“Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.”

― Terry Hogan

[ Day 22 of 2000 ]

I wasn’t planning on writing an entry today, but this article on AndroidAuthority got me all riled up.

When I swipe left on my Android phone, Google shows me a bunch of articles that it thinks will interest me. This one popped up today, and got me thinking. To quote directly from the article, “But as contracts with wireless providers become less common and we’re no longer bound by a two-year upgrade cycle, how do you know when it’s time for an upgrade?”

Seriously? Does it matter if you are slightly behind on upgrading your phone?

If you have read my blog entries so far, you already know that I earn far too much and I love spending all of that money. What right do I have to get irritated with an article like that?

The only reason we have any money saved up right now is because I do not subscribe to a thought process like that. I have been honest – I never saved money so far for the sake of saving up. I never postponed a purchase because I wanted to be frugal. If you look at our financial history so far, you can see that we still saved a lot of money. I do agree that our salaries are more than what most of the people in the US get. Studies show that most people don’t really save much even if they earn a lot. We saved much more than the majority. And this is the secret. You have the ability to think – Do that before you act.

We do not change our phones just because it has been two years since we bought our last phone. We do not upgrade our house just because we can afford it. We do not eat out just because we can fit it into our budget. You don’t have to do something just because someone else does it, or that is the norm, even if you can afford it.

The article lists five signs that tell us if we should upgrade our smartphones:

  • It doesn’t run the latest version of the OS. Really? Does it matter enough that you are willing to drop another 500-1000 dollars?
  • Performance has declined. Is it that the performance has declined, or your expectation has gone up? If it is really the performance, delete all those unnecessary files you have like forwarded images on WhatsApp. I just started using Files Go, and it reminds me to remove unnecessary stuff. Remove all those apps that you downloaded, but don’t really use. If you have tried all of that, and it is still slow, go ahead and do a factory reset. Just imagine that you lost your phone and got a new one. You should be saving all your photos/contacts/other necessary stuff on the cloud anyway. If you aren’t doing that, make sure you backup everything before you do the factory reset.
  • Battery life has become poor. I had to get to the third reason to see something that makes some sense. I normally get around this by having chargers everywhere. In my car, office, multiple places at home. If I am going to be outdoors a lot and I know that I am going to be using my phone enough to drain it, I carry a portable power bank.
  • The display shows burn in. They even explain how to figure out if your display shows burn in or not. If your display shows burn in, but you never knew it, do you have to change your phone? Doesn’t make sense.
  • There’s physical damage that affects everyday use. Finally!

In my opinion, the only time you should change your phone is when it has issues that affects everyday use. I have a relatively new phone – A Pixel phone. I changed my last phone after using it for about two years. Which is the average age at which people change their phones. It is not like I used it for too long. What right do I have to take this high ground then?

I didn’t change it because the other phone was 2 years old. I changed it because I dropped my phone and cracked the screen. I tried using it for a bit longer after that while I was deciding what phone to buy. My phone connection is through Project Fi and I had very few options (I had to buy a Google phone). I could have opted to change the screen, but I decided that I didn’t want to spend more money on a 2 year old phone. Plus the Nexus 6 that I used was slightly bigger than what I should have bought. It helped that I could drop the 500 dollars without blinking my eye. And then Google reduced the cost of the Pixel because the Pixel 2 was coming out. That was my golden chance. I was happy with a phone that came out a year earlier. It does everything I want it to do.

I could have been more frugal and bought an old phone. But that is not me. I normally buy everything new.

How long am I going to keep my Pixel? I don’t know. If it breaks in someway that bothers me daily, I will change it tomorrow. If it stays the way it is now, I will keep it for ten years. Because the age of the phone doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I should be able to use it for my purposes.


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Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023