When to Update Your Aging Technology: Computer & Smart Phone

August 22, 2022

Woman with old laptop and phone

Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone or a high-tech computer. Buying new technology can feel relieving, especially if your prior device didn’t have the imperative updates. But, it’s hard to figure out when purchasing a new device is advantageous or if a tech company is simply trying to get its consumer base to buy more unnecessary products. 

Since companies like Apple and Microsoft are consistently churning out innovative tech, it’s easy to get carried away by purchasing the newest, exciting product. Here are some ways to determine if updating your smartphone or computer is the right financial move.   

Security Reasons 

Experts suggest that users upgrade their phones after two or three years. But what if your smartphone has been working consistently for over five, six, or seven years? Though it might work efficiently enough, new virtual vulnerabilities arise every year, which leaves old phones susceptible. 

Engineers at companies like Apple will update the computer and phone software monthly to ensure technical bugs are eradicated, and the best possible privacy settings are available. Though updating your device can eliminate the threat of the most recent security issues, this is not always the case. If you can afford it, consider replacing your device after three years. Since newer devices have updated software and built-in privacy settings, they’ll provide a safer experience for the user.  

Slow Operation 

You’ve noticed years after purchasing your phone or laptop that it’s running less efficiently. After years of usage, your device accumulates images, data, songs, photos, and other files that pile up and slow down the software. Excessive data storage can be a significant reason for a phone’s frustrating delay. 

Another reason your tech might not be properly working may be an upgrade’s opposition to older hardware. If you’ve been consistently updating your software on your phone or laptop, the newer versions might not be compatible with old hardware. The latest upgrades are intended to be used with new phones and computers, which may be too difficult for the older tech to process. 

If the software updates aren’t helping your device operate more smoothly, then this might be time for you to get a physical upgrade. 

Reduced Battery Life 

Battery life is one of the trickiest issues with phone and computer upgrades. When your phone battery is depleting quicker than usual, there aren’t many solutions to reverse the effect. 

Most smartphones have lithium-ion batteries included in the hardware. Over time, the battery’s chemical components eventually degrade, affecting the phone’s efficiency. After 200 or 300 charges, a smartphone can lose up to a fifth of its ability to maintain a regular charge.

If this occurs in your phone, it’s the right time to ditch the old device and purchase an upgrade. 

Apps Continue to Crash 

Sometimes, opening apps will be difficult and glitchy on your phone or computer. Some troubleshooting will usually fix this problem, like a quick restart. If the downloaded apps in question are still glitchy, there may be a more significant problem. 

Apps may shut down before opening because they’re too complex for your device’s current RAM or CPU. If updating your software doesn’t help the problem, then that’s probably an indication that you’ll need to upgrade your device entirely. 

Purchasing New Devices

Buying brand-new phones and computers is a wish that’s easier said than done. With inflation at record-high rates, it’s not easy for the average individual to drop $1,000 or more on updated tech. Luckily, Black Friday is on the horizon, making this fall the perfect time to plan for what devices you’ll need to purchase. 

Every year after CES, the annual tech trade show, companies that displayed new inventions at the convention move their older models out of warehouses and into retailers. Giant retailers like Amazon and Best Buy will have these models for discounted prices. Check out these stores in the upcoming months to see if they have the device you’ll need to upgrade to. 

If you have an Apple product and don’t want to pay for a completely new device, there’s one more troubleshooting technique you can apply before giving up. iOS 16, Apple’s upcoming innovative software, will be released in mid-September. The iOS will help remove bugs and improve your old device’s privacy settings. If this helps enhance your phone or laptop’s efficiency, then you might be able to survive having an outdated device for another year or two.