Weekend Open Forum: How often do you upgrade your smartphone?

By Jos · 42 replies
Jul 19, 2013
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  1. This week the US’ three largest wireless carriers unveiled plans aimed at people who want to upgrade their smartphones more frequently than the usual two-year period attached to device subsidies. It’s all a bit complicated and there’s a lot of...

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  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,025   +665

    Most likely - never. Do not have one now. Us older folks may find it a lot easier to have tablet size or larger for that kind of stuff. I may breakdown and get a cell phone someday, but I'll probably just get by on VoIP and the laptop.

    If I were in the market, I might want to check the prices on the smartphones that others are trading in - and buy it once.
  3. I had been searching for my dream phone over the last couple years...
    In this order:

    1) 3gs, first smart phone, had no idea they were this incredible and what they were capable of
    2) iphone 4, needed front facing camera.
    3) lg p500?, someone said Android is way better, tried it, puked, returned to iphone 4
    4) Galaxy s2x, someone said Android was "fixed", tried it, semi-puked, returned to iphone 4
    5) HTC 8X, freind needed cash, tried it, nice, but no apps that I needed daily, return to iphone 4
    6) 3gs, lost iphone 4, went back to 3gs, still an incredible phone I think.
    7) Nexus 7, traded a pc for it, expected to hate it, loved 4.2.2 (not phone but see next 2 points)
    8) Note 2, got cheap, expected to love it, hated it, not pure google and not 4.2.2, back to 3gs
    9) Nexus 4 since supposed to be like nexus 7, it is! dream phone found.

    This is all in the last 2 years.
  4. Dyson Parkes

    Dyson Parkes TS Enthusiast Posts: 17   +8

    Age 14:
    First had a Samsung Fantasy - very useable phone, but due to a network change made by Telecom NZ I had to get a replacement.
    Age 16:
    Went to a cheap and nasty ZTE R100 (made specifically for Telecom). Used it for a fair while because it 'simply did it's job', but after a while I got sick of the lack of functionality and the really noisy buttons.
    Age 17 1/2:
    Went to a Blackberry Bold 9000 for a while, was pretty happy with that but NZ just doesn't support all the 'special' features that RIM build in.
    Age 18:
    Shifted to a Nokia N8, and loved it. FM transmitter built in? Brilliant! My absolute favorite feature in a phone so far. Unfortunately, support for Symbian ended and apps for things like TeamViewer and RDP just don't exist for it, so a shift was required for work following a role change.
    Age 19 1/2:
    I am now running a Samsung Galaxy S4, and while I am finding it to be a very good phone, I miss the transmitter and bulletproofing of my Nokia.
  5. nakamichi217

    nakamichi217 TS Rookie

    Smartphones are a great way to interact and stay connected on the go. However, when it comes to upgrading these devices, it is really quite simple. I have a high end smartphone with 1.7GHZ quad core processor with 2 GB of RAM. I'm using a Sharp Aquios phone SHL22 with a 4.9 inch screen. I plan on keeping the device for two years. After that I will sell my phone to a resale shop. I should get about $200 back. I can use that for the next phone I get. Keep this in mind smartphones are in a race to catch up with the performance of the standard laptop PC. This process will take about ten years to complete. Once the process is completed the sale of these devices will start to drop dramatically. People will eventually upgrade these devices every five years by the end of the next decade. But for now, if you have a high-end hand set it is better to upgrade every two years and not waste money. For people who have low end smartphones, they usually are not tech enthusiasts and don't care too much about performance and are usually light users. Frequent upgrades only apply to tech savvy people and people who can afford to do so. Bu t then again the average person does not know how to maintain their device properly. I look at a smartphone as a handheld computer with a touchscreen. The word "smartphone" is just a BS word that means nothing to me. I treat it the same as my regular home PC. The maintenance of the device is very important to keep it functioning in perfect condition for as long as possible. This is the key to having what you want and keeping it without worrying whether the device will become less stable. I treat all my electronics like they are made out of gold, because they mean that much to me. When you do this why do you need to upgrade them so frequently?
  6. Never owned a smart phone or a cell phone
    coppersloane likes this.
  7. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    4 years
  8. windmill007

    windmill007 TS Rookie Posts: 308

    2 years is about right. I resell my iPhone back for what I paid for it.
  9. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    let me just reiterate. I use it until the battery is dead dead, pop it open, and replace it with another battery myself until the 2nd battery is dead, or until the 3g modem is dead, or the wifi nic is dead. basically until the wheels fall off. that iphone 3g lasted me over 4 years, if it wasn't the fact the wifi module died, I would've popped that **** open again and replace it with my 3rd battery.
  10. coppersloane

    coppersloane TS Enthusiast Posts: 108   +33

    How much did this searching cost you in total?
  11. coppersloane

    coppersloane TS Enthusiast Posts: 108   +33

    I hate the smartphone industry with a passion.

    I remember a year ago, I went to our biggest mall in the area in search of a new case for my Nexus S. Whenever I'd ask a clerk if they had any cases, I'd tell them the model of my phone and they'd look at me like I was stuck in the past. AT THE TIME IT WAS ONLY A YEAR OLD!!! The goddamn phone was released in April of 2011! What kind of ***** upgrades in less than a year?

