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Is your mobile phone about to become obsolete? When do you need to upgrade?

Is your mobile phone about to become obsolete? When do you need to upgrade?

In today's fast-moving world, it often feels like our beloved gadgets are becoming obsolete faster than we can blink. This is especially true in the mobile market, which plays a central role in our daily lives. If you're thinking about the lifespan of your current mobile phone and whether it's time for an upgrade, you've come to the right place.

In this article, we will explore how long a mobile phone remains fully functional, review the iOS and Android support timelines for iPhones and Samsung devices, and explain why buying a refurbished mobile from can be the ideal solution to avoid the trap of always owning the very latest thing that burns a hole in your wallet.

How long is a mobile phone relevant?

Mobile phones have developed at an impressive pace since the first mobile phone was launched, where each new mobile phone offered something completely new and revolutionary, such as when the world's first touch display was launched.

In recent years, however, we have witnessed a drastic reduction in innovation where each new launch means a slightly faster processor and a sharper camera. Sure, it can be impressive in itself how mobile companies manage to optimize already great technology, but it's rarely improvements that the average user actually notices.

Despite the improvements that happen every year, it doesn't necessarily mean that your current phone is ready for the scrap. The lifespan of a smartphone is often longer than you think and the lifespan largely depends on three factors:

  1. Operating System Updates: A crucial factor affecting the life of the phone is the availability of software updates. iPhones typically receive iOS updates for about five to six years, while Samsung devices receive Android updates for about the same amount of time.

  2. Hardware Durability: The physical condition of your phone plays a crucial role in its longevity. If your device is well maintained and free of serious damage, it is likely to be in optimal condition for a longer period of time.

  3. Usage patterns: How you use your phone can also affect its lifespan. Heavy games and resource-intensive apps can wear down the hardware faster than normal everyday use as it will also demand more from your battery which gives up faster.

iOS support for iPhones

Apple is known for its consistent software support for older devices. iPhones generally receive iOS updates for an impressive amount of time. For example, the iPhone 6s, released in 2015, received support for iOS 15, making it relevant for almost seven years.

However, over time, some older models may lose compatibility with the latest features and apps due to hardware limitations. This may motivate users to consider an upgrade to a newer iPhone model.

With the release of iOS 17 in late 2023, Apple stopped providing support for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 series. Therefore, it is worth buying iPhone XR or newer for those of you who are thinking about upgrading your phone in 2024.

Android support for Samsung devices

On the Android side, Samsung offers software updates for a good number of years, although the timeline can vary by model and region. For example, Samsung's flagship phones typically get about four years of Android updates. Mid-range and budget models may receive updates for a shorter period.

If your Samsung device is no longer receiving updates, you may miss out on important security updates and new features, which may motivate you to explore newer options such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 .

Woman in winter jacket looking at her iPhone

Why choose a refurbished mobile phone?

Now that we've discussed cell phone lifespans, let's talk about a great alternative to buying brand new devices: second-hand mobile phones.

By buying a mobile phone that is not the very latest on the market, you can both save money and do something good for the environment.

A newly produced mobile costs the planet large resources both in the form of emissions and the extraction of rare earth metals. You avoid all of this by buying a refurbished mobile and thus making a circular choice.

But is it really safe to choose a used mobile phone?

If you shop with us at Refurbly, you don't have to worry about technical errors or accidentally buying stolen goods, which is always a risk when buying used from a private person.

All of our used mobiles are carefully inspected, repaired and restored to their original condition. By choosing a refurbished phone, you can enjoy significant savings compared to buying a brand new model.

Our phones are also delivered with a 2-year warranty and you always get 30 days open purchase for your peace of mind.

So, if your current cell phone is on the verge of becoming obsolete, don't rush to buy a brand new one. Consider the lifespan of your device, and if it's time for an upgrade, explore our selection of high-quality second-hand phones.

You can get a modern smartphone without the hefty price tag, while helping to reduce electronic waste by upgrading responsibly.

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