and user-interface responsiveness, which tend to decline over time thanks to user error and the fragmented nature of file and app management on Android handsets. As these factors combine, phones can become bloated with large and continuously running apps, slowing down your handset and making it difficult to navigate the interface.

This issue can be difficult to overcome, so if you notice signs of decline it may time to consider your next upgrade. After all, performance issues will only worsen over time, so tackling this sooner rather than later is to be recommended.

Has the phone’s battery life declined?

As the capability of smartphones and feature handsets has increased, so too have the demands placed on modern batteries. Now, while innovators continue to experiment with concepts such as wireless charging and increasingly powerful batteries, it remains difficult to optimise or extend battery life in line with user behaviour.

This is also one of the first features to decline as a handset begins to age, as the battery’s full capacity will continue to fade incrementally with extended use. In fact, the battery starts to decline from the very first charge, with modern products only guaranteed for a finite number of charge cycles.

Most worryingly, battery performance starts to decline long before the end of a two-year upgrade cycle, so it’s important that you manage this carefully. If you’re able to, you should also consider this as a portent for upgrading your handset and begin the search for a new phone.

150x150If you do decide to upgrade, you’ll need to compare the market to get the best deal. For example, EE upgrade offers are among the most competitive in the current market, so keep your eyes peeled to ensure that you received the best and most cost-effective deals.

Image credit: jakkapan/

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