Alternatives to Getting a New Phone

Having a smartphone can be a lot of fun, but that doesn’t mean Americans want to buy new phones every year. A Gallup poll revealed that only two percent of Americans upgrade their phones whenever a new model is released.

It’s far more common for people to use their phones until they no longer work. After all, getting a new phone can be an expensive hassle. If you’re afraid that your smartphone isn’t working right, take heart: you probably have more options than you realize. Here are three things to try before going out and getting a new smartphone.

Boost your signal

You just switched apartments, and now you’re hardly getting any bars. You can get a couple of bars in your bedroom, but your living room seems like a lost cause. But it’s not — at least not if you take measures to boost your phone’s signal. 

Communication technology

You probably don’t live in a building made of concrete, but you still might live in a place with less than optimal conditions for getting a good phone signal. And even if your home base has no trouble getting a signal, that doesn’t mean everything is fine and dandy when you go to the office.

Luckily, a signal booster can work regardless of which cell phone carrier you have. If you’ve got Sprint, you should have no trouble finding a decent Sprint signal booster. The same is true for AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. 

If your signal is a little wonky, then buying a new phone can only do so much. Even the newest phone on the market won’t change the fact that many buildings weren’t designed for an era when everyone has smartphones.

A signal booster allows your phone to work as it should, regardless of whether you’re calling your mortgage services company or getting a call from your mom. 

Free up space

Apps make your life easier right up until the point where they don’t. If they’re slowing down your phone, it’s time to go into your phone’s settings and free up some space. Think of apps the way you think of clothes in your closet. If you haven’t worn a T-shirt in over a year, it’s time to get rid of it. For apps, the time frame is even shorter.

One report found that people with smartphones use an average of nine apps per day. All of those other apps can really slow your phone down and make you think something is wrong when it’s not. Get rid of the clutter and restart your phone. You should notice a difference almost immediately. 

If that still isn’t doing the trick, there are other things you can try like deleting your downloads or clearing your cache. If you’re taking dozens of photos of your new puppy every single day, that’s cute, but there’s no need for you to store all those photos right on your phone. Consider backing them up elsewhere and deleting them from your device.

Change carriers

If the above measures aren’t working, it may be time to try something more drastic. Changing your carriers can be more costly depending on the terms of your contract, but it’s still usually cheaper than getting a brand new phone, especially if that new phone requires you to extend your contract even further.

Check your carrier’s coverage map. Really zoom in and see if you live near any dead zones. If you do, compare it to other coverage maps for other carriers. You might be surprised at what you find. Sure, Sprint may have been the best option for you a few years ago, but maybe now other carriers have surpassed it in your area.

Don’t assume the carrier that worked for you five years ago still makes sense for you today. That’s doubly true if you’ve changed addresses in the last year or two.