This is how long a smartphone lasts according to experts | Tech

No smartphone lasts forever. At a certain point you get tired of it and you become curious about the newer models. But how long can a phone last?

A new device costs a lot of money and it is also not very sustainable to get a new device every few years. Enough reasons to make your old phone last a little longer, but that is not always possible.

You are dependent on the support from the manufacturer. This is done through upgrades and security updates. How long you can use your smartphone depends on how important the latest developments are to you.

Upgrades and updates

The upgrades ensure that your phone is equipped with the latest software. With a new upgrade for the operating system, your smartphone will run faster and can handle all the latest apps.

Even more important are the security updates, with which the manufacturer protects your phone against unwanted access. As soon as a security vulnerability is found, manufacturers patch that vulnerability and release the fix as an update. When support for it ends, your phone will no longer be protected against the latest dangers.

Years of fun

“Your phone often gets upgrades with new functionalities for two to three years,” says smartphone expert Chris Broesder of Tweakers. ,,It is impossible to say exactly, because it depends on all kinds of things, such as how long the manufacturer of the chips will continue to release drivers for a certain series. Based on this, the phone manufacturer can issue updates. The more expensive versions generally last longer.”

The security updates are often released longer than the upgrades, but it is not possible to set an exact duration. “For a while, the major manufacturers have been issuing warranties. For example, Samsung promises three years of upgrades and four years of security updates, Apple even offers five to six years of general support.”

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It’s not that your phone will completely shut down when that term is over, but you do run a risk if no more security updates are released. “In the beginning, that is still a small risk, because a leak does not just happen and it also takes a while before hackers exploit it,” says Broesder. “It’s not going to go wrong very quickly if you don’t get updates for a few months. But that risk is increasing.”

In the worst case scenario, criminals could use the security holes to take over your banking app, for example. “The possibilities for hackers are endless because of holes in the software.”

In the past, there was a lot of criticism about the sometimes short period that manufacturers offered support for devices, but according to Broesder this is getting better and better these days. “The criticism was always that it was kind of stupid if updates and upgrades could be given for the chips in your phone, but manufacturers didn’t do it anyway. Of course, it costs a lot of money to keep a system up-to-date and you are less likely to sell new phones. The manufacturer must therefore weigh the costs against the benefits. It has gotten a lot better these days.”

Once the security updates stop, there’s little you can do about it as a consumer. In order to still use your phone safely, according to Broesder, you would have to completely empty it and do a lot of tinkering yourself. “That is only for the really technical people.”

Different per manufacturer

Apple generally supports its phones the longest, as mentioned at least five years. With Android devices it depends a lot on the manufacturer. Samsung will continue to update for at least four years, just like OnePlus. Oppo guarantees three years of updates, LG keeps it at two years. Huawei does not have a precise term, but also count on at least two years of support.

That is not to say that the updates will stop immediately after this time has elapsed. However, you are at the mercy of the manufacturer. If you buy a new phone, it is therefore important to find out how long a device will be supported. You can find this in the specifications of most webshops.

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This is how long a smartphone lasts according to experts | Tech
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