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Why you should keep your current smartphone for as long as you can



Apple Store workersReuters

  • The latest smartphones are very attractive and more powerful
    than ever before.
  • They’re also more expensive.
  • It now makes sense to hold on to your latest smartphone for
    as long as you can — it is probably fine.
  • Besides, most new phones have the dreaded notch design.

It’s the holiday season, and lots of people are thinking about
upgrading their phones.

Tons of great new phones came out in 2018
. Apple launched
three new phones — the
iPhone XR
XS and XS Max
— Google released the Pixel
3 and Pixel 3 XL
, Samsung had its
Galaxy S9
and Note
, and even OnePlus debuted two impressive phones with the

OnePlus 6
and 6T.

You might find some great Black
, Cyber
, or holiday-related deals for these phones. And if you
are dead set on upgrading for one reason or another, then you’ll
be happy with a new phone, especially if it was made this year.

That said, unless your smartphone is extremely old and struggling
with its current software, I would highly recommend holding onto
your current smartphone for as long as you can.

Smartphones are more expensive than ever

It’s true that smartphones are better than ever in 2018. But
they’re also more expensive than they’ve ever been.

Apple, as usual, set the trend last year when it released the
iPhone X, a radically redesigned smartphone with a radically high
starting price of $999. The year prior, the starting price of the
company’s newest iPhone, the iPhone 7,
was just $649

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Like Apple’s latest
iPhones, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 also starts at

Hollis Johnson/Business

Other smartphone manufacturers were quick to catch on to Apple’s
idea to set even higher prices for smartphones. Samsung’s Note 9
also cost $999 to start at launch, but could cost $1,250. LG’s
new phones for 2018, the G7 Thinq and V40 Thinq, started at $750
and $900, respectively. The iPhone XR, which looks like the
iPhone X but has a lower-quality screen, started at $750. Even
Google’s Pixel 3, with its starting price of $800, is $150 more
expensive than the starting price of last year’s Pixel 2 phone.

For the most part, the best smartphones you can buy will easily
cost you over $700 — and once you add the cost of insurance (you
should) and a case or two, you’re paying close to $900 or even
$1,000. And, of course, if you want the best iPhone experience
you can get, your starting price is $1,000.

The best way to get around exorbitant smartphone prices is to
hold onto your current smartphone for as long as you can

There’s a silver lining to all of these high smartphone prices:
Smartphones are so good and so powerful now that they should last
you quite awhile.

If you bought a smartphone in the last two years, there’s a good
chance your smartphone is still in excellent condition.
Smartphone chips have gotten extremely powerful to the point of
overkill, but plenty of chips released in 2016 are still more
than powerful enough to handle most smartphone tasks. Even the
iPhone 6S, first released in late 2015, is still an incredible

Plenty of people upgrade their smartphones because they see signs
of aging. But instead of buying an entirely new phone, consider
replacing its battery: Slowed performance can sometimes be due to
an old battery, and replacing it will often make a phone feel
like new.

But if it’s not a battery issue, and you’re convinced you want to
upgrade because you think the latest smartphones are pretty,
answer this question: Do you really want a phone with a notch,
that dreaded cut-out at the top of the phone’s display that
usually houses some form of camera system?

The fact is,
we’re living in the Notch Era
— again, you can blame Apple
for this — where every smartphone maker is trying to recreate the
success of the iPhone X by mimicking that phone’s signature
design. It’s unfortunate because the notch design isn’t
particularly attractive, and Android phone makers missed a golden
opportunity to leapfrog Apple with better designs, but chose not

So if you want a new phone, that’s great, but all of the best
phones in 2018 have notches: The iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max lead
the way, but Google’s Pixel 3 XL, OnePlus’ 6 and 6T phones, LG’s
Thinq phones, the Asus Zenfone, Huawei’s P20 Pro, and countless
others all have notches. In a twist from the early days of
smartphones, Samsung’s phones are the major exception, and have
not participated in the new notch trend.

To recap: Smartphones are better than ever, but they’re also
really expensive, and they’re not markedly better than they were
from a few years ago to justify those higher prices.

And it’s not like the newest smartphones are much more attractive
than they were before. On the contrary: with so many notches on
smartphones now, it’s best to wait until new, better-looking
designs come along, because they most certainly will.

So, if you can, save your money. Consider replacing your phone’s
battery before getting an entirely new one. By getting the most
value from your current purchase, you won’t feel so bad about
spending a lot of money when you eventually need to upgrade.

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