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Is the Latest Smartphone Worth It?

It’s hard to believe there was a time when the best feature on a phone was Snake played on the screen of your handheld Nokia. But times they are a’changing, and it seems like new models of smartphones come out every few months. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you commit to buying the latest and greatest that tech has to offer.

Do I need a new one?

Check out the status of your current phone. If the screen is cracked, the apps or operating system crashes often and without warning, or the battery won’t hold a charge, these are signs you may actually need a new phone. 

How long is it meant to last?

Do some research to see when the newest model will come out. I mean the next newest. Some of them seem to have such immediate upgrades that it seems almost like a moot point to go for the first available version when another is hot on its tails.

Can I use the new features?

There’s something unbelievably fun about having the shiniest new toy, especially when it may have features like live action emojis to match your moods. However, if you’re not in dire need of more storage space or a larger screen, be careful not to get swept up in the details that you may not need to consider your upgrade worth it.

Is there a more reasonable option?

Your quandary doesn’t necessarily need to be the newest or nothing. You could always upgrade your current phone to an only slightly newer model for faster load times and better graphics, without breaking the bank for the most cutting edge tech out there.

If you’re just after the fun features, check out refurbished options of the latest model. You may just get the best of both worlds—bells and whistles at a lower price point. But if you have the budget and for the newest upgrade, consider treating yourself! Remember when considering the switch to the next versions of tech—from smartphones to tablets to computers—keep in mind cost versus value to determine the right move for you and your wallet.

Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.

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