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Guest Post: When Should I Buy a New Cell Phone? 7 Signs You Need a New Phone

One big problem with modern technology and smartphones is they become outdated rather quickly.  You can pick up the latest iPhone or Android device and it will be obsolete in 6 months. We’re using more apps on our phones to perform different tasks. The most common signs you need a new phone is when your phone is getting old and it can’t perform the most basic tasks. The most logical solution is to upgrade. When cell phones first came out, they were bulky and expensive. You would pay nearly $1 per minute for talk times, so they would be dedicated to emergencies only for most people. We’ve come a long way with technology and now, you can find a smartphone anywhere. It’s become difficult to even find a flip-phone without going online. But how do you know how often should you replace your phone? Here are the top reasons why an upgrade may be in your future. Remember, upgrading your phone is typically not a necessity, but more of a want. We want the latest technology, the biggest screen, and the fastest phone—we just don’t need it!

7 Signs You Need a New Phone

1. The operating system won’t update

Apple has a new version of their software, iOS, often. Android does the same thing, but just name it after different dessert items (i.e oreo). Either way, software gets updated in the fast-paced world of electronics. Most new phones are compatible with the upgrade and keep on functioning. Some older phones might not see the upgrade at all. Over time, your software version might just become out of date. It can become unstable and often times, insecure. Unless you know how to get into the technical details of your phone, it might be time for an upgrade. Newer phones come with the latest software versions, tested and developed with modern conveniences. Sometimes it’s only possible to get these new software upgrades if you have a phone that can handle them. This is when you would need to look into a phone upgrade.

2. Your apps don’t work

Along the same lines as the operating system, your phone uses apps to provide functionality. Most people have a slew of apps installed on their phone. From the latest version of Angry Birds to the Facebook app. There are so many apps for both Apple and Android smartphones—it can be mind-boggling at times. With newer phones, you need not worry as much with regards to compatibility. That’s not the case with older phones. You may come across an awesome app you want to try, but during the install, you find it won't work with your phone. Apps depend on your operating system, along with memory and storage capacity to work. When your phone doesn’t have much RAM, has a slow processor, or an outdated operating system, you can kiss that app goodbye. You just wouldn't be able to use it. To keep up with the latest and greatest apps, you would need to upgrade your phone. There are luxuries to having a new phone! [wp_bannerize_pro id= "phone-upgrade"]

3. You need a faster phone

Processor speed is often one of the most overlooked aspects of phone buying. It’s the case because most people have no idea what a good processor is and how fast one should run. If you don’t know, then ask someone. That would be your best recourse to making sure you get a phone with an excellent processor. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is supposedly the fastest phone on the market, but it has a custom-built processor. Many phones, such as the Moto X4 use Snapdragon, which is an excellent and fast processor. When in doubt, always look for a phone that runs a quad-core processor instead of a dual-core. There is going to be a good price difference between the two, but your performance will be much better. If your processor is slow and underpowered, you’re going to have a tough time using the phone over time. Processors get bogged down with many open apps, constant connections, and extended use. This is all magnified in an older phone with a sub-standard processor.

4. You need more storage

When your phone’s storage starts to get full the phone's performance can become sluggish. We all take tons of pictures and download new apps to our phones frequently. If your phone doesn’t have the necessary capacity to support your usage it’s a good time to upgrade. Newer phones have much larger memory options, some up to 512 GB.

5. You have a bad camera

In the age of Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms, a good camera is a must-have. Taking pictures with our phones has replaced the hand-held digital cameras, which were so big some years ago. Once Apple came out with their iPhone, the camera landscape has changed. People are more focused on using their phones and the camera integrated into them. It’s much quicker to pull out your phone and snap a picture. One of the biggest complaints among smartphone users is the varying degree of camera specs. Remember, it’s not always about the increase in megapixels that makes a good picture. The phone has to handle light, focus, and a myriad of other factors. With phones using 16+ megapixels in their rear cameras and nearly 5 megapixels in the front, there’s no surprise cameras are becoming a big selling point for smartphone users. If you have an older phone with a subpar camera, you can’t just replace the camera. They are integrated, so you would need to upgrade your phone. If you need your camera to produce quality images, then you have to find a phone with an excellent camera. Read reviews online and check out the many online phone reviews. These will give you the scoop on which phones have the best cameras.

6. Your battery won’t hold a charge

This is something I’ve dealt with personally over the last few years. When smartphones first came out, the batteries were easily replaceable. You could remove the back cover and buy an aftermarket battery and pop it back in. The cost was negligible and compared to buying a new phone, it was the right choice. Unfortunately, the times have changed a bit. More and more phone manufacturers are creating phones which are completely sealed. This means you can’t access the battery or components without breaking the phone open and voiding your warranty. This spells trouble when your battery starts to lose it’s holding capacity. Most standard phone batteries are about 2100 - 2300 mAh. While this number might not mean much to you, the next part will. These phone batteries are becoming non-removable. This means when your battery can’t hold a charge, you have to upgrade your phone. There are still phones being made with removable batteries, but they aren’t as advanced or fast as the newer phones. If you are looking for water resistant, then it’s going to be sealed. The newer iPhones all have sealed batteries as well as many Android devices. This forces you to purchase a new phone when the battery can no longer hold a charge.

7. Your screen is brokencracked_screen

A big factor in upgrading is when your screen is broken. It’s hard to use a phone when you can’t see the functions necessary for basic functions. Let’s get real—screens break! You might accidentally drop your phone and the screen cracks. Many times the phone is still usable, but as the crack gets bigger, the annoyance factor increases. There are some services out there to repair cracked screens, but depending on your phone and how much you paid for it, sometimes it’s logical to just upgrade your phone. Only you can justify getting the screen fixed or looking for a new phone upgrade. Many use the broken screen as a catalyst for change and upgrading your phone can be just that.

Where should I start?

If you’ve run across any of these reasons to upgrade your phone, then how did it end up for you? Some years ago, you’d have to drive down to the local cell phone provider’s store and talk with a salesman. If you were under contract, you’d have to pay a premium or for a phone outright. Now, with the slow removal of contracts for all cell phone customers, you just need to have a little phone upgrade savings account funded. If you buy an “unlocked” phone, then the price can vary. Republic Wireless customers get some of the best phones at excellent prices. If you’re with some other carriers (why would you?), then you’d have to pay full retail. This can be upwards of $800 for some phones. The true balance when looking to upgrade is finding function and price that align with your goals. The lower priced phones are great for starting out, but they can’t handle many apps or multitasking. Don’t even think about using their cameras. The highest price phones give you the cream of the crop, but you certainly pay for it. Take your time researching phones and find one in the middle. They’re still excellent quality and can save you a bundle!

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Grayson_Bell_Debtroundup   About the author: Grayson Bell is a finance blogger and proud Republic Wireless member. His weekly articles on how to save money can be found at: