Need to upgrade your cell phone?

March 4, 2020

By Katie Ritchie


How long does technology last? Last week I answered part of reader Linda Sinclair’s question. When do you need to upgrade your cell?

If you listened to Apple, you’d buy a new phone every year.

High-end cell phones like newer iPhones, Galaxy models, or Pixels tend to last around 2-3 years. Low to mid-range phones that cost between $100-400 when they’re new don’t last as long. This is because they have less sophisticated hardware. Androids in this range might get 1-3 years of software updates before they’re a security risk. Apple tends to have a longer support cycle, but the hardware doesn’t always hold up.

Here are some important questions to ask to evaluate your phone.

Will it update? If you can’t operate apps or system updates, it’s time to upgrade. You need to be able to keep your device secure and your data protected.

Do the apps you use work? Do the security and operating system updates work? If you’re only using your phone to make calls and get the occasional text, your phone will last a while. If you’re using your phone as a mobile office, game platform or social media hub you may get less time with it. Why? Those apps demand more.

Have you run out of storage or is your phone running slowly? When your phone gets full, it’ll slow down.

If your phone is too underpowered to run the operating system or apps, it’ll start running slowly, too.

Is your hardware broken or failing? If the battery won’t charge, your screen’s broken or your camera’s damaged, that’s a sign to consider upgrading.

If you have a tech issue or question, please email [email protected] .