A question that pervades every smartphone owner’s mind is how often should they upgrade their Android smartphone. Smartphone companies and their marketing campaigns will have you believe that it is time to trade in your current smartphone for the new flagship that just rolled out, but is changing your device every year the right choice? On the other end of the spectrum, many users believe in getting the most miles out of their smartphones before discarding them.
Is it a good idea to stick with a phone that has been sidelined by the manufacturer and does not receive any updates? In this article, we discuss how often should you upgrade your Android smartphone.
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Security and Phone Updates
If the manufacturer has stopped providing updates for your Android smartphone, it may be time to move on to a new one. Most smartphones get software updates for about two to three years after their release. Not only do these updates offer new features, but also patch any prevailing security issues and ensure your data is safe from getting into the hands of third parties. Older phones with outdated software are more susceptible to malware attacks. If you own a budget phone, you may stop receiving updates even earlier than three years. Most manufacturers offer a three-year update guarantee only on their flagship products.
Alternative: Use anti-malware apps like Malwarebytes and ad blockers like AdGuard to keep your phone safe from any malicious activity. While this is not a sure fix to all the protection issues, it still is better than using an old phone with security vulnerabilities.
It is no secret that the strength of your smartphone’s battery diminishes over time. When you first buy a phone, a full charge can easily get you through the day. But after years of rigorous use, you may find yourself plugging in the charger halfway through the day. A reduced battery backup can get pretty annoying and is one of the major reasons why users switch to a new phone. Even if the aspects of your smartphone work fine, it doesn’t really matter much if it gets drained every 6 hours.
Alternative: Monitor your phone’s battery from the beginning. Notice which apps are draining the battery faster and put unused apps to sleep. Use the power-saving mode when you’re not actively using your device. If possible, get a battery upgrade.
Performance Decline and App Issues
Most modern devices aren’t built to last and your smartphone is no exception. A performance drop is bound to occur after years of use. Apps may take longer to load and you may experience delays in the most basic of tasks. As your phone gets older, apps are more prone to crashes. After a certain period of time, some apps may become incompatible with your phone. If you’re facing one of these issues, it may be time to get a new phone. You will notice what you’ve been missing out on right away. The touch receptivity will be quick and apps will take no time to load.
Alternative: Keep your phone optimised and scan it regularly for viruses, background app activity, high battery usage, and unreported app crashes.
Even if you don’t care about the novelty of a device, the allure of new features is hard to ignore. Manufacturers are constantly bringing out new features on their flagships every year, be it powerful cameras or an enhanced interface. If you’re someone that likes to be on top of all the new tech, you’re bound to miss out on a lot if you don’t change your smartphone for a while. What you can do is trade in your device for a new one. If the smartphone you’re using is relatively new and in good shape, you can get a good price for it. Certain manufacturers also offer great buyback schemes.
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