Frustrated with mobile phone

Five signs your ageing smartphone probably needs replacing

It's best to retire a device before it breaks down completely, here are some signs that you need a change
Image: Alex Green/Pexels

17 December 2021

In association with OnBuy

While smartphones have generally dropped in price over the years, replacing an old smartphone can still be an expensive and awkward endeavour. After all, transferring all of your numbers and data from one phone to another can feel like a drain on your precious time.   

All the same, though, CheatSheet advises that “it’s usually good to retire an old device before it completely gives up the ghost.” So, how can you tell that your current phone is on the way there?




The battery keeps running low during the day

On an average workday, you probably aren’t spending hours watching high-definition video. So, you should be concerned if you have to keep recharging your phone during the lunch break because you know that the battery life would otherwise be depleted before you make it back home.

While it’s natural to have to recharge with increasing regularity as the hardware ages, you should consider replacing a phone capable of running for only a few hours between charges.

You have to keep deleting things to free up storage space

Not too long ago, 16GB was considered an acceptable amount of onboard storage space for a new smartphone. You might still be able to get by with that if your needs aren’t too demanding – but, if you fancy taking plenty of high-resolution photos and video, 16GB probably isn’t going to cut it.

You should seriously contemplate upgrading if you keep running out of non-essential things to delete when trying to make room for new things.

Your phone regularly overheats in suspicious circumstances

While there can be various reasons for an overheating phone, you should be concerned if those reasons aren’t obvious; for example, if your phone tends to overheat when you aren’t even using it.

Phones can explode as a result of overheating. So, if your own device feels strangely hot to the touch, this could pose a major safety hazard unless you replace the hardware or at least have it checked by a repair technician. 

You need to gently twist the headphone jack for it to work

When you find yourself having to do this just to get sound flowing through your plugged-in headphones or earbuds, the problem will be with the headphone jack itself, says CNET.

Of course, you could circumvent this problem by switching to wireless audio – but some particularly old phones might not have any of the connectivity standards (possibly not even Bluetooth) required to support wireless headphones or earbuds you have or can get hold of. 

People can’t hear your voice clearly on audio calls

The quality of a phone’s audio reception can weaken as the device itself ages, though water damage can be another culprit. Fortunately, many handsets available on the market these days are water-resistant – with many iPhones having offered water resistance since late 2016, as AppleInsider notes.

Therefore, you shouldn’t strictly rule out buying a pre-owned smartphone model – like one from the online marketplace OnBuy, which has a wide selection of mobile phones for you to choose from.  

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