Upgrade or Buy a New Smartphone

Before I get started on my decision to buy a new smartphone or not,  I really need to give you some background information on this whole smartphone situation I have.

It started about a month and a half ago when I realized that my extremely old iPhone 3GS wasn’t able to download essentially any of the new apps in the App Store. Oh and you know that app that everyone uses, SnapChat, I never send anything because I don’t have a front facing camera. I’ve gotten a little crazy sometimes, done a few selfies, but it’s a bit dicey-I never know how it’s going to turn out. So it’s been a tough few months.

It’s actually started to get even worse, people have started to call me out on my lack of Snapchat use. “Why do you never send me any back?”. And then the other day I threw everyone a curveball. Because my phone sucks I had to reinstall Snapchat, and had to create a new account because I signed up at the beginning when emails were never used to register. I sent out new friend requests….and one of my friends actually responded back thinking I had got a new phone. It’s that bad….


So you may be asking yourself, why is she still living this way? That phone was made in 2009, a solid 5 years ago.

First off, if you haven’t already figured it out I’m pretty thrifty, trying to save money so I can travel or at least eat by the end of the semester. I’ve been using a text and call only plan since I started university and have never had a data plan (extra $’s you know). Nex,t and I think the most important part…my phone still works. Yes, I can’t use all those awesome new dating apps (Tinder and Grouper) which is a bit disappointing, but I can still call people and text everyone (so passe I know). Oh and I totally upgraded to caller id and voicemail a few months back so I’m really stepping up my game.

So why do we really upgrade our phones?

As a marketer in training I’m aware that phone manufacturers want us to upgrade, they make our old products obsolete despite the fact that they may still work and do the essentials. If I even tried to download IOS 7 I can’t even imagine what would happen to my phone. And then that starts the cycle of the phone being extremely out of date, you can’t download apps and your friends make fun of you. I also don’t have a data plan so I can’t exactly go and upgrade my phone through my cell phone provider without having to change my plan (more $’s). Social pressures and of course the lack of value added features you can no longer use, push people to go and upgrade or buy a new phone.

My situation and my advice to you

I have quite a few things I need to spend my money on right now and the first thing on my list isn’t a new phone (crazy I know). I have rent, food, food, food to pay for and possibly a trip to Europe or Asia to think about too.

One of the ways I think about spending is equating it to something else. For example;

Possible example purchase: Brand new iPhone (with the amazing new fingerprint reader OR coloured phone case) starting at $719 outright.

What else could I get with this?

  • $200 shy of a roundtrip flight to Italy
  • A month an a half of rent
  • A Canada Goose jacket (never going to happen)
  • About 350 coffee’s

The list could go on, and it all comes down to the decision about whether or not this is an essential purchase and if I should buy a new smartphone. If I broke my phone tomorrow and I didn’t have one, my thought process would be different (knocking on wood as I speak). My phone works, but I can’t Snapchat, use those awesome “dating” apps or take selfies. I’ll definitely consider it as a grad gift but right now I’ll subject myself to my life of mediocrity as a iPhone 3GS user. Hey it used to be the phone everyone wanted…5 years ago.

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  • I think you should definitely upgrade. I’m still using an old flip phone so I know what you mean because I can’t Snapchat either 🙁 I recently thought about getting the Galaxy S4, but then I thought the new S5 is coming out soon so maybe I’ll wait and get the newest one 🙂 Let us know what you decide to do. If you end up getting the new iPhone with the fingerprint reader, maybe I’ll get that one too 😀

    • Yup, I definitely will be getting a new phone at some point and will make sure to write about it at the very least. New phones are always coming out so I know what you mean, it’s never really a great time to get a new phone since another new one will be out in 8-12 months. But there is a point, like with mine, where it doesn’t really even function anymore lol

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