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How Long Do Phones Last? The Basics Explained

by Dr Prem Community Writer
How Long Do Phones Last

Whenever you leave the house, you always have to run down your checklist: keys, wallet, and tiny computer that you can’t go anywhere without.

The smartphone has become a near-necessity for people of all ages, letting us do everything from stay in touch with loved ones to manage our finances. And because this piece of tech is seen as so essential, many of us feel pressured into upgrading to newer models as quickly as possible.

But how long do phones last, really?

Let’s take a look at the average lifespan of a smartphone, and what ways you can extend its longevity.

How Long Do Phones Last Normally?

As it turns out, the brand appears to play a role in how long a phone tends to last.

One study took a look at the depreciation rates of phones, assessing factors like repairability, battery size, data capacity. According to their findings, Samsung-brand phones reached the end of their lifespan after about 54 months. Apple phones lasted around 13 months longer.

So splitting the difference, let’s say that the average smartphone has a maximum shelf-life of about five years. 

What Impacts the Lifespan of a Phone?

Depending on your phone-use habits, five years could be longer than you would have expected.

There are a few common factors that can impact your phone’s lifespan. The top ones to watch out for are: 

1. Physical Damage

Physical Damage to a mobileOne of the surest ways to shorten your phone’s lifespan is to be less-than-gentle with it.

We all have accidents, some of us more often than others. That’s why taking proper precautions is essential.

Getting a shock-absorbing case is the easiest thing that you can do to make your phone last longer. Sometimes people can be hesitant though, thinking that cases are clunky or unappealing. But there are plenty of cool phone cases that can keep your unit looking good while keeping it safe.

2. Loss of Battery Life

Barring physical damage, the battery tends to be the first thing that goes on a smartphone. The cause here is how you charge your phone and how often.

Every time you plug your phone in your ticking its lifespan down a little more, so you should try to wait until your battery is down to 1% before charging. Avoid letting it get all the way down to zero though, as this can make the battery unstable. And once it’s done, be sure to unplug it immediately to protect the battery.

3. Extreme Heat or Cold

 mobile-under-direct-sunlightAn often overlooked factor is temperature. Leaving a phone out in direct sunlight can cause overheating, which can reduce battery life and even fry the processors. So be sure to put it away on your next beach day.

Extreme cold can damage your phone as well. Leaving your phone in the car on a bitter winter’s day can cause your LCD screen to malfunction and damage the battery. So whether it’s hot or cold, always remember to take your phone with you.

4. Caring for a Phone Saves You Money

It can be tempting to upgrade your phone every time a new model is released. But while it’s true that every phone has an expiration date, you could be saddling yourself with more payments without getting an appreciably better phone in the bargain.

Manufacturers want to sell as many new phones as possible, to the extent that they’ll sometimes make you question how long do phones last.

But a rule of thumb that you’ll hear from reputable dealers is to skip every other new model, as the modest improvements over its predecessor don’t justify the financial cost. And with proper care, you can extend your phone’s lifespan well beyond even that threshold.

And as always, for more tips on how to get the best value and performance out of your phone, be sure to keep up with all of our latest tips and guides.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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