Should You Upgrade Your Phone Each Year?

New year, new phone? With big-name brands like Apple, Samsung and Google Pixel releasing multiple flagship smartphones per year, the opportunities to constantly trade up are endless. And many people do. Research has revealed that one in three Australians buys a new smartphone every two years or earlier. Some in the media have even argued that you need to upgrade your smartphone every year now. So, if you’ve had your current model for 12 months or more, is it time to sell your phone and replace it with something shiny and new?

If you have the cash, there’s nothing stopping you from swapping your existing iPhone or Android every time a new model hits the market. But does that mean you’re better off doing so?

How long a phone can realistically last depends on a number of things: the quality of the phone, the way that you treat it and whether you’re lucky enough to avoid an accident, among others. If the phone you have is on its way out, a refurbished smartphone upgrade can provide you with a new one for less.

A refurbished mobile phone is a fully functioning second-hand smartphone that has been restored to a new-like condition. While they maintain their heavily discounted second-hand prices, refurbished smartphones closely resemble store-bought ones, apart from a few surface-level chips and scuffs.

OzMobiles is here to answer a number of questions you may have. What are the signs that your phone is at the end of its lifespan? How often should you switch, and why should you choose a refurbished smartphone to upgrade to? And, of course, should you make switching your smartphone an annual event?


Factors That Impact a Phone’s Lifespan


These days, the average lifespan of a smartphone is about 2.5 years. But a number of factors can contribute to your smartphone reaching the end of its lifespan much earlier:

Drops and falls

Dropping your phone (especially without a good case or screen protector) can cause significant damage to it. Results may include everything from a shattered screen to severe internal hardware damage.

Taking your phone out at the beach or in the snow

Exposure to both extreme heat and extreme cold can shorten your phone’s lifespan. Excess heat can cause a leaking battery or corrupted data, while icy cold leads to shutting off and shattered screens.

Keeping your phone in your bed/under your pillow

Sleeping with your phone under your pillow or next to you in bed can do a lot more than just damage your phone. Not only can it interfere with your sleeping patterns, but it can also cause the phone to overheat and start a fire.

Not updating your software

Software updates exist to bring your phone up to speed with the latest security hazards. Ignoring software updates or holding onto your phone when it’s too old to receive updates leaves it exposed to malware and bugs.


While it’s satisfying to wake up to a fully charged phone you’ve plugged in overnight, overcharging your phone stresses the battery and can wear it out faster. It can also lead to the battery overheating and starting a fire.

Of course, it’s difficult to avoid doing all of these things all the time, and smartphones were meant to be used. While your smartphone will eventually need replacing no matter how well you take care of it, a refurbished smartphone upgrade gives you something new for a budget-friendly price.


Signs You Should Upgrade Your Phone

A smashed phone undergoing the refurbishing process.

Some people upgrade their phones every time their favourite brand comes out with a new model. Others hold onto the phone they have until it dies on them. For most of us, however, a happy medium is possible. Here are some signs to look out for that it’s time to upgrade your smartphone:

Your phone is no longer supported by updates

Keeping your phone in perfect physical condition won’t protect it from bugs, scams and hackers. Most smartphones get operating system upgrades for a few years and security updates for a little while beyond that. Once the updates stop rolling in, however, your phone is no longer fully protected from new threats. With the risk of financial and identity theft a concern, you should replace a phone that can’t get security updates even if its condition is pristine.

You have to charge it constantly

Batteries degrade with time and your smartphone’s battery only has a finite number of cycles in it. Replacing a smartphone’s battery isn’t usually worth it, as having to give it more time on the charger usually means the phone itself is ageing. If your battery runs out of juice after a few hours of moderate use at most, that’s a sign that you could benefit from a refurbished smartphone upgrade.  

Your screen is broken

Your smartphone can take some damage, but a cracked or broken screen shouldn’t be ignored. Cracks can spread, cause eyestrain when you try to see the screen, leave the inner workings of your phone exposed, and even cut your fingers. If your phone has significant cracks, that’s a sure sign it’s time for a refurbished smartphone upgrade.

Operating system issues

Security is the most crucial factor, but an out-of-date operating system can also make an old phone more trouble than it’s worth. Problems may come up, like accessories and connected devices no longer working properly or a lack of storage space. If your older model phone is simply becoming a nuisance to use, the time to upgrade your smartphone has arrived.    


How Often Should You Upgrade Your Phone?A man holding a black iPhone in his hands.

While most people upgrade their smartphones every two or three years, the only firm rule is that you should definitely trade your phone in when it no longer receives security updates. Generally, iPhones receive updates for up to seven years and Android phones between three and five years. For best results (and to promote a more sustainable approach), sell your phone when you upgrade to a refurbished smartphone.  

Upgrade Your Phone with OzMobiles


When it’s time for a change, don’t let your existing smartphone go to waste. Sell your phone to OzMobiles and receive cash in your bank account. Upgrade your smartphone to one of our high-quality refurbished models like the iPhone 14, iPhone 15 or Samsung Galaxy S23 series.


OzMobiles makes sure that every device we sell still has a lot of life left in it – that includes battery life and security updates! We test all of our devices using a 72-point checking process to make sure they’re fully functional and still contain at least 80% battery capacity. You won’t find the wear and tear that usually afflicts older phones when you buy one of our refurbished smartphone upgrades, and the older the phone you buy, the more affordable it is in general.


For more information or help finding the perfect refurbished smartphone, contact the team at OzMobiles!


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