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OPINION 5 min read 35 comments

Which of your phones lasted the longest?

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. / © AndroidPIT

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 Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, and Galaxy Note 5 have held up pretty well, while the Galaxy S2 and 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. 

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  • 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


  • 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. 11 months ago 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
      • Blogger
      11 months ago 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.


  • 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 11 months ago Link to comment

    Turbo 2 please halp.


  • mike 11 months ago Link to comment

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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 11 months ago 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. 11 months ago 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 🖖


  • storm 11 months ago 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.


  • 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.


  • ONEPLUS phones have given me the greatest joy and services. I had used lots of the peoples favourite phones till the advent of the OnePlus One, which I acquired due to what I read on their website. Some of my friends jeered at me for buying such unknown and unsung phone. Alas, I have used the One Plus One for over four years before I decided to upgrade to OnePlus 3T.
    The most important aspect of this phones that many do not know is that they automatically update to the latest Android gradings. I found it difficult to give away my first OnePlus as it is still current and working fine. While I give kudos to ASUS Zenfone 2 that I purchased in-between, I still hold on to my two OnePlus phone, though I sparingly use the ASUS, which is good in own rights. By all means, OnePlu is the only phone that I know to automatically upgrade its Android software to the most current.


  • Stergios 11 months ago Link to comment

    My longer lasted phone was my trusted Nokia N900 which was in use for about 5 years


  • Hard to say what phone lasted the longest.
    Maybe my Nexus 6P at almost two years?
    At one point when Verizon was doing annual updates I was changing phones every 11 months.
    I've had the following phones:
    SCH-i600W (Windows flip phone)
    SCH-i760
    Treo 700W
    BB Storm 1
    BB Storm 2
    DroidX
    Droid Bionic
    Droid Razr
    Droid Razr Maxx
    Galaxy S4
    LG G3
    Nexus 6P
    LG G6 (Current)

    Those are only smart phones.
    I can't remember how many other phones I've had.


  • My iPhone 5 is the lasted and longest phone for me till now. It's still working fine, though the specifications are now outdated.


  • My Galaxy Note 3 is still going strong and with the help of XDA is running the latest Android OS.


  • Galaxy Note 4, rooted and running a Note 7 ROM.. perfect.


  • My first smartphone was an LG Optimus Net (800mHz ARM, 512mb Internal, 512mb RAM, 3.2" screen), running Android G with it's wonderful full Apps 2 microSD support. Disconnected, it lives on in the car as an emergency GPS and wifi backup device, running functioning preinstalled Gmail and email, old APK versions of OSMAnd maps and Active GPS booster, Skype, Moon+ Reader, ES File Explorer, Camera FV-5 and LGCamera for video. It's in a cheap but effective rubberized case now, but before that survived several drops to sidewalks and parking lots, that popped the back off (but didn't scratch the bevel-protected screen) One time "bricked", revived with a hard reset. It's fun to see what can still be done with those specs.


  • Got the first experia L1 in 2012 still works perfectly well and still the same battery.


  • I bought my Note 4 in October 2014 and I still happily have it, with no replacement on the horizon for the near future. Running custom rom, good camera, good performance, replaceable battery, I don't find a reason to replace it. I have already had its motherboard replaced and preferred that than buying a new phone, because no other phone meets my needs. Note 8 is out of the question due to its price and, most importantly, its form factor, so maybe I'll go for an LG V30 some time in 2018.


  • Beachboy 11 months ago Link to comment

    Still running a Note 4. OS is Android 6.0.1 and A T & T is still upgrading. Everything works, I have a few spare batteries and don't see any need for an iris scanner yet.... Also, I still have a functioning Note 3 spare, if necessary.


  • An Droid 11 months ago Link to comment

    2015 Galaxy S6 edge still going strong and even better with Nougat upgrade.


  • Rusty 11 months ago Link to comment

    I've had my Galaxy S3 since 2013 and never had any real problems with it and besides getting a second battery for it still use it every day, I've noticed it getting a little sluggish lately and know the end is near but will use it until I can't.


  • Ellett 11 months ago Link to comment

    I'm a Nexus/Pixel person and all of my phones have lasted a year with me and another couple of years with one of my kids EXCEPT my Nexus 6P. The battery life on that is down to a couple of hours after about a year and a half and the battery is very difficult to replace. No more Huawei-made phones for me.

    Special kudos for my Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, which are both still in use at home, connected to bedside alarm clocks to provide access to Google Play Music, notifications, etc.


  •   30
    Deactivated Account 11 months ago Link to comment

    Moto's Nexus 6 still impressively smooth, nice screen and very capable, and no signs of slowing down..
    about the only reason I can think to justify a replacement is for security and software updates.


  • We've been using two BLU Pure XL's going on two years now with nary a problem. So it runs on Android 5.1, Lollipop and will never be upgraded -- it still does everything we need it to, plus a hell of a lot more -- and it is still fast and nimble. The only top-of-the-line feature it doesn't have is type C USB.

    I will likely be running this phone until it dies, or 5G becomes the norm. I also have two spare batteries stored away for when the batteries ultimately die.

    And even though BLU has totally abandoned this model (a Gionee clone actually manufactured by a third party for both brands) and couldn't repair it even if they wanted to (no spare parts), it is a solid, trouble-free build.


  • My LG G3 with 32mb mem card is more than holding up, it competes with the new ones!

    So does my Nexus 5 with latest android, it super fast and reliable.

    Am now in process of evaluating upgrades for my daughter's Samsung S3... Quality vs price...


  • Galaxy Note 4 still rocks with a spare battery 😊

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