How often should you get a new phone?

phone upgrade

Conventional wisdom holds that people should not upgrade their phones until they’re broken or unusable. However, conventional wisdom is not always correct. It is generally not advisable to base such a decision exclusively on other people’s opinions. The ideal way to decide is to look at technological facts. So if you’re wondering how often you should upgrade your phone, you’re in the right place. 

The short answer is this! Security and privacy are vital for tech gadgets, especially android devices. Old phones are relatively easier to hack than new phones – especially those that can’t receive further updates from the phone manufacturers. Old phones are perfect practice targets for amateur hackers. To safeguard your privacy, you should upgrade your phone when it no longer receives software updates from the manufacturer. This routine upgrade goes for android phones and other smartphones.

Besides security, several other factors can determine how often you need to upgrade. But before diving into them, let us consider what it means to upgrade an old phone. 

What is a phone upgrade?

In simple terms, a phone upgrade means switching the current version of your phone with a new smartphone of better caliber and, for example, upgrading your phone from an iPhone 11 Pro Max to an iPhone 12. These days you can trade in your current phone dependent on trade-in value or sell and buy your next phone outright.

Phones upgrades can be within the same phone brand or across other phones. For example, you could upgrade your Samsung Galaxy S20 with a Samsung Galaxy S21 or upgrade your HUAWEI Y6s with an OPPO A9.

A phone “upgrade” aims to replace your current phone with a new one with new features such as camera quality and rapid speed.


Replacing your phone with an old phone of lesser caliber is a “downgrade” and not an “upgrade.”

Is a phone upgrade necessary?

The necessity of a new device varies from one person to another. However, one must inevitably go through the upgrade cycle of their phone throughout their lifetime. 

Phones are naturally fragile tech gadgets. They wear with time irrespectively of how careful you handle them. Like all other electronics, they have a life span. In the end, a routine phone upgrade becomes necessary and not luxurious.

How often should you upgrade your phone? 

Besides the security factor discussed above, other aspects and circumstances that directly affect how often you should upgrade your phone includes the following:


Natural wear

You cannot prevent wear, irrespective of how carefully we handle our phones. The materials used in producing phones naturally wear with time. For example, the number of hours we can use our phones before recharging decreases with time. That is because phone batteries lose the capacity to store charge with use. It is something that all phone and laptop owners can attest to, generally.

As we all know, using a phone that requires you to charge it often within a day is frustrating because it has poor battery life. The more you use your phone, the more you charge it, and the faster the battery deteriorates. When this happens, you can either get an original new battery or upgrade your phone to get a new phone with a better and more powerful battery. 

Another example is phone touchscreens. Have you ever experienced a situation where your screen won’t work at times, or it takes about a minute to respond and open the app you want? Or when you need to tap hard just for it to work? It is pretty frustrating, right? 

That is what happens when your phone is worn out. Even the touch screen starts working like a snail in such a state. In some cases, some parts of the screen become completely unresponsive. When this happens, you will realize that you may be left with no option but to upgrade your phone. Another alternative will be to procure a new screen which is almost as costly as upgrading your phone.

Accidental cracks

Cracked smartphone

Whose phone hasn’t fallen once or twice? Not everyone, right? For those who have the habit of accidentally dropping their phone or intentionally throwing their phones in a fit of anger or being overly happy, you will surely upgrade your phone more often. 

Given how fragile phones are, a single fall will dent them and sometimes crack and damage the screen and camera lens. Those with glass phones will likely have it worse.

Depending on the damage, you may have no choice but to upgrade to a new phone.

Business purposes

The business you engage in may require you to upgrade your phone yearly. For example, YouTubers and Website owners that give experience-based reviews on specific phone brands will likely have to upgrade their phones whenever a new model of that phone brand is introduced into the market.

That is because the new phone model becomes their content. They will likely upgrade their phone with the just-released model to utilize it and write experience-based reviews. 

A YouTuber who makes live videos on iPhones will need to switch phones every time the latest model of iPhone is released to showcase to their viewers and give experience-based reviews. 

Those in such businesses should upgrade their phone every year when their brand of interest releases a new model because it will be cheaper than procuring every new model that is released without trading in the former model you own.

“When a phone brand becomes your content, you will likely want to upgrade your phone yearly whenever a new phone model of that brand is released to update your content.”


There are three types of phone updates: stability, OS, and security. These updates fortify the phones’ security and enhance performance by bringing in new unique features. Without them, your phone’s system software will gradually become outdated.

New smartphones usually receive OS and security updates for at least two years. Apple updates their phones for about 5 to 6 years, while Samsung updates theirs for about four years.

Generally, these phones stop receiving updates when this period elapses and slowly becomes outdated. Another crucial issue with these outdated phones is that they lack updated security. This leaves them vulnerable to cyber hacking and viruses.

From this, we can deduce that it is best to upgrade your phone when it no longer receives OS and security updates. Upgrade your phone before your system software and security become outdated. By doing this, you will protect your privacy and protect yourself from cyber-attacks.

