Here’s why you don’t really need that new phone right now
Why don’t I need a new phone right now?
Well, I did my research to find a phone that had everything I needed so I could buy one for long-term use with no regrets – powerful enough to be responsive with a long-lasting battery and a good enough camera to take pictures for work – and get relatively more mileage out of it using third-party repairs now that it’s past warranty.
Fans of high technology meanwhile, or those with money to burn or status to seek, find some value in owning and using high-end gadgetry, usually in terms of what’s most expensive or has the latest incremental changes or features.
Buying a new phone should be a point of last resort, and here’s why you may want to adopt an “I don’t really need that new phone or other gadget right now” mindset in your daily life.
Better iterations, fewer innovations?
Unless you count the folding smartphone, itself a throwback to the clamshell phones of the pre-smartphone era, there haven’t really been that many awe-inspiring innovations in the development of the smartphone.
There are now beefier processors, better (and more numerous) cameras, smarter apps, and more powerful graphics technologies available perhaps, but few changes have actually made new use cases that expand the user base of smartphones.
While writing this, I saw technology blogger Isa Rodriguez bring up an important point that I support: the clamshell-style fold that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip expands the user base for phones by virtue of actually being smaller in profile – perfect for those with smaller hands – than the normal smartphone of today.
Said Isa, “You don’t really realize what’s good until you really really need it or it really really affects you. For most reviews, male hands and roomier pockets were the norm so they didn’t realize how big a hassle ginormous phones have been for others.”
Reiterating re clamshell phones:
You don’t really realize whats good until you really really need it or it really really affects you.
For most reviews, male hands and roomier pockets were the norm so they didnt realize how big a hassle ginormous phones hve been for others.
Reiterating re clamshell phones:
Because I have big hands and plenty of pockets with my clothes, I never really thought about how a folding phone would impact me. While the clamshell-folding smartphone might be expensive now, I’m hoping it takes off and gets adapted onto more devices, so it can be better accepted as a potential use case that expands innovation.
Getting something better with the wait
That said, waiting can be worth it… though it takes some savviness to get the most out of it.
Expensive technology X tends to get lower in price the longer you wait to purchase it until a new hot item Y takes over and becomes priced in X’s range. If it’s not the price you’re after, but a specific feature, chances are waiting will also allow features in high-end tech to be adapted for something more midrange if you wait, or better versions of midrange tech can also emerge over time.
My favorite example for this at present would be related to graphics cards for computers.
Nvidia’s GTX 1660 range of graphics cards started off with a base 1660, then had an improved version in the GTX 1660 Ti. I myself was tempted to buy the 1660 Ti, but waited, and Nvidia decided to come out with a cheaper, yet arguably more powerful version in the same suite of cards, called the GTX 1660 Super.
The Super is one of the best mid-ranged cards available for a budget gamer, and hemming and hawing over buying a card actually became a boon for me rather than a burden.
Fixing what’s broken
Of course, you don't really need that new phone if your current one does everything you want it to without issue and isn’t broken.
But even if your old phone is broken, there’s a good chance you can have some parts repaired for a fee that won’t break the bank – especially if you live in a country that supports “right to repair” laws in relation to technology.
While there are repair centers for phones under warranty and who can support post-warranty phones for a fee, there’s a burgeoning industry of third parties – such as in the Philippines – that can replace parts or repair phones for less than the asking price of official support systems. A modular phone may not be in the cards, but thank goodness for knowledgable people who can help you find and swap the right parts!
While this isn’t the norm everywhere, the idea of having a group of tech experts who can repair items is quite the novel thing.
As consumer electronics like phones become more complex, it grows ever more important that people are able to take care of the tech they have, especially given that electronic waste and the inability to properly repurpose tech becomes a problem.
The dreaded upgrade cycle
I reckon the most dire thing that would make me buy a new phone nowadays, aside from breaking it, is incoming obsolescence – when the hardware no longer supports the requirements of the software.
For instance, I have an old tablet that I’ve had to replace because it can’t support further updates beyond Android 4.0. It still works, barely, but the need to ensure security for my online accounts and the dearth of support for older Android iterations means it’s better for me to wipe my data from the device and recycle the tablet eventually.
During my time working as part of the technology desk of Rappler, I have grown to understand yet dislike the yearly upgrade cycle for phones. It makes no sense to me to force a new thing that asks for much yet appears to offer so little new for prospective buyers.
Here’s to hoping more people don’t fall prey to the hype of the phone upgrade cycle, perhaps opting to save their money for that perfect upgrade when current models can no longer keep up with their daily needs. – Rappler.com