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How often should you get a new phone?

By Mint Fox

Originally published May 25, 2023


Last Updated January 5, 2024

Mint Fox with a shiny new phone and graphic copy that says: “How often should you get a new phone?”

“How often should you get a new phone?” Well, the answer largely depends on your individual budget and needs. It’s great to be thoughtful about your spending and, like most people, you probably don’t need all the latest phone models right when they come out. On the flip side, if your phone has been dunked in rice a million times or is being held together by duct tape and your battery dies after one call, it might be time to upgrade.In this article, we’ll cover how long cell phones last, answer how often you should upgrade your phone and cover both ways to make your phone last longer and newer phone options that might be a great fit once you’re ready for an upgrade.

In this article

How long do phones last?

The average lifespan of a phone is around 2-3 years*, although it can also totally depend on the make and model (and whether you’re prone to dropping it in toilets and/or on sidewalks). However, most phones are probably usable even after that, they might just be slower or have outdated specs and features or a battery that needs more juice. But typically by year 3, your phone is outdated and ready for an upgrade, which might help if you’re wondering “how often should I get a new phone?”

Mint Fox cleaning up a giant phone

How to make your phone last longer

There are ways to take your phone’s fate into your own hands. Here are a few tricks that will help your phone last a little longer and make the answer to how often should you get a new phone end up being “not very often.”

  1. Phone case: Dress your phone up in a nice, shockproof case to protect it from any nasty drops. 
  1. Screen protector: Just as you’re protecting the rest of your phone with a case, try protecting your screen with a screen protector to avoid those shattered screens.
  2. Replace battery: One of the earlier things to go on an old phone is the battery. Try swapping it out to keep your older model going strong.
  3. Clean ports: You should be regularly cleaning out the dust and debris out of your phone’s ports.
  1. Restart your phone: Just like an IT person will tell you a good restart may clear up any computer problems, you should restart your phone regularly to keep it good as new. 
  1. Do some storage spring cleaning: Regularly go through and delete old files, apps you don’t use and only save your best selfies to keep your storage from slowing you down. Or, throw some of your files to the cloud to free up some storage if you aren’t already doing so.
  2. Repair any damage immediately: Don’t walk around with a cracked screen – go and get it fixed ASAP. Otherwise, things like dirt and debris will get inside and start doing some serious internal damage.  

How to know when it’s time for a new phone

As with when to switch phone carriers, knowing how often you should get a new phone might not be completely clear cut. Besides the obvious things (a shattered screen, a waterlogged phone, etc.) here are some ways to know when it’s time to upgrade:

  1. Your battery runs out quickly or won’t hold a charge at all. At this point, it’s more convenient to get a new phone than replace the battery.
  2. An essential component is on the fritz, like your mic, speaker or your charging port.
  1. Your processor is too slow and you can’t do things on your phone that you used to do, like play games or run apps.
  2. You need higher storage capacity than what your phone offers.
  3. Your phone manufacturer no longer offers updates for your model—for iPhones, this is usually after about five years, for Android phones, typically about after three years (except for Samsung models, which stop updating after about four years).
  4. Your apps keep crashing, which is usually a sign of a lack of RAM storage.
  5. Your phone gets hot. While this can be normal, if your phone gets hot when you aren’t even using or so hot you need oven mitts to touch it…that ain’t right. And can be potentially dangerous, too. It could also be a sign of having a virus…the phone, not you.
  6. You can’t use the latest networks, like 4G and 5G. If that’s the case, say adios to your phone and get an upgrade.

When should I get a new phone?

If you’re not in immediate need of a new phone (e.g. your phone isn’t getting as hot as the sun or hasn’t been acquainted with water yet), it can be a good idea to wait for the latest deal for the phone model you want. Promotions often happen on Cyber Monday, Black Friday or just generally around the holiday season; and here at Mint, we have phone promotions throughout the year that you can hear about via out email newsletter and socials. You might also want to wait it out for your preferred phone manufacturer’s latest model so you really get that new new; or, if you don’t care about having the latest device, you can snap up their previous model for a lot less dough.

Mint Fox pondering the question “What kind of phone should I get?”

What kind of phone should I get?

Phone models get better and better every generation. If you like your current phone model, whether it’s an iPhone, a Samsung or another device, consider getting the latest model released by your preferred phone manufacturer. That might mean iPhone 14 Pro, the Google Pixel 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S23.

Ready for that new phone? We got you

After reading through this blog, maybe you know you’re ready for a new phone. If that’s the case, mosey on over to our phone store to check out our latest deals – whatever your needs, we’ve got a phone for you. Or, since we’re all about helping you keep more of your money, you can also bring over your current phone if you’re not ready for an upgrade just yet.

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