Insufficient storage

Insufficient phone storage is enough reason for someone to upgrade their phone. Have you ever tried using your phone when your phone’s memory is all used up? All you see is the constant notification “storage full, free up space.” 

Also Read:   Incredible uses of NFC technology, from NFC tags to your mobile phone

This notification is most annoying because it pops up continually and hinders you from using your phone unless you free up the storage. Although there are several ways to resolve this, you can choose to upgrade your phone with a new phone with larger memory. 

For example, someone with a HUAWEI Y6s (memory: 32 GB) can choose to upgrade their phone with an OPPO A9 (memory:128 GB) to have enough storage space to store their data conveniently.

Tech inclined

The tech world is ever developing. Anyone who intends to keep up with it and create something phenomenal must first understand what has been and is currently in the market. 

A tech-inclined geek is more likely to upgrade their phone yearly whenever a newer model comes out to satisfy his\her curiosity and update their skills and knowledge. They tend to be android users rather than iPhone users.

Social purposes and peer pressure

Presently, this generation of young people is crazy about “trends.” Anything that becomes trendy becomes a “must-have” among young people. 

The Average person with iPhones and or the latest Samsung phones are most likely to upgrade yearly whenever a new iPhone or Android phone model comes out to keep up with the trend and “prestige” associated with those that use the latest high end phones.

In actuality, popular phone brands are pretty smart with their deals on acquiring the latest released model of their best phones.

How can you upgrade your smartphone?

There are two types of phone upgrades. You can either do it within the same brand or across brands.

Within the same brand

This is common with popular brands like iPhone and Samsung that release new models yearly. You can choose to upgrade your smartphone with the phone company or other companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, and more.

Each phone company has a set of procedures you need to follow to upgrade your phone. 

For example, most iPhone owners are members of the iPhone Upgrade Program. When a new iPhone model is released into the market, each member that has made a minimum of 12 months’ payment for their current iPhone will be considered eligible for an upgrade. 

For such a member, all you will have to do is to check your eligibility, choose your level of AppleCare+ coverage, provide your carrier account details, provide your credit or debit card details, and then collect the new iPhone and return the one you were using to Apple.

The processes are pretty straightforward and different for each company. Check the company’s upgrade requirements for anyone who intends to upgrade their smartphone to the same brand.

Another way you can go about it is to find stores or online platforms where you can trade your current device for a much better one after adding a certain amount of money.

Across brands

Phone upgrades don’t have to be within the same brand. You can decide to upgrade from a HUAWEI Y6s to an OPPO A9. Some stores can cut you a good deal if your phone is still in good condition. 

You will sell the phone to them at a negotiated price and then draft a contract that will allow you to gradually complete the rest of the money needed to pay off the new phone.

It is very similar to the way phone companies negotiate phone upgrades. The significant difference is that you can switch from one phone brand to another, unlike phone companies that can only upgrade your phone within the same brand.

Is it expensive to upgrade a phone?

As we all know, high-quality phones are costly. Purchasing one from scratch usually costs about between $800 – $1,000. Therefore, we can not expect the total cost of an upgrade to be any cheaper.

For a company like Apple, the credit value of every new model decreases by 50% after a year of use. It is essential to remember that you can only get the 50% credit value when the device looks almost as good as new with all functions intact.

The amount you will be required to add to your current device to get the new model will depend on the credit value of your existing phone. The credit value of your smartphone will be subtracted from the cost of the new model, and your carrier will draft a contract for you to pay off your new phone monthly or whichever you choose.

For iPhones, upgrading an iPhone 12 in good condition after a year of use to an iPhone 13 will probably cost you about $339. For Samsung, upgrading to the next available model will cost at least $200.


This far, we have discussed the importance of upgrading your phone. You can upgrade it yearly or after a couple of years based on your preference and finances. Notwithstanding, it is ideal for upgrading your phone when it can no longer receive updates. That is necessary to help you safeguard your privacy and security.

Phone upgrades are generally not cheap but become more costly as the number of years you use your phone increases. Remember that the credit value of your phone decreases with use.

Summarily, it is advisable to upgrade your phone when the need arises, when it becomes outdated, or when you want to keep up with the latest trend and can definitely afford it.


Is it necessary to upgrade your smartphone yearly?

The answer to this question depends on what you use your phone for. It will be pretty luxurious for most people to upgrade their phones yearly. 

On the other hand, those who use phones as their content will likely have to upgrade theirs yearly whenever a new model is released. Examples include YouTubers who talk about specific phone brands and give experience-based reviews or website owners who write on specific smartphone brands.

How can you tell when your smartphone needs an upgrade?

It is quite easy to know when your device needs an upgrade. Everything about it becomes annoying. It would help if you upgrade your phone when; 

  • The device can no longer update it
  • It freezes from time to time and is extremely slow at working
  • You spend more hours charging it than using it

Whenever you start experiencing these with your smartphone, know it is time to upgrade it.

Thanks for reading till the end!

About the Author

You may also like these

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This