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Is It Better to Upgrade Your Phone Now, Or Wait?

For a student, a mobile phone is a pretty essential piece of kit. It lets us call home when we need to, keeps us connected to our friends, and allows us to research things on the go. Having a phone that gives you all the features you need is easy these days. However, as we all know, phones are not really designed to last for years and years.

  Upgrade your phone

Upgrading is an inevitability when it comes to your smartphone, but knowing when to do it can be important, especially as a new phone may well be an expense you have to consider carefully. Even when you are offered an upgrade on a contract phone, it can require some amount of payment if you want to get the most capable models, so it really is quite important to think about whether an upgrade gives you any immediate benefits.

But People Upgrade Every Two Years as Standard, Right?

Most contract phones are eligible for an upgrade every two years, so this is taken to be about the right lifespan for a phone. However, in recent years, people have been waiting longer between phone models.

A survey published in the Guardian by Dixons showed that in 2013, people were replacing their phones, on average, after 20 months, so they were not even waiting for the two years to be up. In 2017, however, it is a different story. The average time to replace a phone now is 29 months.

This means that more and more people are sticking with their current handset rather than jumping on the latest release from their favourite brand. In fact, part of the reason for the survey was to establish why new iPhone models don't cause the fuss previous generations did.

Why Are People Upgrading Less Frequently?

The reason why people are leaving longer between phone upgrades could be the post-Brexit economy. With concern about the future, it would seem likely that people want to keep their electronics for as long as possible before shelling out for new devices. However, let's not forget that smartphones first became ubiquitous during the financial crisis that started in 2007, so the economy probably isn't as big a factor in the trend as you might expect.

Phones around the world

Possibly, the main reason why smartphones don't get replaced by their users as regularly in 2017 as in previous years is that there have been relatively few major advancements in features. In the early days of smartphone usage, a new generation of devices promised incredible new features like the Retina Screen, Siri, voice recognition, and smarter security.
Now, a new generation usually means some nice perks, like a better camera and smart assistant features, but doesn't really offer a whole new world of capabilities. Some of the features added by brands, e.g. the Edge screen offered on some Samsung Galaxy models, were actually badly received, with many users saying they preferred phones that didn't have them.

Equally, phones have become expensive investments. A good flip phone in the pre-smartphone age would set you back a couple of hundred pounds. Now, however, some of the latest smartphones cost more than a good laptop. While for some people it is worth shelling out the money for something as important as a smartphone, when you have done this, you tend to want to get your money's worth and use the device for as long as it is still both functional and able to run the latest apps.

Should You Upgrade Yet?

If you have a phone that is around the two years of age mark, then you may be considering whether you need to upgrade. In reality, the answer to this depends on how well your own phone has weathered.

Battery life is usually the first sign a phone should be replaced, but other issues can begin to crop up too. If you have screen or camera lens damage, or you no longer like how your phone looks because it has been bashed up on the outer casing over the past couple of years, it may be time to sell your old phone and invest in a new one.

However, if you are still finding a phone to work well, provide all the features you need and give you a decent battery performance, then upgrading simply because your phone has reached the two-year mark may not be the most prudent thing to do. If you are happy with the device as it is now, there is no reason to assume it will start to fail in the immediate future if you don't upgrade.

If you do decide to stick with your current phone, it seems from the surveys that you won't be alone in trying to get more usage out of an older device.

This article is sponsored content.