Smartphones are a key productivity tool for both work and personal lives — and it’s often pretty obvious when an upgrade is needed. But sometimes the signs can be subtle, at least until the tech is really holding you back.
Maybe the aging battery requires you to always carry an external charger with you. Or you’re stuck awkwardly looking at a loading screen while everyone in a meeting waits for you to start your presentation. Maybe you had a security scare — or an actual breach — and are ready for the next level of biometric security, ultrasonic fingerprint ID.
If you’re wondering whether you might be due for an upgrade, here are nine clear signals to watch for.
1. A screen for sore eyes
Are you tired of squinting at your phone’s tiny screen or constantly zooming in to read your boss’s emails? Screen size has continued to increase over the years, making it easier to get work done and take advantage of mobile multitasking features. The latest devices like the Samsung Galaxy S21/S21+/S21 Ultra 5G have no physical home button and no notch — so you can see more content and hold less phone. And the S21 Ultra’s 6.8-inch display features adaptive technology that adjusts its refresh rate to match the content you are viewing for the best possible picture and longer battery life. If your phone is more bezel than screen, it’s time to upgrade.
2. Need for speed
Users are constantly told they now carry supercomputers around with them everywhere they go — but do you spend more time waiting for apps to load than you do actually using them? Application processor performance improves significantly with each generation of smartphones. And newer phones — like the S21, with 8GB of RAM on the base model and up to 16GB on the top-of-the-range S21 Ultra — have plenty of memory, so you can get more done with your device. You’ll really see the computing capabilities of the latest Samsung devices when you use Samsung DeX, which provides a desktop experience powered by your phone.
3. Security worries
Because smartphones store or provide access to not only personal information, but also professional data, they are one of the most popular targets for theft. But not all phones are created equal when it comes to security. If your device does not offer hardware-level security or you are no longer receiving regular security updates, you should think seriously about upgrading.
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4. Password problems
Passwords are a pain. Not only are they tough to remember; they’re also susceptible to hacking. With biometrics, on the other hand, you can reduce your reliance on passwords and increase your device security. Smartphones have had fingerprint scanners for a number of years, but newer devices come with more options, including ultrasonic in-display sensors and facial recognition.
5. Battery life blues — and reds
Watching the battery icon on your smartphone drain faster than free donuts disappear in the office can be a desperate feeling — one which many smartphone users suffer on a regular basis. The lithium-ion batteries that power smartphones inevitably begin to see reduced performance after 500 charging cycles, according to Battery University. If you have an older device, its battery life is likely well past its peak. Newer devices offer all-day-and-more battery life (and recharge in under an hour), so you never get shut out of your device. The new Galaxy S21 also leverages artificial intelligence (AI)-powered power management, which preserves battery life when it’s not needed by turning off unneeded functions. With the optional Super-Fast charging accessory, you can power back up from zero to more than 50 percent in about 30 minutes.
6. Wireless charging
Are you sick of scrambling through your desk drawers for the right cable to charge your phone? Are you tired of navigating the thicket of cables consuming your desk space? Welcome to the uncluttered world of wireless charging. Wireless charging is not only convenient, but with advanced charging technology, it’s also fast. Want even more options? Several of Samsung latest devices offer Wireless PowerShare, which lets you charge your Galaxy Buds Live or another compatible device with your phone.
7. Mobile hydrophobia
Mobile phones tend to be at greater risk of water hazards than other computing devices — after all, you take them outside and basically everywhere with you far more than any other device. However, with the latest Samsung phones, you don’t need to be afraid of water. Samsung was among the first to introduce water resistance on its flagship line, and the new S21 continues that tradition with its IP68 rating. If you’re looking for a truly rugged option, consider the military-grade Galaxy XCover Pro.
8. Storage overload
Have you found yourself deciding whether to delete a video of a precious puppy or family vacation in order to download a critical work file? If so, it’s probably time for a new phone with more storage. With the S21, you get a choice of 128GB or 256GB — so you’ll never have to sacrifice photos, files or videos to stay caught up again.
9. Voice assistant
Do you ever feel like you’re not being heard? If your smartphone lacks a voice-activated personal assistant, you might be stuck talking to yourself. As the rest of the world tells its phones to send messages, answer emails, update calendars, read the news, check the weather and more, you’ll just be listening to your own voice.