Old phone challenge, iphone 6s

Brown’s Bytes – The Old Phone Challenge: Week 1 Update

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

11th January 2019

As detailed last week, I have set myself a new challenge for 2019: to see how I get on if I use an old phone as if it was my new upgraded device.

See last week for more details about why I’m doing this, but in summary I am testing the theory that it may not now be necessary to upgrade devices every 2 years.

I have had a bit of feedback on this asking if an iPhone 6S is really old enough… surely the challenge would be greater with something even older (I’ve been offered a range of old devices by people – it seems we all have a drawer full of old phones these days).

So why the iPhone 6S?

1. It’s still getting updates  The point of this test is to see what the experience is like if you start to sweat assets longer. The biggest limit to how old you can go with a mobile device is to look at whether the devices are still receiving OS updates. You simply have to get these updates if you’re going to use the device in the Enterprise… as stated before these updates are a mix of feature updates, but most importantly they are security patches. This is why I chose Apple – they are miles ahead of the competition in this space.

2. I want a phone that still looks up to date This is much more subjective, but I work in a Mobile Technology company and I can’t show up to a meeting with a customer rocking an iPhone 4! The iPhone 6S can still be bought brand new and doesn’t really look that different to iPhone 7 and 8. Therefore it still “blends in” even though the model I have is 3 years old (in particular with a case on it).

3. It needs to have enough Memory – The 6S I am using is a 64GB model. That’s plenty of space for my Apps to breathe!

4. There was one going spare at the right moment! – Thanks go to Mrs Brown for donating her old handset for this challenge.

First Impressions

First thing to say is that Mrs B did an excellent job of looking after her phone. Despite being 3 years old and having had daily use, the device has been kept its entire life in a case and it is in immaculate condition.

It looks sufficiently new enough that I even had a bit of new phone buzz about getting it up and running (I’m going to be honest I missed iOS and wanted an excuse to go back).

So far, the only major downside is a big question mark on battery life. Having charged the phone up to 100% before activating it, I was alarmed to see that after initial activation and App downloads it had crashed down to 20%. I suspect battery life is going to be the main noticeable difference between using this phone vs a brand new one… watch this space.

The other thing to say is that it feels tiny! The screen real estate is considerably less that my Galaxy S8 and the display also feels pretty washed out on the older LCD screen. This was noticeable initially, but I’ve quickly got used to it now, and to be honest I’m not missing the S8 as much as I thought I might!

Migrating from Android to iOS

I’m not going to sugar coat this… this was a total pain.

The initial activation was simple enough (once I had remembered by Apple ID password), but I was left at the end with an empty phone.

Activating my work stuff was actually the easy bit: I just enrolled into our EMM and down came my mail and Corporate Apps.

I then headed to the App Store and grabbed all the Apps I wanted/needed. Again, pretty simple.

The problem is that with all the accounts you need to then log in to all these Apps. I couldn’t face doing it all in one go, but it felt like it took quite a few hours over a couple of days to get back in to all of my Apps. All those passwords I couldn’t remember because they’re all different of course and it’s two years since I last activated a phone and I’ve not needed them since then.

Many password resets later and I’m now up and running, but it simply is much easier to stay with the same manufacturer and you can see why users tend to stay loyal once they’ve made a choice.

So, we’re off and running… tune in next week to see how this device fairs in daily use.

See Week 2 of the challenge here.