Members of the Mincey Plantation live on the time honored hand-me-down method of techno-gadgetry. What’s used, gets used, and while our college-age children don’t have the latest and greatest Apple gear, nobody suffers, we all save a few bucks.
That methodology applies for Mac, of course, iPads, too, even Apple Watch, and Apple TV, but especially for iPhone models. Our rule of thumb is simple. If the latest OS version won’t run, then we find another home for the device. These are simple signs that work well.
For Mac, iPad, Watch, iPhone, et al, we simply make sure everything works on each device before we do the hand-me-down dance to offspring or neighbors. Macs and iPads last the longest, of course, Watch and iPhone get recycled more frequently.
Screen – Perhaps the most visible issue with Mac, iPad, and iPhone is the screen, but they crack and break more on iPhone than all others combined. If it’s cracked, we get a new screen. We also have AppleCare.
iOS Version – Also high on the list of signs to get a new anything– Mac, iPad, or iPhone (even Watch)– is which version of the operating system will run on the device. If the latest won’t run on it, we move it from hand-me-down into giveaway mode.
Storage – We learned our lesson years ago on early iPhones that came with barely enough SSD storage space to handle apps, let along photos so it’s not a problem these days. The basic rule of thumb is to get the storage you can afford, the only caveat being the iPhone XS Max where 512GB is overkill.
Dongles – We Mincey folk probably have more dongles than most households which rely on Apple gear. I have SCSI cables, Parallel and Serial cables from the PC era, and even a few 32 pin connectors for iPods and early iPhones, and that means dongles. How else can you attach older accessories to newer devices. When you can’t connect, get a new model.
Camera – If there is a single item that puts any member of the Mincey clan into iPhone hand-me-down mode it’s the camera. Yes, there are visibly distinct differences in photos from iPhone X and iPhone XS, but photos have reached the point where differences in new models are minimal, but new ones are so good there is an enhanced incentive to hand-me-down older models, including all the iPhone 6 and 6s versions, and a strong case can be made to get rid of a used iPhone 7, even though Apple still sells them new.
That brings me down to the basics. Photos, camera, and display. Since the latest iOS version runs on iPhones from iPhone XS Max to iPhone SE and iPhone 5s, the major differences are visual. Take your old iPhone into an Apple Store and compare it side-by-side to a new iPhone– XS Max or even XR. You’ll see the difference in displays, and the photos from each camera.
If you are embarrassed by your iPhone’s photos and display, it’s time to move up; time to get a new iPhone.