How Often Do You Upgrade Your Phone? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Ads by Google

polls   How Often Do You Upgrade Your Phone? [MakeUseOf Poll]Last week we asked you about how and if you make use of apps when you work out or try to lose weight. Apparently, there’s no one solution the majority of you prefer; rather, the votes were almost equally dispersed between the different options.

Out of 180 votes in total, the breakdown was as follows: 21% use both a mobile and Web interface for their exercise, 18% use a combination of several different apps, 16% use a mobile app and 9% use a Web app or another online service. A full 26% don’t use any app at all, and 11% don’t care about exercise and weight loss at all.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

So all in all, the majority of the voters don’t use any app at all. Surprising for such a tech-loving community as MakeUseOf. Don’t forget to read last week’s best comment by Temmuz Onur Deniz Güzel!

poll results sept 29   How Often Do You Upgrade Your Phone? [MakeUseOf Poll]

This week’s poll question is: How Often Do You Upgrade Your Phone?

Want to make some extra MakeUseOf reward points? The most useful comment on the poll will be awarded 150 points!

In this day and age, a phone upgrade is becoming more and more frequent. Where once we used to stay with the same device for as long as five years, today, with new models coming out every year, the temptation to upgrade often is bigger than ever before. Not a year has passed since the iPhone 4S came out, and there’s a new one out already. Samsung and HTC release new models pretty much every year, and even Nokia are not left behind. Each new smartphone is better, slicker and faster than the older model, and we’re left with something that feels old incredibly quickly after getting it. On the other hand, a new device costs money, a lot of money, not to talk about the environment, which suffers from the increasing rate of upgrades. So where do you stand? How often do you upgrade your phone?

Ads by Google

Why do you choose to upgrade as often as you do? What do you think about upgrading often? Or upgrading seldom? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Check out more about:

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.



I’ve had my Straighttalk phone for 3 years now, dropped it so many times, and it still works for me :)


same case is with me. I have nokia 2626 for last 5 years. It also dropped so many times even heavily but it never complained :)


I should add that one time I didn’t actually have a choice in the matter. I made the mistake of leaving my phone on the kitchen counter one night. The next morning, I made breakfast and when I was done with the dishes, I ran the garbage disposal. Oh, what a horrible sound! Turns out one of my cats (and I know exactly which one!) batted the phone into the sink drain. I turned it off as fast as I could, but there was no hope for the phone. The SIM card did survive, but I had to replace the phone.

Yaara Lancet

That’s horrible! Good thing I don’t have a garbage disposal, I’m sure one of my cats would have done that long ago.

Abdelkader Hadj-Aissa

i upgrade only if there’s really useful features in the new phone that can’t be found in the older one

Henry Lahman

I usually try to upgrade every 1 1/2 years

I get the 2 year contract and upgrade early

It’s really that after 2 years the latest software let alone hardware is sick

john swiman

I am a heavy user of moble phones and they are essentia for my work. I upgrade when the phone begins to misfunction and or there are major chnages to applications that are essential which my moble phone can not handle. Basically a moble phone is that a phone for people on the go.

Another reason for not purchasing a NEW model when they come to the market is that the economics of advancements such as from 3G to 4G is not worth the additional costs of owning and using a phone. Plus the fact that not all areas around the world are able to support many of the applications that come to the market. This is especially true for many areas in of Central and South America, most of aftice and a few places in Asia.

Yaara Lancet

Thanks for the comment! You should log in to MakeUseOf, such comments can earn you 150 points. :)

D. K.

I use my phones for about 1 – 2 years. If I can get a cheap and good phone, mostly I take it. Currently I have an iPhone 4 (got it for free) for about an half year and it’s still good enough for my daily use. Previously I had an cheap Android phone for about 18 months and I would have had buy a new phone if the iPhone wasn’t there.
So there is a fix lifetime for my phones, I choose a new one if I can get one for free (e.g. from family members) or for a really chap price :-)
I think today the hardware of the phones is more than enough, the only problem of smartphones is the software update (especially android, but there are custom roms)


I only upgrade if the new phone has intriguing features and hardware. I have recently upgraded to galaxy s3.

Yaara Lancet

Nice phone!

Reuben Walker

I chose “Only when my older phone is no longer usable,” though that may not be entirely true any more. My first phone died, my second (and current) phone is almost dead, and I’ve just bought two phones to replace it, so my phone buying strategy may be changing.

(Why 2 phones? I reckon that to know which is better (iPhone vs Galaxy S3), you need to use both.)

