It’s not about wants, it’s about needs.
This is no news flash for most folks, but may be a shocking reality check for some. 99% of businesses rely on a mobile device to keep things running, and roughly 90% of the adult American population use a smartphone daily. So maybe we should consider phone upgrades as closely as we do say, getting a new car or home. Do you just run out and buy the first one on the lot with the most balloons? No. You Research, anticipate upkeep, insurance, etc. Why not do that for something as expensive as your car’s down payment, and more relied on?
Starting with ACCESSORIES!
Most importantly is protection. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t keep the first case we get. We upgrade, love it, get a big bulky case to save it from everything, then chunk that case because it doesn’t fit everywhere we want it to. So next stop is usually the mall or outlet store. Now if you have a common brand/model then you will have no problem finding stylish protection in all shapes and sizes. But if you went for that active or rugby style phone that was supposed to be bulletproof, or that new model the rep swears was the new thing, but maybe not, then you’re gonna have a bad time.
Make sure you select a popular, well advertized model that you can find all the add-ons and protection you need from just about every retail location. This is very important, hence why I started off with it. It not only allows you to get the most out of your upgrade, but it also helps you protect it so you can go longer before needing another.
Don’t let it AFFECT your health!
We all see those phablets, people basically talking into what looks to be iPads! About as practical as mudders on a Ferrari. But trends have many folks buying ridiculous things. Back to reality… So your phone comes out your pocket roughly 100+ times a day! Each time your hand has to grip it. Did you know that tennis elbow is getting more popular for folks that don’t do any work or leisure to cause it? It’s because their upgrade was bigger than the last device and they have to use new muscles too frequently. So get a good feel for your upgrade!
Pick up the phone, forget trends and friends opinions, and hold it as you normally would. Swipe your thumb as shown above in the picture. If you can’t get within a half inch from the top of the display, then it’s too big for you. If you need to see larger images, then you need a tablet. Not a phone/tablet hybrid. Also, careful of the super bright screens. They cause sleep deprivation and eye strain. That super vivid screen is nice at first. But over time can really give you a headache!
Don’t give your life away!
You put every moment and detail on your phone, make sure your upgrade is able to secure those details and financials too!
We have came a long way, but not far enough. Phones are now the target of choice for hackers. And with google pay, android pay, apple pay, virtual wallets, and more, we need security. With iPhones and other Apple OS devices, there is a .01% chance you’ll ever experience a hack, and even then it is usually just photos. And due to the lack of popularity, Blackberry rarely sees issues. Windows and androids though, are regular target. And being open source, they are easiest to manipulate. So be sure if you are getting an android or windows phone you can get a good antivirus to install on your new upgrade.
But even with antiviruses and iOS lockdown, the most common hack lies in the human brain. If someone calls from and important number, sounds important, and says enough to trigger fear, you will likely hand over personal info to a scammer. The IRS, Government, Local Authorities, (ANYONE IMPORTANT ENOUGH), will already have all your info, and will never handle important business over the phone or email. They will simple request a face to face appointment. THEN YOU KNOW IT’S REAL! Otherwise, hang up, and forget about it. Same with pop ups. “We’ve detected this or that or this device, pay or we will report you” NO, THEY WON’T. They can’t. It’s a scam.
COMPATIBILITY, Match. com for you and your upgrade!
You’d be surprised how many apps haven’t caught up or been maintained! Also, many times, the “NEW” devices are still running and older OS (Mainly an issue amongst android) because the hardware isn’t sufficient in one area or another, or they haven’t revised the OS to fit that hardware setup. Also, your car radio, home surround, etc may not be able to work with it either. Things to consider.
Worst case scenario (We have actually seen) is a person get a new phone, and none of their current accessories or other syncable consumer electronics will work with it. Upgrade your phone for $200, but need another $3,000 to replace everything else to keep the party going! Not fun.
repairability, cause 1 in 3 will break it.
#1 reason people say no to a repair, is cost. You get a iPhone upgrade, shatter the screen, and you have options. $150 insurance (Not recommended, you’ll get a poorly refurbished device), $120-$200 at Apple depending on model, or $70-$240 at a local shop depending on model. Or replace it completely for $600+ which most will not. Get a New Galaxy S7 Edge upgrade, the one the sales rep gets the most money from selling you. Break it’s screen, and you’re at $300 via samsung, $325 at local shop, or $200+ depending on insurance provider. Wow huh! Break that HTC upgrade screen, usually around $100 insurance, or $100 local shop.
