Phones are important devices. Often, people save vital information on their phones, like contacts, notes and memories. On average, people spend around five to six hours on their phones each day in the U.S. — whether you are talking with loved ones, scrolling through social media or enjoying the latest apps, phones are an integral part of our lives.
As your phone ages, you might wonder when to upgrade your phone. It is a good idea to learn the signs your phone is going to die. Update your phone while you can still use it to ensure an easy and quick transition to your new iPhone or Android phone.
1. Battery Dies Quickly
All smartphone batteries die over time. It is inevitable. As your smartphone ages, the chemicals in its battery begin to degrade and holds less charge. It is frustrating and inconvenient to have to charge your phone multiple times a day to use it.
While things like many open apps or lack of Wi-Fi can drain a battery fairly quickly, your battery should not die when you aren’t doing anything. Further, Apple promises that your iPhone battery should retain 80% of its battery life for two years. If your phone is more than two years old and cannot last through the day without needing a charge or two, it might be time for an upgrade.
Unsure if it is time to upgrade your phone because of your battery? You can check your maximum battery capacity by going to your battery settings and then selecting Battery Health for iPhones or Battery Usage for Androids to determine if it is time for a new smartphone.
2. Screen Isn’t Working
Screen damage has a lot of causes and can take on a lot of different appearances. Your phone might not respond to your touch commands or even misinterpret what you are trying to do. Maybe you swipe right, but it takes you left. This can be a problem with the screen sensors, which grow less responsive over time.
Your screen might also have visual presentation issues, like vertical lines or flickering, making it hard to view content on your phone. A cracked screen can be challenging to navigate, and you run the risk of getting glass in your fingers.
While replacing your screen is an option, the replacement costs might be more than your phone’s value. Instead, take a worn-down and low-functioning screen as a sign you need a new phone.
3. Mic Isn’t Working
Like your battery, your mic’s capabilities will decrease over time. Your mic can stop working altogether or cut out when you are trying to use it. While this happens naturally as the technology experiences more wear and usage, dropping your phone frequently can speed up the process.
A non-functioning mic can be incredibly frustrating when you are making calls. Especially if you need to make frequent calls on your smartphone for work or family reasons, take a broken mic as a sign to invest in a new phone.
4. Phone Moves Slowly
A slow phone can mean many things — poor Internet or network connection, too many apps open or a screen that isn’t functioning correctly. Even things like not backing up your phone can impact its speed.
Since phones age over time, their internal functions start to slow and degrade, much like their battery. Because a slow phone is a symptom of several problems, you should first take it to a specialist to find the root of the problem if your phone isn’t working. If nothing sticks out to you as a potential problem and you don’t want to take it in, you can always try restarting it. However, if your phone is still slow after restarting, it might be an internal or software problem that comes with age.
When your phone begins to slow, look through your settings to make sure there is nothing there purposefully slowing your phone to help other functions work better. Pay attention to what your manufacturer is doing as well — Apple previously admitted to slowing processes in their phones to help drive users towards newer models.
5. Buttons Stop Working
Your phones have multiple buttons to make your phone easy to use and functional. Whether it is something that you can work around, like your volume button, or something essential, like your power button, it isn’t a good sign when your buttons stop responding to commands.
Especially if you also have screen problems, button issues can make it even harder to use your phone. Further, the power button is essential for helping your phone restart and update. Lacking the necessary updates can lead to other problems, which will further damage your phone.
When it comes to your phone’s function, save yourself the trouble and buy a new phone when your buttons stop working.
6. Apps Crash or Stop Working Altogether
While many problems relate to physical aging and usage of your phone, others relate to your phone’s software. Apps that frequently crash or fail to open are a sign of lack of storage.
Your random access memory (RAM) storage is the short-term memory of your phone — it manages and runs all of the apps that are open and lets you return to where you last were. While it isn’t responsible for backing up files or system updates, it is crucial for doing lesser tasks with ease. RAM is also much quicker than your phone’s other storage system.
If your apps are often crashing, it might be a sign that your RAM storage is nearing full. Especially if you like games, you will need more RAM space on your phone to accommodate newer games. To ensure the functionality of your phone, buy a new phone when your RAM storage fills up.
7. Phone Heats up Rapidly
As you use your phone, it is normal for your phone to heat up a little. More significant tasks that require a lot of battery space or data, as well as leaving your phone in the sun, can cause your phone to warm as it works hard.
However, if your phone heats up when you aren’t using it or if it gets so hot you can’t touch it, you should consider buying a new phone right away. A hot phone means the hardware is aging past its prime, and phones that overheat could explode, making them potentially dangerous.
Additionally, heating up could be a sign that your phone has a virus. Because your phone can host various sensitive data, it is vital to protect it from malware and hackers and recognize the signs of a virus. Protect yourself and the people around you by taking your overheating phone as a sign your phone is going to die.