Yaara Lancet

Interesting, so you bought both an iPhone (which model?) and a Galaxy S3? Which one do you like better so far?


It’s complicated. I bought the Galaxy outright, and tried getting the iPhone 5 on a plan. Apparently due to my age (18, legally old enough in AU), I’m still too young in Telstra’s eyes. I tried again using my Mum’s name (with permission), Telstra said no again, with no reason. I would try again using Dad’s, but last time I checked they weren’t taking orders.

So I moved to option 2, and tried with Optus. They cancelled my order, and I’m waiting for a response from Mum’s order.

All this started on the night of the 14th of September, when Telstra started taking pre-orders.

I’m liking the Galaxy over my iPod Touch, but that’s possibly because my iPod is really slow due to being dropped twice and only having half of the screen. (Apart from the speed issues, and the occasional crash (two or three a day), it still works.)

Joshua Gesmundo

I only changed my phone if they stop functioning unless one of my family gave up their “latest” gadget to me. I just got the iPhone 3G recently and replaced my Nokia 5130. (yeah, all of my other phones are hand-me-down [faulty as always] but my 5130 is still working but my mom need it because her phone was bit to dust. She isn’t tech savvy so she said my phone will do.)

Igor Rizvi?

Every two to three years,i tend to be in the medium end phones if its possible for be to buy one at the time:)


My phones are a combination of hand me downs and 2 yearly contract upgrades.

In the last 18 months I have had a bad run with phones, all of them having to be replaced due to various issues: BB Bold – navigation button faulty; BB Curve – loan while looking for new phone; HTC – Dead Pixels and now Galaxy S3.

In the last couple of years, I have come to the conclusion that phones are only made to last about 18 months. After this time battery life goes from poor to shocking at which point you start looking for the next one…

Tug Ricks

Wouldn’t it be more economical to just buy another battery instead of a new phone?

Yaara Lancet

That depends on the model. You can’t change the battery on some phones… which very much limits their survival time.

Cutler f

Whenever my contract runs out, I get a new phone. Simple as that!


My first phone was Motorola L6i. It was a basic phone, nothing fancy. I used for 3+ years. Then, my dad bought two Nokias and gifted one to me. I would have probably continued for a year or more if I hadn’t received the Nokia. It seems weird to other people that a person is using a “dumb”phone in a smartphone era. The thing is that, the Motorola was still working perfectly and since I had got used to it I hadn’t used any smartphone till then, I didn’t feel the need of upgrading. I bought a HTC desire a year after because Nokia hanged/crashed on me very often. That’s surprising because the L6i never crashed or hanged. Barely 6 months after that I won HTC Radar from HTC, and it is my current phone. Looking back, I think I would have continued using my Motorola for a couple of years more because it fulfilled the purpose of a phone and worked just fine.

All my friends had smartphone and I was still with L6i but I felt that I had nothing to lose. On the other hand my friends always cribbed at the launch of a new smartphone launch or on announcement of the new version of their smartphone OS.

I think when one switches from dumb to smartphone, the switch automatically compels the user to upgrade from time to time because the launch cycle of new phones is very short; your smartphone is entitled to only 2 major OS upgrades, usually. You feel like you’re outdated.

Yaara Lancet

I totally agree. I was late to the smartphone party as well — had an old Nokia until it complete broke into pieces. I then took on my boyfriend’s old Acer, which I still use, and it looks like I’m now getting an old Galaxy S from my sister.

Sure enough, as long as I had the Nokia, I didn’t really care. As soon as I switched to Android, I started feeling like my device is really outdated, which is funny, considering it was much newer and more sophisticated than the Nokia…

Reý Aetar

as long as it works no worry :D upgrades sometimes doesnt suits


The technology is changing daily so the smartphones we buy today becomes useless after 2-3 years. So it becomes a necessary to buy a new smartphone after 2 or 3 years. That’s what I feel.


I can get where you’re coming from, as I sort of feel the same way. However, what do you think a smartphone’s primary functions are? I think even older models are perfectly functional and useful, thought they may not be as impressive as newer devices. The idea that a 2 year old phone is useless seems more like clever marketing than reality to me.


I agree. We simply get spoiled and feel the need to move on when a new phone comes out with features that obviously aren’t vital to the majority. The primary use of my phone is texting and the occasional call. Web browsing is somewhat handy, but is usually unnecessary with a laptop. People who upgrade anually or bi-anually are either loaded and figure they might as well or are just extremely materialistic (or both).

