Almost everyone owns a smartphone now. You are probably reading this on one! Flagship phones like the iPhone, Samsung S series, are launched on a yearly basis to bait us into changing into a new one. Is it wise to switch to a new phone annually? Our answer is no; please do not get a new phone yearly.
Fun Fact: Mobile traffic has long surpassed the usual computer traffic as reported back in Nov’16. To Web Developers, it would be dumb not to make your website mobile-friendly.
Before we tell you why you shouldn’t get a new phone, here’s a list of typical reasons why people think it might be a good idea.
– Improved Specs – Faster device, improved battery life, better camera, etc.
– Access to cool new features
– Making you stand out among your friend for a short period
Maybe some of you still can’t see it so let’s elaborate on why these reasons just aren’t enough.
1. Little Improvement
During every promotional presentation, it is almost guaranteed that phrases like “faster processors” or “better battery life” will be mentioned. Things like “using a new chip” and “increase in the RAM”. Or maybe stuff like “better optimise their system with the OS/processor/RAM/(whatever technical term they would like to throw in)” to make you believe that the device will run faster and last longer. Do you even understand what it is? Or if it is going to improve the phone substantially?
Let’s take a look at iPhone 7 vs. it’s predecessor iPhone 6s. From the processor, it is an upgrade from A9 to A10 Fusion processor. Ok… other than the increase in number and an additional “Fusion” in the name, nobody knows what that means. The improvement in the camera comes in the form of 5MP to 7MP for the front facing camera and the upgrade of 1080p video recording. Other improvements include stronger glass, water-resistant capability.
First off, most people use your phone for Whatsapp, messaging, calling, email, work related stuff and light gaming. These minor increase in performances probably won’t affect your daily life and productivity. The improvement in camera probably won’t make you go “Wow! This is such an awesome feature!” Nobody cares if the recorded video is 720p or 1080p. For most people, if it’s there then good. If it’s not, they should be okay with it too.
Tackling the “new features” point, it is all just a cash grab to trick you into getting a new phone. Before you start calling me a Samsung/ Android fanboy, I shall sweep away that thought now. Last year, LG announced their groundbreaking “modular” LG G5. You can swap these “modules” to improve or add features to your device. Sounds cool huh? Well, looking at it closely, this is a very laughable idea. Some modules include a bigger battery, 360 VR camera or a better camera. If users want a larger battery, there are more flexible ideas like a power bank which they can use across all devices. On top of that, VR is not a big deal, just another marketing gimmick. Also, why do users have to pay more and to have a bulkier/better camera phone?
Moving on to 2017. Samsung announced the new Iris Scanner (eye scanner) claiming to enhance security. Sounds groundbreaking until this video below. You probably won’t understand what he is saying but just be patient.
To be more practical and economical, the price of the upgrade is just not worth it. If users have to pay only S$100-S$150 to get these improvements, most will jump on the boat. But having to pay at more than S$300 (after vouchers and trading in of old phone) just for these negligible upgrades are totally not worth it. Of course, there’s no way smartphone companies will offer the deal I dreamt off. Apart from the low-cost of production, there are tonnes of other expenses like patents, marketing, research, developing, etc. These are the real factors that made smartphones so expensive nowadays.
We are saying to hold on to your old phone for 5 – 10 years until they explode which is a good indicator. Another sign to upgrade is when your device is slowing down or becoming incompatible with lots of apps.