8. Phone Is Damaged
Phones are easy to damage. Sometimes it seems like manufacturers choose the most fragile materials to make our most important devices. All it takes is one short fall, and something cracks.
While screen damage is the most common physical damage, dropping your phone can also lead to internal damage that you can’t see. Even smalls actions like pressing too hard on the touchscreen can cause unseen damage to your phone. Many of our other signs listed here, like slow speed and loss of certain functions, can signify that something broke internally when you last dropped it.
9. You Can’t Upgrade Your Operating Systems
Operating systems (OS) help your internal software systems stay up-to-date and run smoothly. Many OS contain safety and security updates, so it is important to keep your OS up to date.
OS developers design OS for the most recent phone models, and old phones might not be compatible or have enough storage for newer updates. Working on an older OS can be further cause for a slow phone or for apps to crash. Further, newer apps might only be available on more recent OS, limiting your options to the latest trends.
Apple keeps an updated list of their obsolete devices that no longer support their latest iOS. Their list has both national and international standards, so if you travel often, it might be a good idea to check if your phone is obsolete and invest in an update.
10. Manufacturer Stops Supporting Your Device
Like Apple’s obsolete device list, many manufacturers stop supporting their older devices as they move towards newer, more advanced models. Whether new updates aren’t compatible with your device or the manufacturer no longer carries parts for your model, manufacturers have their gaze towards the future.
If the manufacturer no longer supports your device, it is a sign to buy a new phone.
11. You Can’t Use Newer Networks
Today, newer phones have compatibility to connect with better, high-speed service networks, like 4G and LTE connections. There is even 5G now that works even faster than the previous two. However, older phones cannot connect to these networks and must use 3G networks, making them slow and difficult to use.
If your phone only connects to 3G networks and functions slowly when using data, this is a sign that your phone is aging towards becoming obsolete. Keep your technology updated and look for a new smartphone with better network connection capabilities.
12. You’re Constantly out of Storage Space
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to complete a task on your phone because you don’t have enough storage space. Pop-up messages are annoying and distracting, and lack of storage prevents you from using your phone’s functions.
It is completely normal for phone storage to fill up over time, especially if you don’t regularly backup and delete files you don’t need. Pictures take up a lot of your storage space, so being out of storage might mean it’s time to upload those files to your secondary source and delete them from your phone.
However, if you find yourself constantly deleting files, apps and texts to clear storage space, leaving you with the bare minimum on your phone, this can be a sign your phone is dying. Instead of unnecessarily deleting another file, invest in a new phone.
13. Phone Shuts Down and Restarts at Random
Shutting down your phone and restarting it can help you determine what is a one-time issue and what is a long-lasting problem. However, phones that shut down and restart on their own are troublesome and can signify more significant issues.
Shutting down can be a sign of your phone’s software crashing and being unable to sustain itself anymore. As phones age and move towards becoming obsolete, they have a harder time running their software. Because of this, phones will shut down at random in the middle of tasks, making them difficult and unreliable to use. Take this inconvenience as a sign to buy a new smartphone that you can depend on.
14. You Fumble With the Headphone or Charging Jacks
When listening to music with earbuds, you might find yourself fumbling with the connector to the headphone jack to find that one perfect spot where the music comes through without issue. Or maybe, later at night, you go to charge your phone but spend ten minutes jimmying the charger into the jack before it begins to charge. If you do this often, it might be time to invest in a new phone.
While jack connectivity issues might come from low-quality or old earbuds or a fraying charger cord, headphone and charger jacks also experience wear over time and take damage from falls and water. These problems make using these features a hassle and represent your phone’s increasing age.
Further, newer models are doing away with jacks and ports altogether. Apple’s newer iPhones omit both headphone and charging jacks, doing away with unnecessary cords, and instead opt for Bluetooth AirPods and charging ports. As more models elect for wireless, your phone gets closer to becoming obsolete, and there is a higher chance that manufacturers will stop carrying your accessories or necessary services.
Take jack connectivity problems as a sign that your phone might be beginning to die and start searching for a newer model.
Browse Gazelle’s Collection of Used Phones
There are many reasons to want to upgrade your phone to a newer and better model, from compatibility and software issues to not being able to use the latest apps. While some problems can be seriously dangerous, like an overheating phone, most are simply inconvenient and take away from your experience of having a mobile device.
Gazelle offers a wide variety of used phones that you can explore online from the safety and comfort of your home. We deliver products right to you, so you don’t have to travel or dedicate time to receive your new phone. Pay attention to the signs you need a new iPhone or Android phone. When it’s time to upgrade, shop online at Gazelle. Explore our selection today!