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Frequent upgrades aren't as satisfying as they used to be

April 20, 2017 3:17 PM
47 0

While I was out shopping the other day, I stopped in Best Buy to kill some time, look at gadgets, and perhaps do a little shopping there as well.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 was front and center shortly after walking through the doors, and I quickly found myself observing the various models and comparing it to the S7 Edge I held in my right hand. No matter how hard I tried, I could not convince myself that it was a worthy upgrade from the S7 Edge. Sure, on paper it’s better in some ways, but in many ways it isn’t, and although my phone will become Samsung’s red headed stepchild software-wise going forward, it’s still plenty fast and works perfectly well.

Moving on, I found myself next to the iPhones. Although the iPhone 7 was released just half a year after the Galaxy S7 duo, it didn’t seem like it offered a whole lot more than my phone did. I still remember a time where 6 months made all the difference. Devices released half a year after another would have significant advantages. Now? Not so much. Again, the Galaxy S7 Edge held up perfectly well against the iPhone 7, and I again felt no real desire to make the switch.

The Google Pixel was the next one I came across, and this one I had a little more trouble deciding against. To me, the Pixel feels very nice in the hand – similar to an iPhone – but runs on Android. It’s a good combo, but I quickly realized the same thing that the other two phones made me realize: my phone is fine. Great, even. Aside from sheer habit and smartphones being my vice, I knew that as soon as I walked out the door with any other device that I would have a serious case of buyer’s remorse on my hands. Upgrading as frequently as I had become accustomed to to simply wasn’t as satisfying as it used to be.

Truthfully, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a change for me to come to terms with this revelation, but it isn’t exactly a good reason to complain. I feel confident now more than ever that I can make a phone last for the entire two years that was once the standard between upgrades, even though it’s no longer necessary with programs like T-Mobile Jump! or AT&T Next. Even with those programs in place, I find that I’m trying harder and harder to make myself stick with a phone for as long as possible. Maybe that’s just part of getting older and feeling more money conscious than I used to, but it’s also because I realize that these smartphones aren’t becoming obsolete as quickly as they used to.

There are still good reasons to upgrade, of course. Maybe specs are incremental at this point, but each manufacturer still has their own unique offerings from one another. Maybe Samsung Pay and their many promotions are of interest to you, or maybe you want to switch to/from Android/iOS. Perhaps Moto Mods are something that you’d like to tinker with, or LG’s G6 finally gave you the smaller form factor you’ve been looking for without sacrificing having a larger screen.

Despite the many reasons that are out there, I had a hard time justifying the purchase of a new phone that day. I knew that any upgrade at this point wouldn’t be as satisfying as I remember, which is just as well. There’s nothing wrong with saving money, prolonging the enjoyment of an expensive purchase, and waiting until the “next big thing” does come along.

Readers, what are your thoughts on upgrades? Do you find that you upgrade less frequently these days, or do you still upgrade as often as ever? Let us know in the comments below!


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