Monday, 30th October 2017

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Why you should buy a new phone

If you are not getting that shattered screen replaced, then it is high time you got yourself a new phone

  • Published 26.05.19, 2:52 PM
  • Updated 26.05.19, 2:52 PM
  • 3 mins read
The Android operating system is omnipresent in the mobile ecosystem but not every manufacturer has a stated policy regarding updates Picture: iStock

I have seen people stubbornly using phones held vicariously together with an elastic band or peering helplessly at a semi-shattered screen. Yet they put off buying a new phone. I don’t blame them. With the cost of smartphones literally hitting the ceiling, most users would rather invest in a top class phone and use it for as long as possible instead of buying cheaper phones. But even that has its limit.

Just think about it. If you are not getting that shattered screen replaced because the repair would cost you more than your phone is worth, then it is high time you got yourself a new phone.

Your phone may be old but it has excellent sound quality apart from being fast. So what more do you need? You may have no complaints about its performance. But every time you are at a social gathering and you tell your friend to click the picture because his or her phone takes better pictures than yours, you should consider getting a new phone. The cameras in new devices are getting better and better. Apple has added a number of new features including better low-light performance and a feature called Smart HDR, which blends together the best features of multiple exposures. The new Android phones too have excellent cameras, although the snaps may not have the quality of iPhone photos.

The decision to retire or replace a phone should depend on whether you can get new updates or not. Apple does a better job of supporting old phones with the new version of its operating system, iOS 12. It supports devices as old as iPhone 5s and iPads that were released in 2013. In fact, Apple put in extra effort to make these old devices run better. When iOS 13 is released later this year, it will cut off support to the oldest versions supported by iOS 12. So if your device that is six years old or doesn’t support iOS 12, it is definitely time to buy a phone.

It is a different and more complex story with Android. Admittedly, the Android operating system is omnipresent in the mobile ecosystem but not every manufacturer has a stated policy regarding updates. The Google policy is the best, offering two years of Android updates and three years of security fixes. This means that the Nexus 5X and 6P from 2015 have both received Android Oreo and Pixel and Pixel XL will receive Android Pie.

For Samsung phones, there is no guarantee that the lower end phones will get more than one upgrade. Similarly, LG, Sony, OnePlus, HTC, Motorola, Nokia and others also focus mainly on the flagships and the lower range gets dubious attention. So if you own any of the lower- end phones, it is better to change your phone right away.

Remember, if you have been using a phone for three years or more, you are also using an old chip. Apple’s new phones come with a bionic chip that gives speed and fluidity. So if your phone does not open apps quickly, cannot experience augmented reality or even control depth when taking photos, it is time for a new phone.

The battery in your phone degrades over time. This is where some Android phones score because they have replaceable batteries. The drawback is that they don’t support newer versions of the Android operating system, which have better power management and security. So it is always a toss-up.

The older iPhones have terrible battery life. You have to carry your charger around with you all the time and look for a place to charge your phone. My old iPhone used to shut itself down if the battery went below 30 per cent. If you have experienced this horror story, if you have changed your charging cables and plugs countless times and cleaned your phone’s charging port more often than not without any improvement in battery function, then it is time to bid goodbye to your phone and say hello to a new one.

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