You might consider yourself a savvy shopper, a bargain hunter able to spot a deal without squinting. But the hunt for the best deals never ends, and we have some great money saving tips that you may appreciate when you are looking to upgrade your device.

To begin with, the ultimate tip and it will always be THE ONE - checking certified refurbished phones first. Why? Because they are same quality phones, just rigorously tested and refurbished to quality standards for a smaller price than a brand new model. They are more environmentally-friendly too because raw materials were not mined to produce them. Samsung released its new S10 series just a month ago and the Galaxy S10 Plus already joined our certified refurbished range (but the stock is very limited for now, so keep your eyes peeled).

Tip 1: Timing is key

Good things happen to those who wait, right?
Holding onto your current phone for a little longer after a new phone gets released can be tough. We all know those mouth-watering ads screaming at you how amazing the new model with all the latest specs is. We get caught on those too. But so many generations of phone releases taught us that skipping early upgrades does pay off.

First batch of shiny and sleek devices is insanely expensive and there have been occasions that users been getting phones with issues. Dull displays, missing features, units without OS, random reboots - that's not something you're expecting straight out of the box having paid £700 + for the handset.

Within nine months post release, when the dust settles, manufacturer's drop prices to appeal to those who are considering to buy but put that decision on hold with the expectation of seeing a price reduction soon follow. Waiting requires a lot of patience, but it's worth it and you can gloat at your friends' impulse buy because they paid way more for the same phone than you did.

Just look at the latest iPhone XS. Supply didn't catch the demand and sales weren't going that great so Apple hinted at its plans to drop prices. It is a common experience among manufacturers to discount current generation phones after the new device launch events. So if you're not that bothered about having the latest chipset, than look at year old phones that mobile companies discount to clear the stock.

On the other hand, if you bagged an absolute gem that is still perfect and functions as it should, then keep it. That's a no-brainer. You decide when you change phones, not the companies selling them to keep their yearly profits going up.

Tip 2: Specifications versus brand

It is easy to get sucked into one ecosystem or continue to upgrade to iPhones only just because couple years ago they were the best on the market. By not doing the research and missing out on alternatives, you're limiting yourself and the manufacturer remains the one winning. We're living in great times when you can find same internals in a phone as Android flagships come with or camera specs better than on the iPhones.

When it's time for you to move on, make a list of your phone priorities: display size, battery life, camera quality, OS. Collect the potential phones in your 'to consider bank' and do your homework. Check reviews, hands on videos and filter your collection according to your budget. When looking for information, you will definitely hear about less known brands that are rivalling tech giants. Head over to GSMArena and use their handy compare tool.

Bonus tip: When choosing model’s storage capacity, go with a lowest option and (only if extra space is genuinely needed) sign up for cloud storage service. Basic storage models are better value and more eco-friendly.

Tip 3: Avoid interest charges

We know, no one likes to spend big amounts upfront, but do you like overpaying for your contract? We thought not.

Pay as much as you can upfront towards the cost of your phone and pick a deal that you can afford and pay off early. If you can buy a phone outright, then do that. It will save you money in the long run. Always check the total cost figure when viewing a contract deal to avoid signing up for something that just seems cheap.

When searching for the right contract deal on Compare and Recycle, the total cost is shown right below the monthly payments.

Tip 4: Super smart thing to do with your old phone

Trade in your old phone. It is the most important tip to keep in mind. Two main reasons: you save money that can go towards your new tech investment AND you keep your old phone away from landfill, offsetting its environmental impact created long before it ended up in your ownership. If you've taken care of your device, it is worth a few extra ££. Even if it has a crack on the screen or damage to the rear, merchants will still buy it from you. Extra cash for a piece of tech that would be otherwise sitting in your junk drawer or worse polluting the environment sounds like a savvy move, right?

Tip 5: Learn to fix it

Majority of us want to ditch their current phone due to:

  • A few chips here and there
  • Poor battery performance
  • Storage running low

Let's assume you slapped a screen protector on your phone the very moment it was 'born' from the box and you always kept it in a case, how can we deal with the other two bullet points?

Latest OS versions have an amazing feature called Battery Management (and other name variations) or if you don't have it there are apps that will do that for you. Visit Battery Health section once in a while and pay attention to your battery capacity measurement. If it is close to 50% and your phone is still in warranty, send it off for battery replacement and your phone is good to serve you another year or two.

If you've got a MicroSD slot, you can extend your phone's storage quite easily by purchasing a bigger microSD card, current tech goes up to 1TB if needed. Alternatively, you can go a more extreme route and reset your phone to factory settings and start fresh. This way will help you to get rid of unnecessary apps and other junk. But remember to back up your data before!

There is always a DIY option if that accidental drop did significant damage to your phone. The web is a marvellous place where you can find lots of repair enthusiasts and tutorial videos how to replace back covers and all sorts of repair advice. Here at Compare and Recycle a few clumsies from our team replaced their phone's display and we've witnessed several in-house repairs of S8's back cover.

Blog's cover image: FreePik