Sunday, October 17, 2021

The most important upgrade to make for your smartphone

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Every smartphone these days can do so much. According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, there were 37 billion phone calls, 6.5 billion text messages, 2.5 billion web pages browsed, 2.2 billion songs listened to, 307.7 billion photos taken, and 684.5 billion hours of online time spent in 2018. Meanwhile, AT&T says 70 percent of all data traffic is traveling through a mobile device, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Aging not only affects performance but also affects your device’s battery life, even though it’s likely to have the largest capacity of any of those. You can take steps to extend its use, for example by trading-in your older model for something newer. The alternative is not buying a new device. In that case, it’s time to consider an upgrade. And while going from an older to a newer model can be expensive, here are some steps to take to make sure you are walking away with the best deal:

Research options. Before you buy a new phone, you should take a look at what is available from your carrier, such as the carrier’s website, which will have prices, availability and specs for each device. One of the best things about a website is that it will give you options for how to upgrade to a new model and find the best option.

Compare deals. It’s also a good idea to take a look at the total amount you can save with different carriers, and the total amount of time it would take to get your message across. Price is likely going to be the biggest driver of whether to buy a new device from a carrier, and staying connected is an important part of the package.

Use your old phone. Before you use your smartphone, look for trade-in services that will let you send your old device to a third-party company and receive cash, credit or a check that can be used toward your new phone. Also look at selling it on sites like Gazelle and NextWorth. While they may earn you more money than selling it directly to the manufacturer, they can be pricier, especially if they don’t get your cash on time.

Take advantage of online options. There are several ways to sell your old device, including eBay, sites like Gazelle and Glyde, and traditional (postage-paid) companies like Amazon and Craigslist. They all have varying requirements, from how fast you can submit your device to how much time it will take them to process your transaction. Amazon and the big post office-based ones can also be a good bet.

Do something else. If you are really not happy with your new phone, do something else. You can sell your old device through services like Gazelle, which have no special requirements for who they ship to. With eBay, take the featured picture and sometimes a video, and remove them once the auction has ended. There’s a huge turnaround time for what is left for other buyers. You may want to be fair and keep the photos or videos, because if you end up getting your desired value, then you can do something nice for your family or friends to see.

Think hard. There may be an optimal upgrade level that is sufficient. For example, if you own an iPhone 6 or more years, perhaps you are happy with the performance your current device offers. The same holds true with all smartphones. Do your research and think about what’s most important to you, such as speed or battery life, and what will most help you when you’re out and about on the go.

Remember: There is always an alternative. No one ever had to upgrade their refrigerator, and that’s why it still works so well. If you think that the repair and trouble with a new iPhone doesn’t fit your style or the way you like to use your phone, just wait a little bit longer and when a better model comes out, you can try it out.

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