If you’re anything like me, with an income that goes up and down like the tide, there are ways to avoid getting priced out of the phone you so desperately need:
Buy the Phone Outright – There’s nothing more anxiety producing than trying to pay not only for your plan, but the never ending installments for the phone itself. Can’t afford to shell out over a grand all at once? Don’t buy new. There are so many reputable resellers out there. For example, the Gazelle – Unlocked iPhone 5s 64GB will run you $199 total or a much reduced monthly outlay of $11.95. But if you happen to be momentarily flush with cash and want to buy new… do it. It’s an investment you’re not going to be replacing every time a new model comes along. Get something you’ll love for years to come.
Max Out the Gigabytes – This is the key to future-proofing. Buy the highest number of gigs available if your phone doesn’t have upgradeable memory (no iPhone does, so in this instance Android is superior. There. I said it Phil!). The goal is to not outgrow your phone in a year. Upgrading your OS, which is always recommended, will slowly but surely eat away at your available gigs. By the time the manufacturer stops supporting your phone for updates, you could be looking at a phone with little room in which to do much of anything. I’ll get to work arounds for that in a bit.
Protect Your Investment – Get a good quality case and screen protector. It’s not helpful if you have to keep buying new screens all the time. It’s also easier to replace a good glass screen protector when it inevitably gets scratched. Lots of Anker Glass Screen Protectors come two to a pack, I guess for this very reason.
Cloud Storage is Your Best Friend – I am completely enamored with Google Photos. First off, it’s free. It backs up my photos without really trying, thus freeing up tons of real estate in my phone’s memory. It’ll even ask if you want to delete the backed up photos off your phone. Very user friendly and the facial recognition is supernatural. The quality isn’t shabby either. Video too! Though I do prefer to back up videos to YouTube with the private setting on. That ensures an indefinite 4K quality. Depending on how much space you need, the quality will get compressed from the original. But you have 115GB (!!!) of free space before you have to worry about that. And you always have the option to pay for more, but what Broke-ass is going to do that?!?
My Amazon Prime also comes with “free” photo storage, but if I have to give up Prime one day, whoopsie! There go my photos, so that ultimately isn’t a viable option for me, but it might work for you.
Buy A New Battery – Well, now it’s official. Apple has been slowing up older phones as we all suspected. They claim it’s a “feature” due to declining battery performance. After the justified outrage, Apple has conceded to charging less for battery replacements on older phones. Out-of-warranty replacements went from $79 down to $29. That won’t stave off the inevitable class action lawsuits, like this one from Hagens Berman (Click to join), but it’s good news for Apple phone owners.
Value-adds on the Cheap – Dying from envy of all the shiny features in the new batch of phones? What if I told you that you could add wireless charging to your existing phone for 13 bucks??? The Qi receiver featured in this CNET article is awesome! No need to open up your phone. And what the heck, if your phone is past the warranty period, crack it open and do some mods! If you’re not that adventurous or handy, just splurge on some up-to-date accessories. Giving yourself a nice present of wireless earbuds will keep you content with your life choices for a few years more.
My iPhone 6s would have been 2 years old if I didn’t have it replaced when the chip failed late last year. Apple quality is slipping in my opinion and I don’t think it’s as good of an investment as it used to be. Time will tell, because I don’t plan on buying a new phone for at least a total of 6 years. That’s what I might have gotten out of my iPhone 5 if Apple hadn’t been pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes. Sure I like the improved camera and all that jazz, but that should be the only reason forcing me to ever buy a new phone. And since the Google Pixel 2 is being compared to a Hasselblad… This bitch ain’t loyal! I will jump ship in a heartbeat. Hear that Apple! In a heartbeat!