Time To Buy a New Phone or Computer?

When to buy a new phone or computer

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With so many new phones, computers, and IoT devices released each year, it can be easy to fall behind – and  easy to be overwhelmed with the changes. Moreover, keeping up with the latest tech trend can be expensive. No wonder many people ask “If it still works, why buy a new phone or computer?”

Actually, you should consider upgrading your smartphone after two to three years of usage. Over five years of usage? Act at your earliest convenience. Similarly, the lifespan of computers is between three and eight years.

But my smartphone or computer still works fine!

It may work – but it may have security and privacy vulnerabilities.  Often new devices come with new built-in security features. Also, new versions of operating systems sometimes resolve the security vulnerabilities of their predecessors.

Phones not compatible with the latest operating system are more likely to be a security risk. 

Last September, Apple advised iPhone users to upgrade to the iOS 14.8 version to fix a critical security flaw detected in its predecessor. Phones not compatible with the latest operating system are more likely to be a security risk. 

Is your phone due for an upgrade?

If your smartphone is more than two years old and one of the following happens, then it might be time to think about upgrading to a newer device:

  • Activities once done without any issue now take too long to complete (the phone consistently lags  or turning on or off your device is taking too long).
  • Many apps are not compatible with your device. 
  • The battery won’t hold a charge for even a couple of hours.

It’s the same story for computers: this article from Business News Daily covers those signs in depth.

But Why are my devices slow?

New phones usually come with new specifications (a more powerful chip, a better camera, etc.). To use  these new specifications and provide tangible new features and applications, the leading operating systems of smartphones (iOS for Apple phones and Android for most of the other phones) release new versions yearly.

These new operating systems take advantage of the possibilities offered by the latest smartphones, which could be too much for older versions to handle. Hence, they become a bit slower with each operating system upgrade.

Here are the reasons why your smartphone or computer might be slow:

  • New operating system upgrades: Necessary, but could also be too much to handle for older smartphones.
  • Direct damage to the smartphone’s hardware: Every time you drop your phone, the pieces inside it could get damaged even if the screen seems intact. Moreover, just like most things, the hardware inside smartphones depreciates with usage.
  • Pop-up ads and viruses could significantly slow down your smartphones or computer. Check out this article to learn how to stop pop-up ads on Android smartphones. You can also find many antivirus apps in the Play Store of your device to get rid of viruses. To learn more about your smartphone, we provide these resources at your disposal.

Leave a comment below with any questions or input that you might have.


Jonathan-Techspert-techTechspert Jonathan is Senior Planet’s Sr Digital Community Relations and Product Specialist and a former Senior Planet San Antonio technology trainer. He is also an iOS developer with a background in Information Systems and Cyber Security.

Jonathan, Senior Planet’s Techspert columnist, answers one of your questions every month… but for exclusive tech reports, talks, webinars and more, become a Senior Planet official Supporter. Learn more about becoming a Supporter and access to exclusive events and offerings here


10 responses to “Time To Buy a New Phone or Computer?

  1. As for laptops – mine is just 4 years old and the battery doesn’t hold a charge if not plugged in. Went to look at replacing it and guess what? HP is not making one for my model anymore. It is only 4 years old! Will need to look to other brands now.

    1. Hello Suma,
      Please always be aware of the year the smartphone/computer was made. You might buy a device 2 years ago but it was made 4 years ago. Also, some companies stop producing some devices after just one year, if they did not sell as they hoped for.
      The sure thing is that, if the battery fails, then you should think about getting an entirely new device. Parts like batteries are expensive, and if they did not last long in the first place, then the new one will not last long either.

  2. I need recommendations. I don’t need the best, just something decent. I need a good battery, a good camera. I use my phone mostly for texting, some app usage, directions, some googling.

    I have a refurbished LG; for 4 years now. I have loved it. Except for the battery runs out quickly.
    It was perfect until a few months ago when I dropped it in the street while bike riding. By the time I discovered it was gone it had been run over. It was many screen cracks and missing some screen with under glass leakage. But it still works. I think that miraculous. Should I buy another LG? My Granddaughter has I-phone, so do many relatives.

  3. I’ve finally decided I should get with technology and buy a smartphone. So many choices. I am retired, only use my flip phone maybe 5 times a week!! But my paper directions driving to a new location aren’t enough and I panic and get lost. So I guess I need something that will give me VOICE directions so I can concentrate on driving. Would a tablet be able to do this? Much cheaper than a smartphone when I don’t need all the zillion apps and gizmos. I use reading glasses so the SMALL screens on smartphones drive me nuts when I have to put on glasses to read small print. I have a nice desk top computer at home and am home all the time to use e-mail, ask Google anything, use NextDoor for local stuff, and just can’t imagine spending a ton of $$$ for stuff I don’t want or use. And IF I should splurge and buy a smartphone, which is better/easier: Apple Iphone or Google Pixel 6. I HATE the look of Iphone 13 with 3 circles (cameras???) on the backside. Thanks for your help!

      1. I was told the same thing from Sprint/now T-Mobile as my old BlackBerry (3G) will no longer be supported at yea-end.
        Read alot about 5G: it is not available everywhere yet so cell phone will use 4G instead. Also questions arose regarding does it impact planes/interference, think jury still out….when in the news Verizon/AT&T had to delay the conversion.
        Anyhey, I spoke to an honest rep who admitted I do NOT need 5G for the cell phone (swapped BB to an iPhone SE, 2nd gen) to be operable….4G just fine. They said the phone companies want us to have the latest 5G but NOT necessary.
        If you have a phone that uses 4G (& maybe LTE, someone more knowledgeable can confirm) you phone will continue to work!!!
        It’s more hype than reality.
        Good luck!!!

  4. I work at an elementary school,but I don’t get home until after the classes are over. Is there a y way the computer classes or I do for theses kind of classes be recorded so that we could view them after we get home or on the weekends, or vacation times? Just because we are seniors, doesn’t mean we stay at home all the time. Thank you.

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