Nuno Catarino

I upgrade my phone when it lacks functionality regarding to connecting to new apps.

salim benhouhou

when i have the money i will be happy to throw away my old phone and buy a better one

Wouter Ruelens

The battery of my phone gave up on me after 2.5 year, so I think it isn’t worth it to buy a new one before that.


I bought a new battery for my phone for $10 on Amazon. Isn’t that a bit cheaper than a new phone?

Boni Oloff

Well,, I am a techno freak, but when it goes to buy new stuff, i don’t have much money :)
The first time i bought something really i want and use my own money just to buy my iPhone 4S 64GB, I really excited about it so i try to save money to bought it :)


Actually i didn’t find the option i was looking for. I change my phone usually when something amazing comes up compared to my current phone and well within my budget.
Example even now i have an Optimus One, it’s been an year i got this and it’s running smooth. But with launch of Xperia U within my range i am planning to switch.
So basically a model that has it’s 4P’s all set as per me forces me to change my phone :D

Yaara Lancet

I guess every 2 years is about right for you then. Smartphones come out so quickly, something amazing is bound to come out at least every two years. :)


working with LG Voyager Titanium i’ve had for nearly six years. every time i look on Verizon site, the selection sucks for cellphones. wife’s old one gave out after five years and she got a Pantech Jest 2 that she cannot stand. son had Chocolate he traded in for another model after 3 years that sucked so much he reverted back to the Chocolate for another 2 years. another son felt the same way about the replacement that he got for whatever stupid model he had that he switched to the third son’s old Convoy 2. the third son has a Sharp Kin 2 he also cannot wait to get rid of. the point is, Verizon’s president has said he doesn’t want anyone renewing their cellphones and wants everyone to upgrade to smartphones with data plans — so all they’re offering is absolute garbage devices to those of us who cannot afford to live the good life (connected 24/7).

Freecycle Me

I have only ever bought one phone an Orange SPV and that broke after a year. All my other phones have been second hand, given by friends though I have done quite well. My first was an Nokia banana phone, the Nokia 8110 as used in the first The Matrix film. I now have an old Sony Ericsson clamshell. Sure I would love an iphone but I only spend less than 30 UKPounds a year on pay as you go, even with two kids and a life! My priorities are not for the latest gadget phone, but I can see why for those with the money, it is.

Sushil Kathpalia

actually i purchased nokia 2700c 3 years ago today it works like i purchased new one but today’s nokia phone did not last 2 or more years….
i voted for “Only when my older phone is no longer usable.”

Kyle MacDonald

I normally try to upgrade every 1.5 to 2 years when my contract gives me an upgrade discount. I get tired of my phone occasionally but then I find something different and it satisfies me for a few more months.


I just upgraded from a Nokia Standard phone which i was using from 5 years, and I’ve finally got a Smartphone, Galaxy Note. ! :) Love it so much !.. :) it was worth the wait :)

Yaara Lancet

That’s quite an upgrade!


I voted every 2 years, but my galaxy s2 seems to be getting a bit tired. I think if I could get a solid jelly bean rom I could hold out till next summer.


Being deaf I only use it for text

Ahmed Khalil

5 years now i have old nokia mobile and still not change it

Chetan Chandgothia

Generally I do it in two years but this time I think due to windows phone 8 Lumia Line I may do it early.

Min Xuan Xie

I have very little money with me, so I will always buy Nokia phones and try to stretch its lifetime for as long as possible. Of course, you people always know that Nokia phones are very durable and “indestructible”. There was once I left my 3120c drenced in a 10-minute storm. The phone still works, and I don’t even need to dry it or anything.

Ironically, it didn’t survive a heavy knock to the corner of the table, which broke the power button, forcing me to replace it with a Asha 303.

Extreme fanboys (I know of one) would just upgrade everytime the phone gets a new evolution. (Oh, you got your iPhone 5? Then can you give me your 4S to me, and your 4 to my bro.) I can’t blame them, since they like that specific maker very much, but upgrading so often is going overboard and a waste of money. The new generation is sometimes a very small improvement to the old one and hence, won’t feel much difference after upgrading. That’s why phone contracts are 2 years long. Because after that, you’ll feel awestruck enough to buy your next phone.

It takes an idiot to know that a phone is just like any other phone. Take one and stop arguing and complaining.

Dee Wheat

I have a Samsung with the slide out keyboard that I bought when I began texting more, somewhere around five years ago. It has internet capability, but frankly, the screen is so small as to be useless LOL.

It’s. A. Phone. I use it as a phone. It isn’t an extension of my hand, and if I happen to forget it at home, it really doesn’t bother me.