How to make any smartphone feel (sort of) brand new again

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Between the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8’s recent releases and constant presence in headlines, it’s easy for the mobile enthusiast to get that “new phone” itch that needs to be scratched – and for good reasons, too. Both devices have some great features, specs, and designs. They both also cost a pretty penny, which can be a hard sell for some, especially if their current phone really isn’t in that bad of shape. If you’re torn between picking up a new phone and sticking with your old one, consider spending less money sprucing up your old phone before taking the plunge on a new phone for hundreds of dollars more.

Buy a New Case

In my opinion, a brand new case can make a world of difference in the way a phone looks, particularly if your phone has visible wear and tear from use. I also consider a good case a smart investment for protecting your phone, which can become quite costly to replace.

Redesign Your Homescreen

This mostly applies to Android users. I’ve found that dedicating a few hours to personalizing your homescreen can make a big difference in how favorably I view my phone. Finding new widgets (I recommend Month and Zooper), wallpapers (Backdrops), launchers (Evie is my newest go-to, but ASAP, Nova, and Apex are popular as well), and icon packs are all great ways to give your phone an entirely new look and feel.

Do a Little Spring Cleaning

Sometimes I get the new phone itch because my phone’s performance starts to slow down, which is inevitable once you’ve accumulated months or years of photos, videos, files, and apps. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to do a little spring cleaning like clearing app cache data, deleting apps you no longer use, and cleaning out your unused or unwanted files.

… Followed Up By a Little Sprucing

Depending on your phone, you may also have optimization options for your battery and power that are worth visiting every once in a while. It’s also not a bad idea to Google battery optimization tips and tricks for your specific phone. Subreddits and XDA forums dedicated to specific smartphones have been extremely valuable resources over the years for me as well.

When All Else Fails, Reset

A daunting task, sometimes a good ol’ fashioned reset is the best medicine for an ailing and aging smartphone. Creating a backup of all of your information beforehand is advised so as to not lose anything important (which I would advise to do frequently whether you reset your phone or not, just to be safe), but clearing all of that out and starting completely over is a good way to ensure that nothing is holding your phone back. Sometimes I just go straight for the reset because after it’s all said and done, my phone runs like a champ afterwards every time.

Still Have The Itch? Consider “Old” Models

If none of the above solutions get rid of the new phone itch for you, you can still save money by buying either “old” models or secondhand. I’ve seen countless sales on the Galaxy S7 and LG G5 over the past couple of months, in some cases decreasing the price by more than 50% of their full retail price. Phones that are older than 6 months old aren’t nearly as obsolete as they used to be at this point, and are worth considering if you’re in the market for something new but don’t want to break the bank.

To be frank, when smartphones are your vice nothing perfectly emulates the feeling of taking a new phone out of the box. However, these methods can at least stave off the feeling of needing to buy the latest and greatest for a little while, and allows you to enjoy your initial investment for that much longer.


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