Compare and Recycle

When Do I Upgrade My Phone?

Woman holding a smartphone upgrade

When Do I Upgrade My Phone?’ seems like a simple question to which the answer is - when you need one. But, there’s a lot more to it and it can be a confusing place to be. For starters, how do you know whether or not you need to upgrade your phone? There are some obvious signs that your mobile phone may be on its last legs such as recent water damage or it no longer receiving software and security updates. Both reasons are valid, but with tech giants pushing out new models on a  yearly basis, we get the temptation for a new phone and end up upgrading for the wrong reasons. So, in this blog we’ll go over the signs when you genuinely need to upgrade your phone.

How Do I Know When To Upgrade My Phone?

There are key signs that are indicators as to whether you actually need to upgrade your phone or at least start thinking about upgrading it. A common reason that many people choose to upgrade their phone is because of new phone releases which can be irresistable. But if there is nothing wrong with your phone in terms of functionality and you are still able to get the latest updates, then we suggest keeping hold of your phone for longer. Especially, when in reality our demand for smartphones is detrimental to the environment in terms of how much e-waste this creates.

Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Phone

It No Longer Receives Software and Security Updates

If your phone stopped receiving security and software updates, then it most likely is too old and the manufacturer has dropped the support for it. This will put your personal information and data at risk as without regular security patch updates your phone may become vulnerable to malware attacks and is one of the most serious reasons as to why at this point you have to upgrade your phone.

It Has Incurred Cosmetic Damage and Is Unsafe To Use

If you’ve dropped your phone a few times and it has a couple of scratches then you shouldn’t be in a rush to upgrade your phone. On the contrary, if your phone's screen is severely broken to the point where pieces of glass are falling off causing the screen's surface to become sharp, then you should definitely consider getting it repaired. However, if the cost of repairs outweighs the cost of buying a new device, then obviously your best bet is to replace it with a brand new phone or a refurbished phone.

You Keep Running Out Of Storage

That annoying notification telling you you’ve run out of storage starting to bug you? Well, it may be time to purchase more storage or offload the data from your phone onto cloud storage solution. Other options include buying a new phone or if your phone has a slot for a microSD card consider using that.

Poor Battery Life

Over time, your phone battery will naturally start to degrade, leading to an overall performance drop. If you find that your phone doesn’t last the full day and you need to charge it multiple times throughout the day, then you may be needing an upgrade. On the other hand, poor battery life doesn't always mean you need a new phone immediately. It could be resolved by fitting a new battery into your phone. But anyway take it as a warning that poor battery life means replacement, either of the battery itself or an upgrade to a new phone.

It Has Malfunctioning Hardware Beyond Repair

Contact with any liquid might render your phone unusable and might cause malfunctioning buttons, microphone or irreversable screen damage. In this case, we would highly recommend upgrading to a new phone or buying a refurbished phone.

When it's time to upgrade your phone, it's definitely crucial to find a balance between tech advancements, personal needs, and environmental responsibility. By making informed decisions and prioritising longevity over upgrades based on the latest products, you can ensure that you save money but also make the most of your device before you decide to recycle your phone.

FAQs When Upgrading Your Phone

As you can imagine, there is an abundance of mobile phones to choose from. From the latest releases to the ever growing variety of refurbished phones, which by the way are as good as new, just cheaper and better for the environment. Phone upgrades in general are easy once you've decided to go ahead, but here are a few frequently asked questions and answers that will make it a breeze for you.

Environmental Impact of Phone Upgrades

As you can probably imagine, frequent phone upgrades come with a lot of environmental consequences that are often overlooked. Unfortunately, each new phone requires the extraction of raw materials such as metals and rare earth elements, leading to pollution, and the loss of natural resources. Additionally, phones that are not recycled and properly disposed of contribute to e-waste which as you know causes even more issues for the environment and the communities surrounding landfills.

What Can You Do

The good news is that we can play a huge role in the reduction of e-waste and the mountain of problems that come with it. If we consciously try to reduce how frequently we upgrade our mobile phones and tech gadgets and extend the lifespan of them, we’ll be able to mitigate these environmental impacts. 

The energy-intensive production and transportation processes associated with phone manufacturing further exacerbate carbon emissions and climate change.

Upgrading to a Refurbished Phone

For most people, the cost of a new phone is one of the main factors to consider and opting for a refurbished phone can significantly lighten the load on your bank account! Since refurbished devices are the ones that have been returned to the manufacturer or a company like Compare and Recycle, they are are sold at a much lower cost in comparison to a brand new phone, you can enjoy quality tech without breaking the bank. Refurbished phones are thoroughly inspected, repaired if necessary, and then resold for a lower price. This makes them a great option for budget-conscious people who still want to enjoy the latest tech.


So there you have it! A quick run through of all you need to know when it comes to upgrading your phone. As you can tell, there are a wide range of options and there is one that is bound to suit your needs. It’s vital to understand what sort of contract you have and find out what limitations there are when it comes to upgrading your phone. For those who are on a sim only plan and simply want to find a new plan or contract that is in line with their needs and requirements, then there are also an array of ways to ensure they get the best deal, whether it be with a refurbished phone or a brand new one.


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