Talk me into/out of getting a new phone

iPhone 7 here, 5 years old next month. Maybe the battery drains more quickly than it used to? Other than that no major issues.

I’ve always had iphones & will stick with apple when I upgrade.

I can afford a new phone.
I’m cheap and don’t usually buy stuff I don’t really need.
Everyone else in the family has newer phones that I paid for. I rarely do nice things for myself. Then again, maybe I’d rather have 10 massages than a new phone. Then again, maybe I will start the massage route but then be forced to buy a new phone bc 5yo phones can quit working without warning.

I may or may not make this decision based on the advice I am soliciting.

Hubby says yes new phone. But he always says yes to anything I want bc I so rarely voice my wants.

Practically speaking…isn’t your phone randomly stop working without warning a hassle? Maybe not reason in and of itself but it can add to the list.

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I’ll just tell you my story and let you do with it what you will.

I started with the iphone 6, and held onto it to the bitter end, upgrading to the X.
I, too, tend to not be on the cutting edge of technology, getting every last bit of value as I can out of what I already have…generally speaking.

Recently, we upgraded to the 12…so only about half as long b/t upgrade as the previous iteration.

Here’s the deal, we got a good chunk of money for selling/trading in our old X phones (tmobile) since they still had resale value, so the cost of the upgrade was lessened quite a bit by getting rid of the old phones.

Whereas, before, I didn’t have payments for two years (and old i-phones that are, effectively, now i-pods), in this instance I had the fancy schmancy new phone at a price that was close to not having payments for two years (or maybe one year…the details are fuzzy).

Added bonus: the chick at Target saw that I had the 12 version and commented on it (insignificant signals, amirite?)

Bottom line: I have a better product (especially battery life) for not an exorbitant amount of money more.

Another bottom line: I probably would’ve been happy with the older phone if not for the sucky battery life, but after using the new phone for a while and going back to the old phone, it’s an immediate reaction of "How did I ever live with such a small screen? …without face id, etc.

I’ve generally upgraded phones when the battery life becomes annoyingly short (although I did go a bit longer than that when I had a phone where the battery was user-serviceable).

Other possible considerations:

  • Does your phone run a version of iOS that is currently receiving security updates?
  • Are there any apps that you use that are no longer receiving updates because you’re stuck on an older OS?
  • Do you use the camera enough to justify updating?

Just updated ios, seems ok
On the camera thing, the 7 is supposedly much better than my previous phone but my photography skills are lacking so I never noticed a difference. There is a wedding coming up though…


I doubt you will get much/any trade-in value for the 7 (I think the bottom of the curve is the 8). So, you’ll be paying full freight.

Do you take a lot of photos? Camera quality and editing capabilities have vastly improved.

Do you watch videos on your phone? Image quality has improved.

Does the 7 have 5G capability? Do you care?

How much storage does the current phone have? Do you need more?

See MS’s OS concerns above.

Which one are you looking at? (Assuming you will stay w/ Apple–good choice) I just got my wife an 11 for like $10/month for $36 months. You can always pay it off early or up front. It’s the normal sized 11, but still a little bigger than her old 8.

Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself. If it’s not a financial detriment, do it. Short-term dopamine rush, longer-term confidence your phone won’t crap out right when you need it.

And, these days, it’s really easy to transfer info. Can do it with bluetooth with one phone next tot he other.

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I went from a 6 to a 12. As a non-photographer I really didn’t care about any of the hardware changes, and it worked fine so long as the battery worked. When it finally cut down to not working through a full day I made the switch.

The camera on the 12 is AMAZING (compared to the X)

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Went from a 6 to some variety of the 10. I had held on for a long time with a shit battery and carried a portable battery and charger everywhere because it was so bad, it wouldn’t get me through an hour of GPS without needing a charge and it got worse from there.

Eventually I hit a night I forgot to have it plugged in and needed to charge it for more than a day just for it to turn on, that was especially bad and the breaking point. It was going to cost me 1/3 of the cost of a nicer phone just to replace the battery. In retrospect I was stubborn for about 9-12 months too long, should have just replaced it once an external battery was not just convenient but necessary.

I think that I am being frugal for making my kids wait 4 whole years between upgrades. 5 years is a long, long life. Go ahead and treat yourself, but wait until after the iphone 13 is announced and get a discounted iphone 12.

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Battery fire, anyone?

Oh…the battery on the 6 was dreadful…I was able to replace it on two of our phones after ordering a kit from some DIY phone battery store. They had really nice, clear instructions. Unfortunately, after doing the first one I got cocky and did the 2nd one too quickly, thus damaging something inside such that the entire phone didn’t work. I was all mad at myself because in trying to save a few hundred for having someone else do it, I spent a bunch of money for the parts & kit and will still have to pay a few hundred (if not more now) to have someone else do it. Before giving up I had the bright idea to switch some part between the two, and, miraculously, that worked, though the thumbprint thing no longer did.

Historically my go-to has always been to buy off Craigslist, Facebook Market, etc. - I would insist they meet me at a phone store and once it’s activated I’d pay them. Got a couple phones a few generations behind for $100 or so that way before I made the plunge on a refurbished one that was one generation old from Amazon.

That might be a middle ground for OP if he’s hesitant to get a new/nearly-new phone. Either Craigslist or Amazon. The Craigslist way is cheaper but could be more work than it’s worth. Also, one of the phones I got had a broken thumbprint reader. Didn’t really care but it could have been nice.

[John S. Mill] Money you haven’t spent isn’t your money [/John S. Mill] something something buy a new phone.


:laughing: But if I save my money and then spend more of it later, doesn’t that mean I’m richer and because you can’t spend any more you’re poorer? /s

In actuality I’d recommend just buying a refurbished a couple of gens back and holding onto it until it, too, annoys you. I’ve used that a few times after someone on the AO recommended it. Never had any issues. Sorry I don’t remember who recommended it (I believe they used to run a used phone store)

I only make it about 3 years between new phones, since that’s when androids generally stop receiving updates. I think apples are 5 years, and if so, it’s time for you to get a new phone.

This is a simple cost benefit decision.

New phone costs say 700. Or whatever a new iPhone costs.

Doubtful that software, apps or usability will be any different. There no new killer apps.

Battery life, depends on what your old one is like.

Camera, maybe better, but I’ve never met anyone that could tell the difference.

Screen size maybe if you want bigger or smaller for some reason.

Tldr of that is, different size or battery life, if you care for 700 bucks. Otherwise, it’s an apple sales job.

That’s why I rarely upgrade my phone. Though when I do, I get pretty much the best.

Counterpoint, I’m sure your income is such that you don’t have to do a CBA on a 700 phone.

Has anyone done an analysis on PV(owning a cell phone, in perpetuity)?

Or, add a mortality factor to make it interesting.

Something like $700 * PV ($1, every five years).

Then, you can decide on the importance of having a phone (pretty important these days), or the cost you are willing to pay every five years, or should you give it another year or two, etc.
I just got a new phone from AT&T. After the discount my employer gives me, I paid for the sales tax. So, my formula has very different factors from yours.

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