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Sunday, November 12, 2017

What To Do When You're Too Broke For A Cell Phone Upgrade

I'm an Android girl all the way, but I know many are loyal Apple users and are very happy with it. However, Apple items can be expensive, and upgrading when your old phone works relatively well enough is hard to justify, especially if your finances don't allow it. I enjoyed this post on how to upgrade your phone without paying for a new phone. I wonder which of these could be applied to Android phones...

Since Steve Jobs launched the very first iPhone 10 years ago, the iPhone label has always meant a premium smartphone that cost a little more than average. Nobody expected this to change over the decade, as Apple strived for innovation despite the loss of its creator. However, nobody expected, all those years ago, that it would get this expensive.

At $999, the basic 64GB iPhone X cost a pretty penny, but it’s 256GB version is what puts the fear of Steve Job’s ghost in our hearts. In the US, it’s at its cheapest at $1,149, while other parts of the world can expect prices closer to $1,400.

If you don’t have over a grand to spend on an upgrade, all is not lost. There’s a way around the astronomical price tag without missing out on the X’s cool features.


Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program


Launched in 2015 alongside its iPhone 6S, the iPhone Upgrade Program lets its subscribers upgrade to a new iPhone every year by financing the cost over 24 payments. It comes with enrolment into Apple Care+ and the ability to switch carriers at the end of upgrade cycles.

The cost ranges depending on the model you choose to upgrade to Apple’s program costs a little more than what the average carrier charges when financing their own phones. But it’s worth it, as the program includes the cost of insurance — something usually missing from most carriers’ plans. Apple Care+ covers any accidental damage, including broken screens, or, in the X’s case, broken glass backings. This insurance usually costs $129 for two years.

The upgrade program also means you won’t have to deal with a carrier whenever you need assistance. You get to speak with Apple customer service directly. Oh—and the iPhone you receive is unlocked.

If you opted into the program last year or earlier, you can act on your upgrade to get an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X. There are also some exceptions if you enrolled just 6 months ago. To see if you’re eligible, head over to Apple to find out more. Once you sign a new 24-month contract (with the carrier of your choosing) you could be paying as little as $56.16 per month for the 256GB iPhone X.
Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program only benefits those who opted in earlier enough. For those still waiting for their year subscription to turn, there are still other ways to beat the blues of being broke.

Upgrade to iOS 11

Apple’s newest OS was launched just a few days before the 8 hit the shelves. The update comes with significant design changes to the UI. This includes a reorganized Control Centre that aggregates all your tools in one space, as well as a few tweaks to icons, transitions, zooming, and control sliders.
On the iPhone, upgrading to iOS 11 means you’ll have access to a redesigned App Store, an improved Siri, animated emojis, one-handed keyboards in Messages, and the new Do Not Disturb While Driving features. To get the full list of updates, check out this in-depth review.

Though there’s a long list of devices deemed compatible with the new OS, not all of them should receive it. It’s a considerable download that older models won’t be able to run as efficiently as newer models, and a lot of people who have made the leap complain about reduced speed and compromised batteries.

If you have an iPhone 6S or up, you can safely upgrade without seeing any significant lags, but those still texting with a 5S should weigh their options. While there are ways to improve your phone’s speed after updating, this is a pretty much permanent change to your phone, so you must be sure you want to make the leap.

Cover up Cosmetic Damages

Sometimes it’s not the performance of your phone that makes you want to upgrade; it’s the iPhone’s appearance. If you opted for the iPhone 7 Plus’ Jet Black finish then you know all too well how quickly your handset can go from pristine tech straight from the box to a beat-up piece of junk — sometimes in the matter of weeks.


When your budget doesn’t cover cosmetic upgrades, an iPhone 7 Plus skin offers a way to cover up the damage done to your smartphone. The best skins iPhone 7 Plus users can apply are made from vinyl because of the form-fitting application without any gloopy adhesives.

It’s also an adaptable material that can take on any color or texture you wish. That means you can customize your iPhone 7 Plus with marble, dragon skin, or even carbon fiber decals while you camouflage any scratches and dents. If you’re looking for something a little hardier, then you should check out what the engineers over at dbrand have developed: a carbon composite case that’s skin compatible.

The Bottom Line?

Let’s be real with each other — there’s nothing that will replace the feeling of opening up a brand-new iPhone box. Unfortunately, with the way premium smartphone prices are going, the frequency we get to experience this little rush will wane. Instalment financing like Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program will help, but it’s not a permanent fix. A few adjustments to its OS and added protection can help you enjoy the novelty of a new phone without its bills.

In the meantime, here’s to a future when you can afford the latest premium smartphone without relying on these tricks.

See my disclaimer.

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