How often do you upgrade your phone hardware?

How often do you upgrade your hardware? I guess I don’t really care what brand, or even what ‘tier’, but how often and why?

  1. Cool new feature/shiny new phone came out?
  2. Only when the old one gives out?
  3. When the old one no longer receives security updates?
  4. Old one broke?
  5. Upcycling because I’ll give my old one to my kid or Mom?

And when you replace it, how do you replace it? Our family tends to buy refurbed or end-of-cycle phones at bargains - e.g. the Moto Z3 Play is down to $200 on Moto’s site right now because they want to unload them. Other vendors do a similar thing when new models come out.

This thought was prompted by a survey recently

Let’s hear it from the RW Army!


I have been upgrading every year or year-and-a-half (sometimes less if I find a good enough deal). I buy my phone’s used so they don’t last as long as if you bought them new. I do save some money though!

I am currently using an S7 Edge. I bought it cracked and had the glass repaired on it. Ever since, it’s had phantom touch issues. Now, the battery doesn’t last that long. It’s time to get a new one in the next 8 months or so!


I try to get at least 3 years or more out of a phone, what usually riggers an upgrade is battery life and responsive


For me, tends to be every 2 years give or take. Usually right when the battery on the phone starts to be worn. And some feature(s) on the newer model I really want.

I thought I would never want to give up my (OG) Pixel XL. I loved that thing, I got that in late 2017 new for much less on Swappa vs Google Store. (had used my saved up money from donating blood plasma to get it). I skipped and had no interest in the Pixel 2 due to the terrible screens in them and major issues. But I started wanting a smaller phone, and with dual front facing speakers(i really missed that from my old Moto X Pure). The Pixel 3 came out with that and a improved camera…I could not resist.

I normally buy NIB or used Mint phone from Swappa. I had done so from my previous devices…but the Pixel 3 was a bit too new to have any real savings on that venue…plus, it was the first time I would spending more than $500 on a phone. *$1k in fact it cost after adding the Protection plan. But at least a saved a bit as I waited until the black friday sale.

I don’t have any plans on upgrading my Pixel 3 anytime soon…unless it breaks outside of it 2yr protection plan. The Pixel 4, info so far…meh…ill wait until the Pixel 5.

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I would like to have a new phone, but can’t justify it. My Moto Z Play is more than 3 years old, but I can’t find anything wrong with it other than a so-so camera that’s the same as it’s always been. It still holds a charge for 4 or 5 days.

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I replace the phone when the old one stops working. As long as the phone still does what it was designed to do–and what I bought it for-- why replace?


Currently, 5 years. Originally I was planning to do it every 2.5 years but since my old trusty Moto G still worked, I kept it for 5 years until I got a really good deal on a new phone. It was getting to the point that the old phone got a little too slow.


I’m probably atypical (and by that, I mean I’m a hardware nerd, so I’m definitely atypical), but until this year, I’ve had a “new every year” relationship with my phones. That said, unless there are some extremely unexpected announcements about when the Pixel 4XL is released, I’ll probably hold onto my Pixel 3XL for an extra year. In past years, I’ve bought the new phone directly from Google, then kept my old phone as a backup (then selling my “old” backup phone).

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I started with Defy in 2013 and a little over a year later I purchased a Moto G1 because the plans were less money. Recently took Moto G1 out of it’s retirement and have it on WiFi only plan. Used it as main phone for 3 years. It’s a tough little phone, very reliable.

With the new plans coming out and wider verity of phones, in 2016 moved to Moto Pure. Unfortunately mine was a lemon of a phone. Motorola and I played several rounds of FedEx tennis with the phone. Finally in early 2017 I decided to get another phone as I especially needed a reliable phone while recovering from surgery. RW had a sale on Samsung S7 Edge so I purchased one.

S7 E worked fine and was reliable. Big problem was the slowness of the updates from Samsung. Losing many of it’s charming features after the first update. Took a road trip in late 2018 and the camera was starting to act funny on my S7 E. I could see the handwriting on the wall so I waited to see if RW would support Pixel 3 and for Cyber Thursday sale on Google. Purchased Pixel 3 XL in 2018.

This is hands down the best phone I’ve had. I’m hoping to get many years of service out of it as I am still getting out of my Moto G1. No longer the long wait for OS and security updates. Booting up is a lot quicker too.


I have happily migrated through a bunch over the last 7 years: the Defy, then through all the rest of the pre 3.0 phones (X1-2, G1-3, E1-2) then a Moto X Pure (had to replace it after a year because of battery problems).

  • Now on the Moto X4, and plan on keeping it as long as possible :star_struck:
  • On the same subject, check out the article I just flipped into the Flipboard 'Republic Wireless the CommunityLINK to FLIPBOARD, where the latest in phone ‘stuff’ is collected , primarily by @louisdi … but you are welcome to try to find something of interest to all of us before he does :frowning:

I’ve averaged about 2 years per phone (Moto X and then Nexus 5x). I now have the Pixel 3 and am hoping for 3 years (by Oct. 2021) and will replace it with the Pixel 5e or 6e. I’ve decided flagship phones are not worth the cost to me although I LOVE the camera. I do want to have a phone that gets updates, which is why I tend to avoid older phones. I upgraded my old phones both because they were getting too slow and because they no longer got security updates.

My husband buys iPhones that last 4 years for him. Cricket isn’t cutting it for him in our new house, so he’s looking for another provider … hint hint

Our phones get handed down to the kids for music listening devices.


Probably in the 2 to 3 year range and usually it’s based upon the phone not working as fast or the battery life has drastically declined. I currently own a Pixel 2 that is coming up on 2 years of ownership in October and the battery life has decreased significantly all of a sudden. I purchased it from the Google Store and also purchased their Preferred Care coverage. Instead of purchasing a new phone, this time I contacted Google Support and they are sending me a free replacement phone (factory refurb) which I should receive tomorrow. I’m hoping the replacement will last at least another 2 years as I’m perfectly happy with the Pixel 2.


I had the Defy for a year & got the Moto X as soon as it was available. Have had it 5? years now. Did a self-replace of the battery about a year ago. Last June it went ‘wonky’ on me so I had to do a “factory reset” and all is great again. I will replace it when it dies terminally, as I like my old cheap service plan that is not available on new phones.

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I have so far had the Defy XT, X1, X Pure and X4. The Defy to X1 transition wasn’t so much a phone issue as the plan offered for the X1. The X1 didn’t work that great after the Lollipop upgrade…hence the X Pure …and X Pure battery started giving out and also the X4 discounts were too enticing. So 4 phones in 7 yrs…assuming the X4 lasts another year… I am averaging about 2yrs per phone… I am hoping this X4 goes a bit longer…but I am tempted by the better camera quality of the Pixel phones…and at the 3a price point…it is something I would consider.

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Let’s see…
For me it was
Defy XT
X3 Pure
Z2 Play

The rest of the household went through X1 and G1s, G3s, G5+ and now have two Z2 Plays, a G6, four X4s and a Sammy S8.

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Interesting topic! I expected to read about people replacing phone parts; do cases count? I’ve had four phones in roughly 20 years. Current one is almost six. It has hardware failures inside but seems to (mostly) work for my needs.

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Do those of you who keep phones for a long time worry at all about not getting current Android security updates?

If we go by the numbers, we’d want RW to carry Nokia phones to keep current…

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I don’t know what the ramifications of that would be, but I am aware of perhaps more general issues such as software not running on outdated operating systems.

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