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Ask Arthur: When is best to upgrade smartphones?

A reader asks if there is an ideal time for upgrading a handset. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK offers a few options.

Ask Arthur: When is the best time to upgrade a smartphone? Is there a best time?

It can be hard to know when it’s time for an upgrade, but there are a few signs that you or your smartphone are ready – it can be either. These are the options to consider:

  • Performance: If your phone is starting to feel slow or sluggish, it may be time for an upgrade. Newer phones come with faster processors and more RAM, which can make a big difference in performance. But first see if a factory reset of your phone will do the trick. Before you do that, back up photos and documents, and make a note of app passwords.
    Features: If you feel you’re missing out on features you see on other phones, like a better camera or 5G, it’s time for an upgrade.
  • Condition: if the phone is damaged or the screen cracked, first see if it can be repaired, and compare the cost of repair with getting a new device. Often, that’s the right time to upgrade.
  • Budget: Smartphones can be expensive, so if you;re on a tight budget, there’s never a good time to upgrade. Try to sweat that asset as long as you can. Or look for an entry-level option from a less-known brand.
  • Changing needs: If you only use your phone for the basics, like calling, SMS and basic browsing, and your phone does a decent job of those, you don’t need to upgrade. Regardless of what your friends say.
  • New model: if you are being swayed by advertising to upgrade because a new model is out, but budget is a challenge, wait a few months for the price to come down.

In short, there’s no one right time. It’s all about your situation and needs. The only wrong time is when your friends try to phone shame you into an upgrade.

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