Gizmo upgrade

Phone ? Laptop ?
When you see colleagues & friends getting newer and “cooler” devices, it’s hard not to be tempted to upgrade yours too.
Is it a smart move ? In 94.72 % of case : NO !

I’m often thinking about this topic as I’m working in IT and I’m bombarded by advertisement about cool phone, amazing laptop, not-to-miss software !!! Being a bit geeky, I’m often tempted… But in the last few years I resisted well. My phone (a 4 year old HTC hero) is still surviving despite the abuse of my daughter throwing it on the floor or biting it. I used a donated laptop for 3 years and when I got in the mood of replacing it, I just bought a SSD hard drive for 80€ (it became even faster than my brand new corporate laptop :))

Situations & what to do !

  • The device is working, the only reason to upgrade it, is to solve a new issue (or fill a need). The trick is not to fall in the trap of all the “needs” that marketing try to brainwash you with.

  • The device is working so-so, let’s say it’s not very fast or sometimes it reboot, you should have already (or start asap) a budget & save for a replacement (or find an alternative to it)

  • It stopped working ! I can’t live without it !!! First try to get a workaround (borrow an old phone or laptop) to get breathing time and not make any rushed decision.

Usual self deception

  • I can allow myself to upgrade (I have some money saved or I can use a credit card)
    • If there is no need, then waiting a bit more will give you more bang for the buck (prices of devices constantly go down for equivalent performances)
    • Think twice about the logical reason to upgrade and not the emotional reason
  • It’s too slow, I can’t stand it anymore
    • In most case, it’s possible to “clean” & optimize a phone or laptop. You can uninstall useless application on the phone or update the software (if you have an android phone). For a laptop, you can uninstall application, remove application/services started automatically. Once done, you can just upgrade memory (adding some RAM) or replacing the hard drive (with a SSD, you will feel having a whole new laptop)

How to proceed ?

  • Take time for thinking & defining clearly the need. And when you think you defined it clearly, ask someone else to review it & criticize (to avoid to fool yourself with emotional reasons)
  • Search on internet for devices that will match your need, keep in mind an overview of prices
  • Define the budget not to exceed
  • Make a list of a handful of devices that would match your need & fit in the budget (or slightly above)
  • Decide on a timeline to buy, try to give yourself as much time as possible to buy it
  • Look for discount or sales
  • Try to find a way to wait a bit longer & refine your need and what could solve it

Have you managed to resist the urge to replace a gizmo ? Did you replace one and thought it was totally worth the money ?

2 thoughts on “Gizmo upgrade

  1. The key for me is just avoiding the hype. I have the iphone and just refuse to upgrade. Mine works fine, makes and receives calls and allows me to text. Just what I need my phone to do. To often we get caught up in other people buying something and think oh i need to upgrade as well. When my phone stops working I will up grade.

    • It’s true that peer influence is a big factor. How often I have heard “this is your phone ? You don’t have money to buy a better one ?”
      I usually reply that my money has a better use than locked in as a piece of plastic

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