Hot topics

Which of your phones lasted the longest?

AndroidPIT Samsung NOTE 8 GOLD 4370
© nextpit

Endurance is a quality that is universally admired, but when it comes to the fast-moving world of technology, the longevity of a handset is often its undoing as consumers continue to clamor for better and faster hardware improvements rather than keep the same phone for a long period of time. Smartphones generally end up being replaced due to a hardware breakdown or becoming sluggish as it strives to keep up with the latest updates. Here we'll discover some of the Android smartphones that have managed to stay in great shape in terms of overall durability and performance capability.

While smartphones will never earn a place on the shelves beside shampoo and others in the “Fast Moving Consumer Goods” (FMCG) category, it's become a rite of passage for companies to introduce yearly updates to their existing model range, with flagship devices often taking center stage. Mobile carriers have also made it more tempting to run with the latest smartphone model in your hand by offering extremely attractive pricing plans tied into your monthly subscription, or a guaranteed free upgrade plan each year, among others.

What if you are able to easily afford the latest Galaxy S series handset or LG V range, but simply refuse to for one simple reason: you’re plain happy with the current smartphone model in your pocket, and see no reason to make the jump?

We took a look at some of the preferred choice Android smartphones based on a Reddit thread whose owners have refused to make the upgrade jump because their handset continues to serve its purpose well, and is also extremely durable. Keep in mind that the durability of the legendary Nokia 3310 can no longer be achieved by smartphones of today. Those were indeed simpler days prior to the arrival of the touchscreen.

The criteria taken into consideration for a smartphone that ages well definitely starts with consistent and prolonged battery life and performance. Take note that some of the candidates that fall in this elite group of Android smartphones for longevity and durability might not be commonplace or can only be found in selected markets.

AndroidPIT LG G3 hero 2
The LG G3 is a rare example of a smartphone that has aged quite well. / © NextPit

There is a healthy spread of smartphones from different manufacturers that had loyal owners of anywhere from two to four years before deciding that it was time for an upgrade. While using a four-year old smartphone as a daily driver might sound odd, you might be surprised to find out that the experience might not be all that different from the latest and greatest model in the market. Unless of course, you insist that unlocking your smartphone with your iris is a 'must have' feature.

To Samsung’s credit, the Galaxy S5 had some honorable mentions.

It is safe to assume that Samsung’s bitter rival, LG, had its golden era of Android smartphones with the LG G2, LG G3, and Nexus 5 being rated very highly by many users. These handsets are basically regarded as indestructible when it comes to daily use, and are still chugging along nicely even after all this time.

Motorola’s original DROID was a tank, but it was the Moto X (2013) and Moto X (2014) that were most frequently cited to be a durable daily driver, while the Moto G (1st generation) proved worthy as well. With Motorola manufacturing the Nexus 6, that is one device that continues to run strong in many people’s pockets despite being released in November 2014.

HTC must have outdone themselves with the HTC One M7 and HTC One M8, with both of these handsets retaining their edge in terms of design even until today.

Less popular Android handsets that continue to work well even in the era of Android 8.0 Oreo devices include the OnePlus 3 and the Sony Z3 Compact. You will find that developing countries will command a larger share of two to four year old smartphones as opposed to the shiniest new model as economic factors play an important role in these markets.

The number 1 reason many users of these smartphones in mature markets decided to stick to their long outdated hardware was attributed to consistent performance, and most of the owners ran custom ROMs rather than just stock Android as the operating system of choice. This more advanced level of users is a special breed who know what they want and would most probably skip a few upgrade cycles before making the leap.

This group also showed a tendency to swap the old battery for a new one to keep the same handset running well for perhaps another couple of years, where most people would just reason that a failing battery is a sign to upgrade the handset. Apart from that, the average consumer whom smartphone companies target successfully most of the time is flooded by ads that encourage an upgrade for the sheer sake of owning the newest model as opposed to keeping an existing model for the simple reason that it still works, and works well.

Now over to you. Which Android smartphone have you stuck with the longest, and why? We would love to hear of your adventures with the pocket Old Faithful of your choice. 

The best Samsung Galaxy phones compared

  Best flagship Best all-rounder Best foldable Best compact foldable Best midrange model Best budget model
Device Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Samsung Galaxy A54
Samsung Galaxy A34
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review
Samsung Galaxy S23 review
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review
Samsung Galaxy A54 review
Samsung Galaxy A34 review
Check offer*
Go to comment (39)
Edwin Kee

Edwin Kee
Freelance Editor and Forum Moderator

The love of writing and all things tech have proven to be the catalyst that has kept me going in this industry for the past decade. Here are to many more years ahead, at least until Android Vanilla Pudding is released!

View all articles
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • 1
    Jerry The Caveman Dec 4, 2019 Link to comment

    Still using my HTC One M7 that I bought in early 2014. Main camera has had a purple hue in dark areas for probably 3-4 years and there is the occasional freezing/reboot but it's still going. Screen doesn't have a scratch :P

  • 2
    Bea P Feb 23, 2019 Link to comment

    My Samsung S6 didn't even last 2 years. Complete breakdown/would not turn on.
    I am currently using an old LGG4, it's over 2 years old, so far so good. I am sick and tired of replacing my phone every 2 years. Seems like a scam that goes along with the throw away life style so many adopted.

    Kyle Wiley

  • Mo'ez Mohamedovic 1
    Mo'ez Mohamedovic Nov 14, 2018 Link to comment

    Thank you guys!

