Tips to make your current iPhone last longer and skip buying the new iPhone 14

Apple releases new iPhones annually, and 2022 is no different with the launch of the new iPhone 14 series. However, this doesn’t mean you have to upgrade to the new iPhone or go ahead with the upgrade cycle each year.

Sure, the Apple Keynote, followed by new ads, fan tweets, news, and articles, may tempt you to place an order for the latest iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, or 14 Pro Max. However, if you’re already using a relatively new iPhone, there is no need to upgrade! Instead, you can follow these tips to make your current iPhone last longer without compromising on user experience.

Holding green iPhone 13 in front of green bushes
Image: Vua Tao for Unsplash

But I can afford and want to get the latest iPhone…

For the most part, making a new purchase comes down to finances. If money isn’t the issue or you have enrolled in the iPhone Upgrade Program, you can go ahead and get the newest iPhone. Just make sure you sell, pass on, or trade-in your current iPhone only after following these 15 essential things you must do before selling, giving away, or trading your iPhone or iPad.

However, if you aren’t a part of that group, it’s better to hold yourself back from upgrading to a new iPhone this year or every year. That money can be better utilized for your daily needs, or you can keep it in the bank, or invest it somewhere and use this amount (along with the interest/gains) to upgrade to a new iPhone next year.

Ask yourself, is your iPhone working fine?

iPhones are known to last for several years. An iPhone will get the latest software update and work just fine for at least 4 to 5 years. Therefore, if you’re on iPhone Xs or later, you can easily hold off on buying the latest iPhone this year. In case you don’t know what iPhone you have, here’s how to find your iPhone name and model number.

If you’re on the iPhone 13 series, there is almost certainly no need to upgrade to the newer iPhone model. But note that only iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max have the 120Hz refresh rate screen. All other iPhone models have a screen refresh rate of 60Hz.

So, if your primary goal is to get a higher refresh rate screen, you will have to upgrade from your iPhone 13, 13 mini, or the previous models to the iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max (iPhone 14 and 14 Plus don’t have 120Hz display). On the other hand, if higher display refresh rate isn’t that much of a concern, you’re well off with your current iPhone.

iPhone 12 in black color with two rear cameras and white iPhone 13 Pro with three back cameras kept together
Image: Jeremy Bezanger for Unsplash

How to ensure your current iPhone works great, eliminating the need to buy the latest model

Check your iPhone’s battery health

Like all batteries, your iPhone battery has a limited lifespan. Therefore, the first thing you should do when you’re considering upgrading is to check the battery health. Here are 4 ways to do that, the quickest being from the Settings app > Battery > Battery Health.

  • If the maximum capacity is 90+%, your iPhone’s battery is still incredible, and you can comfortably use it for the next few years.
  • If the number stands between 60% to 89%, your battery is good for about a couple years.
  • And, if the number is less than 60%, that certainly doesn’t mean your iPhone is unusable, but you should consider getting the battery replaced. A newer battery will give ensure your iPhone works at its peak capability.
Battery Health Maximum Capacity in iPhone battery settings

You can get your iPhone’s battery serviced by Apple or an Apple-authorized service center. There are other repair shops, but we don’t recommend those.

Usually, an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement should cost you about $69. For more, have a look at the following resources:

Note that even if your iPhone battery is fine, you can certainly learn a few battery-saving tips and maximize its lifespan with optimized charging:

Once you have ensured your iPhone battery is healthy (or you’re ok with shorter use time), the next essential step is to confirm your device is compatible with the latest iOS version.

Update your iPhone to the latest iOS

Currently, the latest iOS version is iOS 16. You can download and install iOS 16 on iPhone 8 and later by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

However, note that some iOS 16 features like multilayered photo effect on the Lock Screen, Live Text in videos, and more are only available on iPhones Xs and later having an A12 Bionic chip or newer.

You can easily skip updating to the latest iPhone if your existing iPhone’s battery is good and it can run the latest iOS. But continue reading the remaining tips to ensure your current iPhone works and feels fast.

Remove unnecessary apps

Go to the App Library by swiping left on the last Home Screen page on iPhone running iOS 14 or later. Next, swipe down, and you will see all your apps and Home Screen bookmarks in alphabetical order, followed by App Clips.

Slowly scroll down this screen and if you come across apps, bookmarks, or App Clips that you no longer need or use, simply tap and hold its icon (not the name) and choose Delete App.

Delete app from App Library on iPhone

Another excellent approach is to go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to see which apps you have never used or when you last used one. From there, you can quickly delete or offload the app. Less installed apps will reduce the clutter and make things snappier.

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Delete useless files, conversations, media, etc.

As we continue spring cleaning, go to the Messages app and delete unnecessary conversations & attachments. Next, open the Files app and get rid of all the useless downloads, documents, images, etc.

Once that’s done, you can do the same in other apps like Photos, Music, TV, etc.

The above two tips should have freed considerable local storage. However, if you still need help, check out 40+ ways to save storage space on iPhone and iPad.

Regularly restart your iPhone

Another super helpful and strongly recommended tip to ensure your iPhone feels smooth is to make sure you restart it regularly. Every few days, turn off your iPhone and turn it back off after waiting for a minute or so.

This simple step will regularly delete caches, free RAM, and fix broken software processes, ensuring a better iPhone experience.

Keep your apps updated

Most app developers update their apps to make them work perfectly with the latest version of iOS. These updates may also bring new features or security improvements. So to ensure you don’t miss out on these, keep your iPhone apps updated.

Reset and set up as a new device

Do you still feel that your current iPhone is slow? Does this lag tempt you to reach your credit card and place an order for the newest iPhone?

Before you do that, consider resetting your iPhone settings or erasing the device completely and setting it up again. You can choose to restore a backup or set up your iPhone as a new device. This action is almost certain to improve your iPhone speed, and if you set up your device as new (which we recommend), you may get the feel of a fresh iPhone.

Here are all the tutorials to help:

Get a new screen protector and cover

Finally, even though you’re not upgrading to a new iPhone, replacing your currently applied scratched screen protector with a new one will immediately sharpen your screen and give the impression of a new device.

If you use a case, you may get tired of using the same one. To spice things up, consider getting a new iPhone case.

Besides giving a new look, a screen protector and case will also protect your iPhone from physical damage and increase its longevity.

iPhone cases
Source: Unsplash

Hold yourself from upgrading to the latest iPhone

There is no doubt that every new iPhone is better than its predecessor. But that doesn’t mean your current or old iPhone becomes unusable the day a new model is launched. For the most part, if your current iPhone battery is good, runs the latest iOS version, and works fast, you can easily keep using it for the next year or two.

Choosing to use your existing iPhone adds extra life to the device and is ultimately better for your wallet and the environment.

What are your thoughts on upgrading to a new iPhone? What’s your typical upgrade cycle? Is it every year, two years, three years, or longer than that? Also, what factors or features make it inciting to update? Let us know in the comments section below.

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