Know When to Trade in Your Phone for a New One

Know When to Trade in Your Phone for a New One 

Every smartphone owner uses their device differently. Some people use theirs mainly for work purposes, like scheduling and contacting clients. Others enjoy the fun social aspects that come with gaming and social media apps.

There are self-made photographers, writers and music producers who can't get by without their phones. Then, there are those who just text and call, maybe spring for the occasional internet search.

Whatever your taste, one thing is for certain — you need your device every day. And you need it to work properly.

But as long as your phone still technically works, it's enough, right? Well, maybe not so much. A better question to ask is whether or not it still serves the purpose you want it to, stress-free.

The longer you hold onto that outdated model, the worse and worse it'll get — potentially even compromising your security. And if it just so happens to kick the bucket before you get around to an upgrade, it's going to make quickly purchasing a new phone and trying to move data that much more difficult.

So, how can you tell if it's the right time for you to consider a new phone? Our guide will go through the biggest signs for when to buy a new phone so you can decide for yourself if that cost is warranted.

  • Lacking Screen Quality 
  • Shorter Battery Life 
  • Insufficient Storage Space 
  • Decreased Speed and Processing Power 
  • When Is the Best Time to Upgrade My Phone? 
  • Need a New Phone? Sell Your Old Tech Fast With ecoATM 

Screen Quality

One of the most functional parts of your smartphone is the screen.

1. Lacking Screen Quality 

One of the most functional parts of your smartphone is the screen. Who would have thought, right?

Touchscreen phones have become the standard. The demand for higher quality experiences continually pushes every generation of upgrades to a new level. Now, phones are including edgeless screens, touch sensitivity, responsive haptics and the most vibrant, clear images possible.
With the standard continually being improved upon, your phone screen becomes less and less advanced.

What you thought was insane quality — and, frankly, what actually was insane quality — when you bought the model you currently own is likely now outdated. With the improvements that new models have made in color vibrancy and pixel resolution, any older phone display probably looks like an 8-bit game in comparison.

Along with the visual improvements, the available screen sizes have gotten much larger, without making the phone bodies any bigger or bulkier. Androids and iPhones alike have ditched the borders, done away with physical home buttons and focused on maximizing the potential screen size.

This means displays large enough for you to comfortably watch movies or videos, edit photos, play games or even respond to work emails — all without making your phone size any less convenient.

New tech capabilities also mean useful features like touch sensitivity, where screens can read how hard you press and provide a different function, based solely on pressure. In aging phones, the touch sensitivity is likely to worsen, creating a lag between when you tap an icon and when the device responds.
If any of these improvements sound particularly attractive, or you're experiencing this lag, it may be time for an upgrade. You no longer have to operate on a dull screen that can't keep up with the rising quality of applications and images.

Additionally, if you've obliterated your screen, and it's cracked to the point where you risk cutting your fingers just by swiping, it's most definitely time for a new device. Don't risk waiting until the glass starts to fall out. 

2. Shorter Battery Life 

Any person who has ever owned a smartphone for over a year knows the battery life struggle. You get a new device, and the charge lasts so much longer than your previous phone. But, over time, it seems like less and less, until it's dying at 20% midway through your day.

Naturally, the battery wears out slowly, becoming increasingly inefficient and incapable of holding a charge for a full day. This happens because of charging stress, running higher level operating systems, the increasing application qualities, storing data on the phone and the general strain of daily use.

Even charging your phone improperly can damage the battery. You're charging it incorrectly when you:

  • Let it drain: Waiting for your battery to run almost entirely out and then Indiana Jones-ing to the nearest power cable can stress out your unit as much as — if not more than — it stresses you out. Using a full charge down to the red reduces the amount of time it can hold a charge in the long run. 
  • Fully replenish it: Charging your phone from dead to full battery seems like a good idea, especially if you need a full charge to last you all day. But, more extended periods of charging can cause your phone battery to die faster over time. 
  • Leave it plugged in: Most people leave their devices to charge overnight or plug them in whenever they aren't using them, ensuring a full battery when they return to it. It turns out that this can cause a lot of stress damage. The battery continues to receive the charge, enough to maintain that 100% status, keeping it at a point of high stress and tension.   

If you want to keep your phone charged without killing the long term battery life any further, you have to charge it in increments throughout the day. But, let's be honest, very few people have the time or patience for that.

Regardless, gradually decreasing lifespan is a perfectly typical occurrence — and a highly relatable frustration. No one likes a dying battery. Especially now that smartphones are becoming water resistant and sealed, making it impossible to replace the battery unit by yourself or in-store.

If your battery is healthy, it should last you a full day. If not, it'll become increasingly more inconvenient as you need to worry about carrying charger cables and external batteries with you.

Before this nuisance becomes a real issue, you should upgrade your phone. Newer models will hold a charge longer and have more efficient batteries and processors, meaning slower wear overall. Also, they have the right power source for updated operating systems and software. 

3. Insufficient Storage Space 

Another frequent inconvenience is full storage space. That notification always seems to pop up right when you're looking to take a candid photo or download a new software update.

If your phone doesn't have a sufficient amount of storage space, you may find yourself weeding through photos and deciding what to delete, just to get that extra little bit of room. Usually, it fills right back up within a week anyway.

Storage is essential for keeping all your media. Once you get to the point of sacrificing your least favorites, is your device really fulfilling your basic needs or standards?

Running out of available space isn't just a nuisance, either. It can make your entire phone function slower, causing it to freeze or malfunction and the battery to die faster.

As applications and software become more advanced, they require more storage space on your phone. So, if you're using an older model, you may not be able to keep as much as you should, simply because it's not configured for the higher quality downloads.

