Reasons not to buy a brand new phone
“Want to save the Earth? Then don’t buy that shiny new iPhone”
- John Naughton, The Guardian
If you're second-guessing purchasing the newest and shiniest model you may be wondering, is your phone truly worn out, broken, outdated, or are you simply falling for a brilliant marketing strategy? Well this is the article for you!
To begin, let's discuss price, especially if you're tempted by the all-new iPhone 13 or Samsung S21 with their gleaming new features, incredible advertisements, and yes, phone envy is real! You may be tempted to reach deep into your pockets and spend over £600, but do you really need to? By the way, that £600 price tag corresponds to the cheapest iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Mini.
Following price is performance. While the latest phone may be supported by all of these snazzy new features, have you ever read post-release reviews? Typically, it takes a few months of updates before the new release irons out the creases.
Did you know that older phones are supported for years after their release, meaning that the iPhone X can perform nearly all of the same functions as the iPhone 13? Sure, there will be some minor differences, but will you notice? Can you tell the difference between a 4-core and a 3-core GPU?
One advantage of upgrading from a much older model is that you will not require the most recent phone to notice significant differences in performance, display, and design! Speed, screen resolution and battery performance in particular will be noticeable if you upgrade from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone XR for example, but if you were to jump from an iPhone 12 to a 13, besides the improved camera, will you really notice the difference in what’s under the hood?
Do you need the upgrades?
You may have become accustomed to upgrading your phone on a yearly basis as a matter of course, but your phone is not disposable. Yes, Apple continues to release models with minor upgrades each year. For example, if you own an iPhone 12, one of the primary reasons to upgrade to the 13 is for the camera upgrades (but that's if you're heavily into photography...,are you?).
If there is an issue with your current phone, which is likely to be a faulty battery, have you considered spending only £25 on a replacement battery rather than over £600 on the latest new phone?
“The problem is that building a new smartphone–and specifically, mining the rare materials inside them–represents 85% to 95% of the device’s total CO2 emissions for two years. That means buying one new phone takes as much energy as recharging and operating a smartphone for an entire decade.”
- Mark Wilson, Fast Company
What about the Environment?
If you've done your research and are still adamant about purchasing a new phone, have you considered the environmental impact of your purchase and can you really justify it simply because it's no longer 'trendy'?
A brand new phone requires precious materials such as iron, gold, lead, and tin, which will eventually run out due to the demand for brand new phones on a yearly basis.
Why buy refurbished
There is an alternative to purchasing a new phone that does not require the vast excavation of precious metals and is also environmentally friendly; it is called refurbished technology, hurrah!
Refurbished phones are just as good as new because they are supported for years after release. They may not have the most up-to-date looks or the latest chip, but they will have the same operating software.
Additionally, these phones are significantly less expensive than brand new models, so you can start planning what you're going to do with that extra cash. Consider a relaxing weekend getaway or a spa day?
You'll avoid the mining of precious materials, keep devices out of landfill, which contributes to a circular economy, and save on those precious carbon emissions, as an estimated 80% of a phone's carbon footprint is created during the manufacturing stage! How can you possibly argue with that!?
We've also written a handy article featuring top tips on what to look out for when purchasing refurbished, but if we've already convinced you, check out our bestsellers below: