Smartphone Features Worth Upgrading For

Sep 9, 2021

Smartphones have come a long way over the past decade, and they’re still getting better. The truth is, most new smartphones only offer slight improvements over their predecessors, and devices are lasting much longer than they used to. In fact, most smartphone users get about two years out of their smartphones before upgrading, and could probably make it to three.

Meanwhile, manufacturers are pumping out a constant stream of new “must-have” smartphones in an attempt to entice existing customers to upgrade their devices. But with such minor improvements, it’s reasonable to wonder whether the new flagships are worth the hype, or if your company should hold off until next year’s model. In this article, we explore some of the smartphone features that are actually worth upgrading for.

1. Battery Life

No matter what industry your company works in, your smartphone’s battery can make or break its effectiveness. If it feels like your devices spend more time charging than with your employees, you’re not getting much value out of them and might want to consider upgrading. After all, a degraded battery is one of the biggest reasons people upgrade their devices.

Before you commit to a new smartphone, make sure to look into its battery capacity, because there isn’t always a huge improvement between models. For example, going from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 7 would only increase the capacity by 150 mAH. But upgrading from an iPhone 8 to an iPhone X would see a jump of 895 mAH. It’s worth noting that having more mAH doesn’t always extend battery life because there are other factors at play, but a higher number does generally indicate that the battery can store more energy.

2. Processor/speed

Smartphones can help your employees be more productive and effective at their job, but they can slow down over time. With the rate that new phones are released along with new operating systems, processors can become outdated pretty quickly, making older devices feel clunky in comparison to newer models. The latest operating systems are tailored for the newer model phones, but still pushed out to the older models which may have a harder time running them. Slow phones are frustrating to work with on a daily basis, and can actually get in your employees’ way if everything takes minutes to load. That doesn’t mean that you need a phone with the fastest processor on the market, but it doesn’t hurt to have one that helps – not hinders – your employees.

3. Storage

While it may seem like ancient history, it hasn’t been that long since 16GB of storage was considered a luxury. Nowadays, you’re unlikely to find any flagship device with less than 64GB, and even that’s low. Storage is one of the biggest reasons why customers upgrade their devices, and for models that don’t have the option to switch SD cards (like iPhones and even some Samsung), it’s an even bigger one. (Note: SD cards are not SIM cards)

If your company prefers to store data directly on devices instead of in the cloud, storage is a smartphone feature that’s definitely worth upgrading for. To avoid purchasing an entirely new device each time an employee needs more storage, consider switching to a fleet of devices that support external storage and SD cards, or moving high storage file types like photos and movies to the cloud.

4. Durability

Most smartphones these days are built pretty similar. Sure, there are differences in shape and styling, but at the end of the day, they’ll break if they’re dropped from high enough. That said, there are often differences in the glass used for the screens, so if you’re worried about minor scratches, cracks, or chips, you might want to upgrade to devices that offer Ceramic Screen (iPhone) or Gorilla Glass (Samsung) technology. Water resistance is also a common feature of modern smartphones, so it might be worth upgrading for that alone if you’re concerned about your device being exposed to liquids. And if you’re really concerned about durability, you might want to opt for more rugged smartphones altogether.

5. 5G

5G has been a major selling feature for the past couple years — at least in the eyes of the manufacturers and their marketing departments. But in reality, the 5G rollout has barely even begun, so most “5G” smartphones won’t even be able to reach the speeds advertised in commercials. However, this will change as 5G becomes more widely adopted, so it doesn’t hurt to upgrade if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

6. Support

Smartphone manufacturers generally support old devices for at least 3 years after they were last sold. But once they stop, you’ll no longer have access to operating system updates, technical support, or (paid) repairs. This could cause you to experience poor performance on devices, miss out on new smartphone features, or even run into security issues. If you feel like you’re falling behind because your devices are no longer supported, it’s probably time to upgrade your smartphones.You would be surprised that your iPhone 6 is no longer supported by Apple security updates.

Honorable Mentions

Whether you’re looking for that final push to justify the upgrade or you just want some more bang for your buck, there are a handful of standout features that could be worth upgrading for. Keep in mind that features vary from model to model, so you might want to shop around to find a device that meets all of your needs. Here are some of the standout features to look out for as you shop around for your next smartphone upgrade:

  • Camera features such as 4k video at 60FPS
  • Wireless charging
  • Reverse wireless charging (use the phone to charge other devices)
  • LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) camera sensor
  • Foldable LCDs
  • Built in Stylus
  • OLED display

Final thoughts

New smartphones are released every year, and it seems like manufacturers and tech bloggers are always announcing the “next best thing” every other month. But in reality, smartphones don’t see much improvement from year to year, so it’s not necessary to upgrade to each new model.

That said, strategically-timed smartphone upgrades can keep your employees working efficiently and even cut costs in the long term. But the best time to upgrade depends on the needs of your business, so you might want to consider the smartphone features above before you commit to anything.

LINQ Tech Team

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