  • 2
    Apache53 Oct 13, 2018 Link to comment

    I started with (t-mob) LG flip phone I loved it, then i went to G3 it died last year & i cannot find a New unlocked G3 so i went to G6 H870DS International model in June 2018 & now with Metro PCS, Am not happy with it as much as my G3 , this G6 screen is smaller & no Zoom for camera. if they come out with a G7 with all features of G3 I would buy it tomorrow

    Kyle Wiley

    • 2
      Apache53 Nov 14, 2018 Link to comment

      My LG G3 Lasted the longest almost 4 years we would like a phone same size as the G3 with all the new bells & whistles Don't forget the Zoom for camera

  • Yağız Doyran 1
    Yağız Doyran Sep 26, 2018 Link to comment

    I am using a lumia 640xl for almost 3 years and brother used it before. It has some problems on software. But they are minor and only reason for changing this phone is lack of applications in today's needs. Can't even call uber or install tinder

  • Dean L. 34
    Dean L. Oct 23, 2017 Link to comment

    Had my first smartphone a Palm Centro and still use offline and as a backup. Also still have my droid incredible which I use on WiFi but its slow and stuck in gingerbread land, I let my granddaughter play with it to.

    • Brittany McGhee 21
      Brittany McGhee Oct 23, 2017 Link to comment

      In addition to backups and kid's toys, old phones are great as MP3 players too. I use my old iPhone as an iPod and it saves me from using my main phone's battery life while on the go.

      Bea PDean L.

  • Nino Hergotić 8
    Nino Hergotić Oct 22, 2017 Link to comment

    I had a couple of awesome phones through the years.Let's see Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 5X and now i'm rockin the Galaxy S7edge which is great but is starting to slow down at least compared to Nexus devices. I would say my longest lasting and favorite device is Nexus 4. Great screen, fast software, awesome design... But at the end my looongest lasting device is my ipad 2 which is still used today regularly so my next phone will be an iphone for sure for many reasons.

  • J. DeHut 1
    J. DeHut Oct 20, 2017 Link to comment

    Turbo 2 please halp.

  • 8
    mike Oct 19, 2017 Link to comment

    htc one m8. but the battery died completely. it wouldnt hold any charge anymore. so retired it

    • Brittany McGhee 21
      Brittany McGhee Oct 23, 2017 Link to comment

      If manufacturers would bring back removable batteries, phones would last so much longer.

      Bea P

  • 6
    Mark Conroy Oct 19, 2017 Link to comment

    Note 3 was the longest I have stuck with one, but since the advent of mindless non replaceable batteries, the Moto Nexus 6 was the only one to remain useful. Moto N6 was used in conjunction with Nexus 6P, that is current daily driver and requires constant charging so being replaced asap. Merit mark to Note 2, which was passed on to a friend and is still running well with custom ROM.

    • Brittany McGhee 21
      Brittany McGhee Oct 23, 2017 Link to comment

      Wow! Glad to hear the Note 2 from 2012 is still kicking.

  • 4
    david balman Oct 19, 2017 Link to comment

    I think my HTC one m7 lasted two and a half years and i would still use it but i busted a port on it. My one plus three is still going strong although not that old but i can't see me upgrading in the next few years as it should still be quick enough for most needs and has plenty of RAM to spare. will be interesting to see how the battery lasts with the first gen of dash charging though.

  • 3
    Eddy Pius Oct 19, 2017 Link to comment

    my Gionee M5 and M6 has been nothing to compare with,as it has all I need in a phone..long last battery and very fast..most of my friends with iPhones always envy me bcos I have what they don't have apart from hype

  • Rothman 12
    Rothman Oct 19, 2017 Link to comment

    Sony Xperia is my first phone which I kept for 2 yrs but it ran extremely slow at last. So I changed to Huawei Honor 3C, which I used for almost 3 yrs. Finally, it turned to be a slow phone too. Now I have my third, Huawei Mate 9. Really a good phone with great performance and large battery. Hope it will last longer. 😊 😊 😊

  • Mark G. 28
    Mark G. Oct 19, 2017 Link to comment

    I have the excellent Samsung Galaxy S7 Running Android 7.0, it's great, I really have zero problems with it....
    But I really want a S8, but I'll wait until end of contract (but might just buy S8 directly it's a big but).
    I'll try and wait for the S9 see how much better it is compared to the S8.

    Though my brilliant S5 is still running great with my nephew, my old faithful S3 is in retirement but still does the odd job as a security cam, the battery wasn't charging so purchased a decent charger and proper charger cable and it came back to life and if needed could be used.

    Peace 🖖

    Dean L.

  • 49
    storm Oct 19, 2017 Link to comment

    I tend to kill them in one way or another around the 18 to 20 month mark. Screen break, battery won't hold enough charge, digitizer failure, micro USB connector failure.... Probably the Moto X Pure Edition was the toughest.

    Dean L.

  • Sascha Zimmer 15
    Sascha Zimmer Oct 19, 2017 Link to comment

    My Nexus 5 is still running everyday, and I use it a lot for experimenting (i. e. flashing ROMs etc.). Still works fine. My Nexus S however got a faulty battery, but still boots when connected to a charger. However, it doesn't seem to reed any SOM-cards an is running extremely slow. Flashing any ROM doesn't work either , but I still can do WhatsApp-calls via WiFi.

Show all comments
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing