There are new models of phones being released with a record speed and frequency these days. Leading brands like Samsung and Apple are putting new models on the market every year or even several times per year, which makes the majority of users want to get their hands on that latest model.
However, today’s article will be more suitable for those of you who can control your urge to buy the latest phone and stick with your existing one for as long as it can properly serve you.
We will dig deeper into the whole ‘How long does cell phone last?’ question and dissect it to provide you with as much useful information as possible. After finishing reading, you should have a clear picture of how long does cell phone lasts and know which aspects are predictable and which are not to set your expectations properly.
Moreover, we will take a closer look at the things you can do to make your phone last longer. Does 5 years sound impossible?
So, are you ready? Let’s do this!
How Many Years Should A Cell Phone Or Smartphone Last?
As you can imagine there are many components and thus countless aspects that contribute to a phone’s lifespan. The ever-faster evolution of technology and companies’ desire to make as many sales as possible have a tendency to nudge people towards replacing their phones much faster than perhaps needed.
Currently, the average length for an individual to hold the same phone is set at 2.8 years for Androids and 2.9 years for iPhones. But are those the numbers that tell you how long does cell phone lasts?
Due to the reasons given in the top paragraph in this section, this number only tells us how long an average user sticks with the phone before replacing it. In quite many cases the phone could easily last for additional few years. And in many cases, those phones are refurbished or otherwise put to prolonged use.
Another factor that we must take into account is the standard 2-year warranty that most new phones come with. Unfortunately, many manufacturers tend to plan certain components of the phone to start failing as soon as the two-year period passes in order to get you to buy a new phone.
Thought, as the sustainability awareness strengthens, we may expect phones to last longer and even users to be more prone to fixing their phones instead of replacing them at the sign of first issues.
Before we move on, we must also mention that certain mobile technologies become absolute. For instance, 2G towers have already been put out of use and 3G towers are in the process of elimination. That means that there are many parts of the world, where 2G and 3G phones won’t be of any good. Even if the phone is still functioning, if its tech becomes absolute, it is of no use.
How Long Should A Budget Smartphone Last?
In general, you can expect a more expensive phone to last longer than a budget one. For one, it should pack higher quality materials and components and that be more durable. However, sometimes budget phones can surprise you and last as long as the most expensive phones, this can especially be the case when considering flip or basic cell phones.
The most problematic part with both budget and high-end phones is the battery. But with budget ones, you often have the ability to replace the battery with ease, which can contribute to a longer life span of the device.
So, how long should a budget smartphone last? 2 – 3 years should be optimal. However, you need to keep in mind that a budget smartphone won’t be very fast even as new, so with years, its speed and performance will also degrade faster as the apps and operating systems become more demanding.
How Long Should A High-end Smartphone Last?
You’d expect high-end phones to last much longer than budget smartphones, right? Well, you can definitely expect a high-end smartphone to be capable of working at decent speeds for a longer period. However, the thing is that an average user of a high-end smartphone gets used to its top speed when the device is new, so it can be hard to tolerate slower performance as the device ages.
Thus, high-end smartphone users also tend to hold on to their phones somewhere between 2-3 years. However, the main difference with high-end smartphones is that a quite decent percentage of them get traded in, especially as many wireless companies tend to offer special discounts for users that make use of that option. Traded-in devices then get refurbished and put back on the market, which makes high-end smartphones that go down that road last longer. It can be 4 – 5 years easily or even 6 years or more in some cases.
How Long Should An iPhone Last?
iPhone has been a synonym for quality for years. And Apple continues to deliver high-quality products. However, as you can see in the ‘How many years should a cell phone or smartphone last?’ section, on average iPhones tend to last 2.9 years, which is 0.1 years longer than an average Android.
Though, we need to point out the fact that iPhones have one of the highest trade-in percentage, which means that their life-spans often get prolonged by giving them a second chance.
As such, you can find many users holding to their iPhones for 5 years or even more.
How Long Will The Smartphone Last Depending On The Types Of Problems?
There are many aspects and problems that can occur, which all determine the phone’s lifespan. These days, smartphones are pocket computers and have a huge number of components which can all be a breaking point.
However, there are two aspects that we want to focus on; these are battery life and operating issues.
Battery Life Impacts
You already know that battery life degrades over time. Despite the fact that the technology is constantly improving, we haven’t yet been able to create batteries that would be able to perform the same after years of operation as they had when they were new.
If you take good care of your phone and there are no physical damages or other issues, you will most likely experience this battery degradation. Your phone use and charging habits will play an important role when it comes to battery life. However, after 1.5 years or so, every phone starts to show noticeable battery capacity.
If you are able to charge your device during the day, this may not be a huge problem, however, if you need your device to be able to go on for a full day on a single charge, you may be in a pickle.
Aside from the battery, operating issues are the most important aspect. Your need will play an important role here. For instance, if you use your phone mainly for calls and texts, you may be able to have a single phone for much longer compared to a user that needs to perform the most advanced multitasking, play the latest games, or be able to take professional-grade photos.
Moreover, if the phone’s system starts to crash down on a regular basis or experiences other annoying and time-consuming glitches, you will surely replace it sooner than later.
As mentioned previously, operating issues have a tendency to appear after the two-year warranty expires. Coincidence?
What Can You Do To Make A Smartphone Last Longer?
Now that you know how long does cell phone lasts on average, let’s take a closer look at some of the things you can do to make it last longer.
Keep Your Phone Protected
We are all only humans and accidents do happen, however, by taking good care of your device, you can prevent physical damage, which is still the number one cause for most phones’ deaths.
Many phones these days are built to easily sustain a quite high level of physical force, however, there are so many parts inside these pocket computers that high external forces can cause microscopic damages to its internals, and those cause various unpredictable issues.
Moreover, broken displays tend to be one of the leading reasons why people change their phones prematurely. Displays are expensive and in many cases, it is not much more costly to switch to a new device than to change its display.
With that in mind, be cautious and hold your phone properly. Also use additional protection, such as rubber/leather/plastic bumpers and screen covers. That way you can easily add a year or two to your phone’s lifespan.
Install Online Reputable Apps
We all have a ton of apps on our smartphones, which all have a tendency to run in the background and slow down our phones. This can easily be managed to a certain degree just by making sure to close all unnecessary/non-essential apps regularly.
Moreover, make sure to install only reputable apps, apps that have a solid rating and a decent amount of positive reviews.
In addition, make sure to take some time every once in a while to go through your menu and see if there are any apps that you are not using and delete them.
Install Updates Regularly
We know that updates can be annoying, however, it is very important to keep your phone’s OS and all app up to date. You can have the updates automated or perform them manually.
Keep Your Phone Clean
Make sure to use proper phone cleaning agents and smooth clothes when cleaning your phone. It is important to keep your phone’s port clean as well. That way you prevent microscopic debris from entering the phone and causing issues.
Most of us use our phones 24/7, however, keep in mind that even phones deserve some break. Every once in while turning your device off for a couple of minutes or hours (nighttime can be great for that). If that is not an option, at least reboot/restart your phone once per week.
Repairing Damage Promptly
If any physical damage occurs, make sure to get it repaired promptly. That way further issues can be prevented. If your phone is still under warranty, make sure to take these sorts of problems to the official store, otherwise, you can use any reputable electronics repair store.
Charge It Properly
These days most phones use Li-Ion batteries, which promise maximum resistance to various types of charging. However, it turns out that in order to make the most of your battery and help it retain as high a capacity as possible, it is best to not let your battery capacity fall below 15% and not charge it to more than 85%. This is the optimal way.
It is also important to use original cables and adapters to charge your phone.
Even though most phones these days have built-in protections, it is still not recommended to keep your phone plugged after fully charged.
How Long Does a Cell Phone Battery Charge Last?
These days the goal is to have a phone that can last a full day. With large and bright displays and many apps running, these can be quite a challenge. However, most solid smartphones do present you with a full-day battery. In many cases, the battery can last even two, three, or four days when the phone is new and not used for battery-draining tasks, such as watching videos or playing games.
However, as the phone ages, the battery capacity falls even if you charge it perfectly. That is the nature of batteries.
The exact lifespan of batteries is highly unpredictable as it greatly depends on each user’s use cases. Generally speaking, you need to consider battery cycles (one charging and one drainage = one cycle). The greater the number of cycles, the more likely the battery to experience capacity reduction.
Operating temperature also plays a very important role when it comes to battery life span. Do the best you can to prevent overheating for optimal results. 2 – 3 years seems to be the average lifespan for most smartphone batteries these days. However, battery capacity degradation can already be noticed after a couple of months of use.
How Long Should You Keep A Phone?
If you want to be kind to the environment and thus a responsible earthling (unless you plan on trading in or reselling your phone), you should aim to use one phone for as long as possible. 2 years should be a bare minimum, and getting it to work properly for anything more than 6 years is also very rare.
However, there are many users who simply need their phones to be able to perform at their best. Those of you will surely need to replace your devices more often. Just make sure to put your old phone to use by trading it in, reselling it, or recycling it if broken.
Which Last Longer – Android Phones or iPhones?
Looking at the ‘How many years should a cell phone or smartphone last?’ section, we can see that on average, iPhones, at 2.9 years tend to last 0.1 years longer than Androids. However, you need to know that these numbers are not very accurate as it is hard to keep track of the exact phones’ lifespans considering that many models get to be reused and distributed to third world countries, where they get to live for an additional couple of years.
Moreover, the comparison between the iPhones and Androids doesn’t seem completely fair. iPhones, on one hand, focus on a limited number of models, of which all are high-end ones, while there is an extremely broad range of Android phones, from entry-level all the way up to luxurious ones. With that said, for this life-span comparison to make the most sense, iPhones should be compared with high-end models of Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Google, and OnePlus, in which case, the results are more or less even.
You can read one of our past articles How To Replace Qlink Wireless Phone
At this point, you are a true semi-expert on cell phone lifespan. You know that there are many factors that determine how long does cell phone last. Moreover, you know that there are some that are completely unpredictable and others that you, as a user, can affect. You also know what the most important steps to apply to extend your phone’s life span are.
Use your phone wisely and stay safe!