Smartphones – Buy The Newest Cell Phone?
You have probably seen them, maybe more than you want to: the bright and cheery ads that extol the virtues of the latest must have smartphone. From promising the ability to animate a unicorn emoji so it looks just like you to larger screen sizes, amazing cameras and tons of other bells and whistles, the commercials all imply that our happiness is tied to shelling out big bucks for a new phone.
While you may have been tempted to treat yourself to one of these incredible new smartphones, you would really rather restore the trusty model that you have and keep it as long as possible. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the benefits of keeping your existing smartphone for as long as you can, as well as some tips on how to switch carriers using your same phone.
It Makes Financial Sense
Yes, the newest smartphones are cool. But this amazing factor comes with a definite price in the case of the singing unicorn emoji phone, it runs a cool $1K. For most of us, $1,000 covers rent or a mortgage or tons of groceries, gas for the car, new clothes and more. And even if you did have an extra 1,000 clams burning a hole in your pocket, would you really want to spend it on a hand held computer that can easily be dropped, damaged or lost? Unless your smartphone is on its last legs, hanging onto the one you have is the smart financial choice.
It’s Better for Mother Earth
Even though some of the things a shiny new smartphone can do may seem like magic, it’s not like some wizard creates them by waving his wand around. Smartphones are manufactured like anything else, and producing them does create a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions. As Apple notes, the carbon footprint of producing and transporting the iPhone SE makes up 83 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions that result from the full lifetime of the phone. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, keeping products longer is a great place to start. Old phones can also end up in landfills, which is not great for the environment.
Using an Old Smartphone on a New Network
If you are fed up with your current carrier and want to find one that is more economical and/or has better service in your area, it is possible to bring your old smartphone along for the ride. You can keep your existing number this way, and you won’t have to re-download or transfer over scads of apps and contacts. The key to determining if this plan will work is your phone’s SIM card; T-Mobile offers a handy way to check if your smartphone is on a carrier lock, which means it cannot be used with another carrier’s SIM card. To check the compatibility, simply select the wireless carrier that you are currently using from a pull-down menu, and then enter in the type of device, like an iPhone 5s, that you want to switch over.
Removing and Switching a SIM Card is a Breeze
If you find that you do need to switch your SIM card to change to a new network, don’t despair. This process is easy to learn and will take a few minutes. If you have an Android, you can use a plastic opening tool or your fingernail to pry in the divot to the left of the rear-facing camera. Next, lift the rear case by the corner nearest the divot and remove it from the phone and use your fingernail to press the now-exposed SIM card slightly; this should cause it to pop out of its slot. Replace with the new SIM card and replace the cover on the phone. iMore offers advice on how to remove a SIM card from an Apple smartphone; basically, you can insert a small bent paperclip into the pinhole opening of the SIM tray and apply a bit of pressure until the SIM card comes out.
Even if you have the money, you don’t have to replace your beloved smartphone with the newest model. Save the dough, reduce your carbon footprint and follow these tips to see if you can effortlessly take your phone with you to a new carrier. If not, purchasing and installing a new SIM card will help you get lots of additional life from your smartphone.