How to Tell if Your Smartphone Model is About to be Rendered Obsolete

It’s no secret: these days technological equipment often has obsoletion built in to its design. It’s a way for tech giants to encourage consumers to jump aboard with every new release, and drive traffic toward new products even if they carry a hefty price tag.

So how do you know when the smartphone you’re using now has reached the end of its intended lifecycle? Here are a few factors to look out for.

App failures

When you first got your phone, apps opened up quickly without much processing time, ran smoothly while they were open, and never crashed. But you probably noticed over time that all of your apps got sluggish and started to crash altogether more and more often.

This is just one sign that your phone is on its last leg. If you’re not quite ready to trade in your older model for the newest thing, try performing updates on your apps to extend the life of your phone.

Decreased battery life

While this seems super obvious — if a phone starts dying faster, then it clearly has become too old to function — it is also pretty clearly a planned obsoletion measure. Think back to the dinosaur era of phones. Those thousand-pound clamshell models may have looked a little silly in retrospect, but their batteries lasted for days at a time.

If your smartphone has taken a sharp decrease in how long it can hold a charge, then it has probably reached the age at which it will stop being as functional as it used to. It’s a sign that it may be time for an upgrade.

As you search for your new phone, definitely take the time to research which new smartphone model has been made to last longer. Even some new releases are intended to have a short life cycle — so it’s worth it to find out which releases have planned, scheduled updates in the future. That’s a good sign that your new phone will have the capacity to keep up with technological advances and last longer.

Product defects aside, your smartphone battery should last you through a day of typical usage.

If you’re noticing, however, that your phone is dying more and more quickly after a full charge, it may be time to get a new one or replace its battery. If your phone randomly dies throughout the day, it’s a sure sign your phone’s battery is on its last legs.

Keep in mind smartphone batteries lose capacity every time you charge it from zero to 100%. And if you’re charging your phone incorrectly, your battery may only work properly for a year or less.

You can’t get anything done because your phone is always lagging.

A lack of storage space on your phone will also slow it down. If your apps are freezing, or your touchscreen has stopped working properly, it may be time to upgrade to a new model.

Before you take the leap however, make sure your phone isn’t running slowly for other reversible reasons. For example, if you have an iPhone, deleting old photos and disabling motion effects are easy, quick ways to speed up your phone.

Your phone is a constant source of stress and frustration.

Smartphones are, for all intents and purposes, designed to make our lives easier: Apps can help us do everything from cook to clean. Phone cameras keep getting better, eliminating the need to carry around a heavy DSLR. Games make long commutes more bearable. And new models come with increasingly advanced and cool features.

Of course, deciding whether it’s worth it to splurge on a new phone for its features is up to you. And ultimately, as long as you can still download software updates, there’s no real, immediate need to get a new phone.

But if you spend most days wanting to smash your phone with a hammer, you may want to invest in new model — even if just for the peace of mind.

You don’t have enough storage space to save, well, anything on your phone.

There’s a reason that most smartphones now come with at least 32GB of storage: The more sophisticated phones and apps get, the more storage they typically require. New operating systems and software updates can also take up a significant chunk of space on your phone.

Basically, you can’t do much with 16GB (or fewer) of storage anymore, unless you never update your phone (again, don’t take this risk), download apps, take pictures, or use other new features. But at that point, you might as well abandon smartphones altogether.