    I still have the damn thing, too. It works fine. If it gets bogged down with files stored on it, it runs slowly, but that's just incentive for me to be diligent about keeping it clean. It's been 2 years and 3 months now I've had this phone and people think I'm crazy. The only thing that tempts me to upgrade is to go Windows across all platforms, since I have Windows 8 on my desktop and Surface. I've been eyeing a Nokia Lumia, but I'm not going to break my wallet to get it.
    EEatGDL likes this.
  12. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Still on my first smartphone HTC Sensation XL. I have no plans to replace it in the near future. I find it does all I need. Use it for Internet (this site for example). It has FM radio and I can get the BBC digital radio via internet. Take photos when I don't have a camera on me. Does HD video. Occasionally listen to music. Play games etc. Can also maintain simple spreadsheets. Finally it can be used as a phone.

    My daughter is asking if she can upgrade from iPhone 3G. This may be done when my contract comes to an end.
  13. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    When it breaks and I can no longer get parts for it.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  14. @coppersloane

    1) 3gs: Bought used for $150
    2) iPhone 4: bought used for $200, sold 3gs for $150
    3) LG P500?: bought super sale for $75, immdeiatly sold for $75
    4) S2X: super cleanarence $150, sold for $150
    5) HTC 8X: extreme deal from girl :$100 sold for $375
    6) 3gs (again): $80 used.
    7) Nexus 7: $50 (what I paid for the PC)
    8) Note 2: used for $300, sold for $450
    9) Nexus 4: used for $200... keeping :)

    Over all, I have only basically put in $145 into finding (and owning) my dream phone :)
  15. TechGamer

    TechGamer TS Guru Posts: 370   +40

    What smartphone I still have the ones which can break a brick :) never bothered with cell phones haha
  16. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    When Droid 5 comes out.
    But it took me 2 years to upgrade from Droid to Droid 4.
  17. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 511   +152

    My first smartphone is the HTC Inspire. I've been contemplating upgrading ever since the 2 year mark. half a year later, my trigger finger just isn't itching and I'm likely to use this phone until it stops working. I'm using prepaid so there isn't any subsidizing contract scams to make me feel forced to upgrade.
  18. I upgrade when there's a substantial upgrade available, especially for the camera and network download speed.

    I have a Nokia N8 3.5G not-so-smartphone but the camera is fantastic (still better than the latest iPhone) so I'm still waiting for something the same size (must be discreetly pocketable so no Samsung S4), with a better camera and 4G.

    I've seen images out of Galaxy S4 and they seem on par with my Nokia so I guess I have to wait for that camera module to appear in a smaller body.
    Dyson Parkes likes this.
  19. I bought my Samsung C140 probably 6 or 7 years ago, because it was the cheapest unlocked phone I could find, and I still use it. I've never had the need of checking email or browsing the web while commuting, only to occasionally call someone. Count me as a dinosaur.
  20. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I've only ever had 1 smartphone. I don't use contracts so I only upgrade when it's necessary which is if I loose or break the phone. At the end of the day all smartphones do the same thing,.. Right?
  21. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,339   +843

    I have original HTC Desire (no contract) and there is no reason to upgrade cause the phone does everything that it needs to, plus I tweak every phone I have (Install faster ROM, overclock a bit, flash v6 and other scripts) so it's fast and opening everything in an instant. High end smartphones are simply an overkill cause you can to same stuff at same speed with mid-range sphones, especially if you tweak them.
  22. On both my Symbian phones, Nokia 5800 and N8, I am using RDP for at last 3 years! It is SymRDP and TRDP respectively . Software for Symbian still exist, just some developers are stopping to sell retail versions for their latest applications. Only corporate versions are getting regular upgrades.
  23. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,960   +218

    I upgrade frequently when I'm not happy about the phone I have, or miss some feature; but I never upgrade if I will loose something I really use.

    I have a Nokia N82 which I've had since July '08
    Now I also have a HTC One S company phone and I kinda like it, except the keyboard is too small, I need a slightly bigger phone. And it's soooo riddled which useless software that I don't need, uninstalling all crap would take me an eternity!

    What I want now is a phone with dual SIM slots so I can keep both my private & company number in the same phone, that phone will also need to have a good camera.
    It will be whichever phone arrives in Europe with this functionality, the HTC One already exists in China with this configuration, but I would prefer not to import it.
    I think I would love the new Nokia Lumia 1020 but unless it comes out in a dual SIM version it's ruled out...
  24. Alpha Gamer

    Alpha Gamer TS Evangelist Posts: 354   +116

    To be honest, I don't even know what a smart phone is. All the phones I've had in the past 9 years were given to me, because someone else upgraded theirs and didn't know what to do with the old one.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  25. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,877   +1,298

    When a significantly improved version of what I'm already using comes out. Last time around it was nearly two years. This time it may be never since I'm currently using a Bold 9900 and BB Inc seems determined to commit suicide. I'll probably end up getting another OS7 phone off Ebay unless BB wises up and restores the trackpad, improves (or largely eliminates) the gestures in OS 10, etc.

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