Does yesterday’s release of the new iPhone 6 have you scrambling for your lawn chair and tent, ready to line up outside your nearest Apple store? As much fun as the bigger screen, faster processor and cooler camera may be, should you upgrade to the iPhone 6 or 6 plus?
Most of us don’t, and frankly, upgrading with every new version can often mean only a slightly better device with a big bill to show for it. These over-hyped iPhone announcements can leave us all a little breathless, looking at our suddenly diminutive “old” iPhones and thinking, “Geez, that’s old news”. So how can you tell when the purchase is justified? Whether it’s this or any other new phone, there are ways to tell if it really is time for you to upgrade. See if the following sound like you:
It’s been more than a year since your last upgrade (and longer if you’re a casual user). If you’re the type who isn’t a very heavy user—say, you make calls, check email, take some pictures and that’s it—you might even be able to wait three years. If that sounds like eons in cell phone time, it kind of is…but that’s a good thing, since it takes three to four years for a device to go through truly meaningful technical changes. If your phone is an extension of your arm, and you rely on it for everything from barcode scanning and depositing checks to organizing your family’s medical records, you can justify upgrading annually.
Current apps don’t work with your phone. Apps go beyond Angry Birds. They can make your life easier in so many ways, from getting organized to testing your health. App developers make sure their apps are backwards-compatible with older devices, but they can only go so far. If your phone doesn’t play well with apps, it’s probably time for a new one.
You keep replacing batteries. If you’re doing everything you can to boost your smartphone’s battery life, and it’s still dead in a matter of hours, that’s a sign that your old phone is inefficient. (And if it’s quickly heating up in your hand, that’s another alert signal.)
Your touchscreen takes more than one touch before it works. If you have to keep poking at the screen, you’re not only getting frustrated, you’re using up a lot of time. A new phone might pay off in greater efficiency.
The “wheel of death” is always spinning. Find yourself constantly restarting your phone? Maybe certain functions keep glitching, or the screen freezes. That could mean it’s time for a phone with a faster processor.
It’s embarrassing. If your device has a cracked screen, water damage or other uglies, it might just be time to treat yourself.
And lastly, if your contract is up, or you’re just at the point where you’re eligible for a big discount or free upgrade on a new phone, that just might tip the scales. Call your carrier: often, you’ll get better deals over the phone than in the store.
Are you planning to splurge on the iPhone 6…or pick up another new phone? Tell me in the comments!