Before you buy, ask about the insurance deductibles, options, and call around to get repair costs. Then find out which bill fits your pocket book. Also know that some phones tend to become problems after any repair. Some become useless after one drop. Just dig a little before you buy. BUT DON’T ASK THE CARRIER REP, he’s making commission and want’s you to buy what pays him/her the most!
brand quality, BECAUSE they are not the same.
So, this is the sensitive subject because no matter what brand I say, you’ll think I am on a bandwagon… I am not. I open, work on, and research daily. Top Brands are Samsung, Apple, HTC, LG, and Motorola. Other brands with decent build quality are Nokia, Blackberry, and Nokia. ZTE is trying to get there, but still not up to par by my standards.
Apple has ultra high engineering standards. Nobody is perfect, but who else hires 16 top level techs to design one processor? But even Apple releases budget line products with cut corners to appease those with shallow pockets. That may be your cup of tea, but I’d rather have a 2 year old top line device, than a brand new cut corner device. Samsung is the world’s worse here. They release S3 and S4 tech in new shells with cheaper screens to create $100 phones to release something “NEW” every month. HTC also does this a little with the desire line, as well as LG with their cheaper phones. Again, great business move, but I would rather have the two year old S5 used, than a brand new Core Prime.
On To Speed (Took us long enough…)
With all these tech numbers, teraflops and gigabits, mbps and MGHz, what does it mean? Well, that’s a whole post in it’s own. But the main way to test, is to open about 6 to 10 popular apps all at once, and then jump on something like facebook and see if at any point it lags. If it does, it will be 2x slower outside that signal boosted store. Everything always works better at the store. And once you load it up with all your photos and apps, it will hurt it even more. But the GHz of the processor isn’t super important as it used to be.
You can have three 1.5 GHz processors, each next to 2Gb of ram. depending on power supply, core setup, and quality of the chips, they will vary GREATLY in end performance. One will like multitasking, but not so much on graphic speed. The other may not like either because it was poorly made. But then one phone may have a fine tuned 1.4 GHz with 1.5Gb or ram and blow all three away in all areas. The only real test, is forcing it to see how much you can do (That you normally do) before it glitches.
On to features (most important, bottom list item)
What exactly do you ACTUALLY need it for. If you’re a business person, then emails, Texts, Calls, PDF editing, and logistics apps will riddle it. If you’re a teenager, you will likely be watching videos, playing games, and blowing up social media. If you’re a middle aged mom of 4 then your camera will likely be the most used app, next to pinterest and DIY YouTube Channels. You need to figure this much out and make sure your upgrade is keen on those things.
If messaging is big, you might want to consider iPhone with the iMessage features everyone loathes. If you photo shoot, look at LG. If you’re a gamer, android may tickle your fancy. If a business man, Definitely Apple or Blackberry for functionality and security and cross device, seamless work flow.
Price, honestly the least important part!
So, most people start here. They want the cheapest upgrade, not knowing it could cost more in the long run. Or be riddled with headaches. Also, many fall for the trade in schemes. “You’ll get $150 for your old device!” Which would be awesome, except that they are usually worth twice that!
So you’re headed in for a new phone, and you have the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6, (About $300-$350 resale value) and your looking at the new phones. They are $650-$700 retail. They offer you $150 trade in and give you a $50 bill credit (Free for them). So you still pay $400-$450 but it’s broken up over 12-18 months so you don’t feel it so hard. IF you’re happy with that, by all means. But if you don’t have a money tree, let’s propose another scenario.
So you price phones at the store. Then decide to buy from a local small business like us. So that same new phone that the Carrier has for $650, we have for $550. Still mint, so you can still run and get insurance on it. Still under warranty. Now you sell your old phone for $300 on Facebook or craigslist. You come out of pocket about $200/$250. Still have an upgrade available on your account, bill stays the same, and you still get the same upgrade.
Last scenario, you trade your Galaxy S6 for a Core Prime because it’s bigger and “Newer” and spend $0 after upgrade. You quickly find it’s not half the phone as your S6 was and your highly aggravated but your S6 is long gone.
Start by making sure that the upgrade you’re getting will serve your needs, be easy to maintain, and last you a good while. All while being easy on the budget and body. Let it really be an UPGRADE, and not just a life switch. And if you ever need honest advice on new products, feel free to Contact Us for help. As the longest running, most experienced tech shop in town, we hope you can trust us to help you with all your tech needs and advice.
Thank you for reading, and have an awesome day!