Phone upgrades – how often should you be doing it?

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Since the advent of smartphones, most manufacturers do not wait long to launch new models of their popular phones. In fact, sometimes they don’t even wait for the length of a two-year contract to be over before their new model comes out.

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That said, this means as consumers, we are always looking to upgrade our phones as quickly as possible, in case we miss out on something. It’s just human nature really.

The thing is, the latest version of each phone, although released every year, really changes very little internally. Sure, cosmetically there might be changes, a bigger screen here, a millimetre thinner there, but in truth, they really don’t change that much. In fact, many people are suggesting that upgrades only need to be done once every 3 to 4 years, especially if you are not ‘heavy’ on your phone and take good care of it.

In this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at the ins and outs of upgrading your phone.

So when should I upgrade

Well, there is no hard and fast rule here. Should you be a bit of a slave to your brand, you might want to try to schedule upgrades around the time new phones are released. This is far easier to do if you are on a 12-month contract and not so easy to achieve if you are on a 24-month contract. Let’s not even talk about a 36-month contract then…

We know that Apple loves to release their phones in September, Samsung in around March while other providers do stick to a schedule as well. So if that is your main motivation to upgrade, then bear in mind these dates.

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Other reasons to upgrade

If you are not so much of a ‘fanboy/girl’ of the prominent brands such as Apple or Samsung, then you might have another reason that you want to or possibly need to upgrade your mobile phone. This could include:

  • You have an old phone

You might be someone who likes to keep their phone for as long as possible, not caring that it isn’t the latest or greatest model available. However, there comes a time when even your old phone is simply not good enough. If the phone is very old, the chances are that the manufacturer won’t even release software upgrades for it. Maybe it is not even a phone that is able to connect to the internet or access email and you suddenly need one that can for work purposes. Even that old Nokia that has served you well and that you still play ‘snake’ on eventually will need to be replaced!

  • You broke or lost your phone

Modern smartphones are intricate pieces of technology. If they are not protected in a cover, the chances are very high that they will break if you drop them, especially their screens. Sometimes, it really is better to get a new phone than to pay to have one repaired – it can actually cost more, especially if it is very labour intensive.

 

  • Your battery is not holding charge, or your camera is too old

Constant charging and running down of a battery is the best way to keep it in good shape. Unfortunately, we often charge our phones overnight and leave them plugged in. Although the battery does stop charging, there is still a trickle charge entering it and this can severely affect battery life. Or maybe you need your phone to take crystal clear pictures. Cameras are another area of phone technology that is advancing at an incredible rate.

At the end of the day, you will know when you should be upgrading your phone. A word of advice, however. Stick to a phone that is affordable and within your budget. A contract phone that puts you over the edge financially is not really worth it in the long run.

 

 

Looking for a new phone contract? Consider the following!

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Looking for a new smartphone can be a very exciting time, especially as your older contract is coming to an end.  Or maybe, you are shopping for you first mobile phone contract. Whichever it is, there are a few things that you need to consider when doing so, especially as it is so easy to get carried away and jump straight into the first deal that you might come across.

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Do prior research

The first thing you should do is some research. You probably know how much you can spend on a contract each month. This will already narrow down the range of phones that you could consider as your next handset.  Now take the time to research each phone thoroughly, looking at their pros and cons. You have time on your side here, and putting in a little bit of work will allow you to make a proper, informed decision that will benefit you over the course of the contract. Remember, most contracts are for two years. That’s a long time to be stuck with the wrong phone.

Do you really need a contract?

Phone contracts are nice things to have, but you should really question if you definitely need one. Consider the following. You might have received a perfectly good phone from a friend who recently upgraded. Why would you now need to get a phone contract of your own, when a ‘pay as you go’ deal would work out fine? Of course, contracts do have their perks and can be structured to your specific needs. For instance, if you are a heavy user of data, you could choose a contract with more data than calls. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Cheap is not necessarily the best

Now if you are on a tight budget, the chances are that cheaper contracts will really appeal to you. While some of these cheaper contracts are not too bad, others are simply terrible and often have factors loaded on them that you will never use. For instance, 1000 free texts. Who texts anymore? It’s all about instant messaging and for that you need data. So if you do go for a free contract, make sure it is structured in a way that will be a benefit to you.

Choose the right structure for your package

As discussed earlier, when deciding on a phone contract, choosing the right package is imperative. Although you might have an idea of how you mostly use your phone, you might be surprised when you do check back. To do this, look at your phone calls, texts and data over the past three months. This will give you a great indication of which you use more of. From there, look for a contract that suits your needs. If you do not, the chances of having higher bills are great. This is because you will quickly run out of the thing you need the most, for example, data. Then you will have to buy more at a higher cost.  A word of advice, even if you do not use as much data as say voice calls, make sure you have enough. Most modern smartphones need plenty of data on a daily basis to run basic services such as GPS and the like.

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Contract length

Don’t forget the important role contract length can play in your final decision on which contract to choose. Remember, most are for 24 months although there are 36-month options which help lower the monthly costs significantly. If you do choose a contract of this length, make sure that the handset you buy will indeed last that long and also try to keep it in excellent condition. If you are a person who cannot look after your phone properly, a three-year contract is probably not for you. If you do opt for a 36-month contract, make sure you choose the right one. Three years is a long time to be tied up in the wrong contract.

Don’t sign anything until you have read the contract thoroughly

Many of us tend to skim through contracts and sign because we are so eager to take possession of our new phone. This is a mistake. Take your time, read all the terms and conditions but most of all, make sure you read the fine print. It is here that the hidden fees are often mentioned, for example, those pertaining to missed payments. Always read everything before you sign.