SOUND OFF: How old is your phone?

Good news for you, bad news for manufacturers, I guess. It seems like more of us are holding onto phones for longer and longer. I’ve never been the sort to trade up every three months, but I do remember the days when I’d be jonesing for a new phone after about a year. These days I’m looking at my two-year-old phone and thinking it can make it another year. How about you?

Phones are definitely more expensive.

Yes, it’s true. Top of the line phones are much, much more expensive than they were in years past. Back when “top-of-the-line” was synonymous with “iPhone” you could usually get the maxed-out version for $499 with a two year contract. Today, there are no phone contracts but you own the phone outright and can take it wherever you want. (That is, of course, if you’re finished with an installment plan or if you bought it with cash.) And, the top-line iPhone XS Max is $1,500.

But, the good news is that phone plans have settled down in price and you can generally get an unlimited plan for the cost of what a decent metered data plan was just a few years ago. If you look at the real cost of having the phone and what you get over the course of time, you might find you’re paying less.

But they’re more capable and reliable.

Today’s top-end phones not only have fancy features like face recognition and under-screen fingerprint recognition, they have faster modems and more storage. The screens and cameras are unbelievable. There’s definitely more value there.

Even if you look at the “not-quite-top” phones you’ll see computing power than rivals supercomputers from a decade ago and brilliant screens. You’ll find tougher glass and higher quality materials as well.

I still use a case on my phone and I think you should too. But, I used to get dings and scratches even with a phone case and now my phone looks as good after two years as it did when I got it.

When is it time to upgrade?

The one thing that’s gotten better — but not better enough — is battery life. With the latest version of Apple and Android you can monitor your battery’s health better, and I can see my phone supposedly retains about 90% of its battery capacity. But, I used to be able to go a full workday without charging. Now it’s more like 5-6 hours. Tops.

You should move up to a new phone when the battery doesn’t hold a charge like it used to. You can have the battery replaced for sure, but in some phones you won’t get the same features. If you’re giving the phone to someone else in the household, it might be worth it. Then again, it might not be. It might be just as well to get them a new phone. You can always choose one that just doesn’t have as many features as your new phone.

Call Signal Connect when you’re ready to upgrade

A lot of people don’t know that Solid Signal, as an AT&T Preferred Dealer, can sell phones the same as those stores and mall kiosks can.  Let our staff get you the best plan and the best phones. We have real professionals who can answer your questions, not just mall-walking salespeople. Call 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours. If you’d rather, fill out the form below and one of our reps will call you!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.