There are certain universal truths that all of us hold to, the latest of which seems to be: “There’s always a newer smartphone.” It seems like no matter how long ago you bought your newest addition to the family, there’s another even shinier one fresh off the assembly line. So, what do you do?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the situation together:

Only You Know If the Phone Is Worth It

First and foremost, you’re the only person on the planet who knows if something you bought is worth it; that goes for any purchase at all. Take a step back and look at what you need/want in a phone. Make a checklist if that helps. Go through the list of different phones you’re thinking about, and run them against the checklist to see how each of them does.

Let’s use the Samsung Galaxy S8 from T-Mobile (which was recently found to be the fastest network according to OpenSignal) as an example. If you’re looking for a good camera, or a bigger screen, or some cool security measures, then you can check those off your list. But, if you need a phone that can take some punishment, or you’re on a budget, then you might want to keep looking.

Try to grade each phone like this. If the good outweighs the bad, keep it in your list. If not, take it out. Remember that the newest phone is almost always going to be better than the phone you have; that’s true whether you bought your phone five years ago or two months ago. That does not mean the phone you have can’t still do everything you need it to.

Try Not to Buy the Newest Phone

Nine times out of ten, it just isn’t worth it. You’re going to pay hundreds of dollars more than you would if you had just waited a few months.

That’s not to say it definitively isn’t the right move for you; maybe there’s an awesome new feature on the newest phone that will completely revolutionize your life. But usually, the difference in the newest phone versus the second newest phone is negligible in everything except the price. And the same will be true when the next new phone comes out and the one you’re eyeballing right now is a few hundred dollars cheaper.

With Age Comes Problems

Image via Flickr by believekevin

Having said all this, there does come a time when it’s just the right thing to do to bury your current phone in the backyard. The older a phone gets, the more problems it develops. Older phone models will eventually no longer be supported and won’t receive critical updates. They’ll slow down, that’s just a symptom of electronics getting old. Speed is also affected because newer apps/updates take advantage of the newest phone specs possible, which will end up outpacing your current processing speed.

And, perhaps worst of all, the older your phone gets, the less charge your battery is going to hold. There’s nothing worse than being tethered to a power outlet all day. At that point, you may as well be using a PC.

It All Comes Down to Preference

You know what you want in a phone better than anybody else does. Use the checklist system. Look at every brand; not just the biggest ones. You’ll be surprised at what some of the other phones are capable of, and even more surprised when you see the comparative costs. However, there’s something to be said for using an OS (operating system) that you’re already familiar with. If you’ve always used Samsung products, or always used Apple products, the grass isn’t always greener.

For some people, the newest and greatest smartphone really is a valuable asset. For most people, the second or third newest smartphone will be plenty powerful enough to do everything you need. Never forget that just about every smartphone out there really is a remarkable piece of technology that will do just about anything you ask of it.

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