While 16GB of storage used to be a standard, it is now the lowest available amount and almost completely insufficient for maintaining updated applications and saving media. You're far better off with a model that supports 64GB or more. In iPhone models 7 and above, 32GB is the lowest option.

Having available storage is also vital to downloading software and operating system updates. If you cannot download the latest update, your phone will become less secure against malware, and you may experience a decrease in processing speed.

If the amount of storage available to you isn't enough or seems like it's continually holding less and less, it may be time to look into trading in your old phone for a newer model with a higher data capacity. 

4. Decreased Speed and Processing Power 

Before anything else, you may notice the decreasing speed of your phone's processing system. But once you notice it, it's likely already bad enough to warrant a replacement. Or, at the very least, it becomes much more difficult to ignore. 

Decreased Speed
and Processing Power

Before anything else, you may notice the decreasing speed of your phone's processing system.

There are several signs that your processing system has gradually lost its efficiency, such as: 

  • Command lagging: When you tap a folder or app, press the home button, type on a keyboard or swipe in any direction, the response should be almost instantaneous. If your phone processes the command too slowly, it will cause it to lag, meaning it'll respond correctly, but it may take a second or two — or more.
  • Delayed loading: Similarly, when you open applications, they should load fully within a second or so. If you open an app, and it takes several seconds for your phone to even give you the loading page, your processor is far slower than it should be.
  • Lengthy updates: Updating your phone shouldn't take hours, but it might if your processing system isn't running up to par. Eventually, it might even stop accepting application updates altogether. 

While this slowdown doesn't happen quickly — it may take several years — it is continual, and there's no way to prevent it from deteriorating further. Once you notice any of these signs, it'll only get worse from there, and time is not on your side.

One of the biggest issues with aging processors is that they will eventually become unsuitable for operating system software updates. Your phone needs these updates to solve bugs and flaws in older systems to protect your security. If your phone becomes too outdated to download the latest operating system, your data may become vulnerable to hackers and malware.

A slow processing system may be the most legitimate reason to trade in your old phone for a new model. Not doing so could mean major consequences for your security.

Even if it doesn't, the hassle of it completely defeats the point of having a smartphone. And who wants to deal with crashes, glitches and loading issues when you can upgrade to a better processing system than the one you started with? 

When Is the Best Time
to Upgrade My Phone?

Believe it or not, your timing matters when it comes to buying a new smartphone.

When Is the Best Time to Upgrade My Phone? 

Believe it or not, your timing matters when it comes to buying a new smartphone.

Navigating around future model releases can be a little tricky, but large manufacturers usually keep to a pretty familiar schedule, so you can plan accordingly. For example, Samsung releases a new Galaxy S model every spring, and Apple releases its latest iPhone model every fall.

In terms of purchasing outright, the best time to buy a new phone is about a month or two after one of these big releases. At this time, the previous year's models will drop in price about $100 or so, and there may even be deals on the new models available to encourage buyers to jump.

If you're looking to replace an iPhone, waiting until November may get you the best deals possible. In addition to the price cuts on old models and potential deals for new models, carriers and retailers have Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Some will offer as much as $400 off the latest devices.

While just after September is the best time to purchase an iPhone, August is the worst month. You'll end up paying full price for a model that would have seen a discount in a few weeks time, and you won't even be able to consider new releases.

As far as Samsung goes, they release their latest Galaxy S models in the spring months and new Galaxy Note models in the fall. So, if you want a Samsung phone, your best time to buy will be determined more so by what model you want. Regardless, it works the same way — research the specific release dates and wait until a month or two after.

Or, if you can swing it, waiting until Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales will also do you some good. Android products drop in value faster than Apple, so you'll see even more significant discounts if you're patient.

Check with your carrier to know when you can upgrade your phone if you have an upgrade plan. These plans typically offer deals around release schedules. Carriers want to incentivize purchasing newer models, so they'll offer discounts on plans or prices of the latest two releases. Trading in your phone involves buying a new one, so the peak times are the same.

If you plan on selling your old phone, timing matters even more. And there's no time like the present.

After about a year, the value of your phone depreciates greatly from what you paid. But, it's not one set percentage drop for all phones. The Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone models retain their value better than any others, still worth 30% or 40% of their original cost after one year, respectively.

So, if you can, sell your phone as soon as possible. Once new models are released, your phone's value drops drastically. And if you wait long enough that your model becomes discontinued, it's barely worth anything.

Regardless, if it's in good working condition and doesn't have any damage, you should be able to save money on your new purchase by selling your old phone online. 

Need a New Phone? Upgrade With ecoATM


Need a New Phone? Sell Your Old Tech Fast With ecoATM 

If your phone becomes more inconvenient than helpful, or if it stresses you out to use, it has lost its purpose. Smartphones were created for the sake of convenience and ease of use, not to cause you nuisances and headaches all day. And they weren't made to last forever.

So how often should you replace your Android phone or iPhone? After two years, it's highly likely your phone will show signs of internal aging and incompatibility with new software. On average, smartphone users will keep the same phone for 21 months, then replace it with an upgrade.

Once you start to see these signs — an outdated screen with touch lag, worsening battery life, insufficient storage space and noticeably slow processing — it's time to decide on your next phone purchase.

We know upgrading can be expensive. That's why ecoATM offers competitive pricing to buy or recycle your old phone based on its model, value and condition.

Using ecoATM to sell or recycle your old iPhone or Android is fast, easy and safe — just drop your device off at your nearest kiosk. If your phone has value, we'll pay you on the spot, so you can have some extra cash for your upgrade and keep your old phone out of a landfill. It's a win-win.

So, if it is time, get looking — and when you find the new phone of your dreams, head to your nearest ecoATM kiosk. Or, contact us to learn more about what we do. We look forward to hearing from you.

ecoATM is not affiliated with nor has it been authorized or sponsored by the manufacturers or service providers in this article.