Phone Longevity : Years of Use

There are a few posts of user with 6 year old Fairphones and the odd one with 7 year of use, but I doubt they are used to the same degree as is common amongst phone users.

I have phone that work over ten years old, but no SD card in my Samsung Aplha and no SIM for my Nokia 6303.

It’s all very well talking about sustainability of the Fairphones but let’s clarity that in this scenario it is about the use a user gets from the phone, not about how it can 'help the planet by lasting a year or two above average.

So how long does a person expect to use a phone on average. Here’s a recent report

“I haven’t seen loads of broken foldables,” Ben Wood of analysts CCS Insight tells me, “but at a time when [our research shows] people are keeping their phones in the UK for four years or more, people are looking to have phones that last longer.”

Given the above and that the UK is not that different from the EU if users in the UK are keeping their phones for four years or more then touting the longevity of the Fairphone is a no no. And given the amount of repairs a further no.

Given the cost, ‘smartness’ and weather durabilty the only thing going for the Fairphone is the Fair Trade root.

Luckily this last parameter is my reason for purchase as it is for two of my daughters, though one has back out as it’s not smart enough.

If you just look at the hardware integrity, the longevity of a Fairphone might not differ that much, yes (although I am often surprised how many and for how long people are going on with a broken display on normal brands’ smartphones).

However, I am quite sure that a lot of those “keeping their phones for four years or more” are doing so way beyond the point of time when those phones have received their final software and security updates (at least when it comes to Android phones). And that’s where Fairphones (since FP2) have made a(nother) difference.


But if there’s no display module to easily replace like with a Fairphone, a screen protector will keep cracks or even shards in place (and away from cutting finger tips) well enough for a while.

Isn’t that exactly where the FP4’s 5-year warranty comes into play?

I’m personally way more worried about the software side of things, the amount of people I’ve met who run completely outdated systems (PC, phone, you name it) is mind-boggling.

I use my 9 year old Nexus 4 every day, I choose to do it, I actively look for possible uses it still has, because it works, and I refuse to throw it away before it dies by itself. That’s only possible because someone still works on updating the software, it’s running Android 11 at the moment.
I still use an iPod Mini and a 60 year old tube radio, my grandmother bought, daily as well. Those don’t suffer from that problem, because they aren’t connected to Wi-Fi, so there’s no risk in using them…


Clear nail varnish has kept my Samsung Alpha viable for some ten years. :slight_smile:

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Strange how different this issue as I rally don’t care about OS updates. I have A4 on my Samsung and if it has Wi-Fi calling I would still be using it. I was until I bought the Fairphone Oct 2020. But I don’t use banking apps so maybe that is a big difference.

Let’s hope we see some 9 year old FP3s and FP4s :slight_smile: I’ve no reason to want to upgrade my FP3 in ten years if it’s working.

On the Wi-Fi issue and that being a risk. Do you see it as a general risk or just specific to some apps?

It’s a general risk, yes.
Those outdated / old devices have almost certainly known vulnerabilities, which makes them exploitable from the outside. At that point all the other devices on your network are potentially at risk as well.
That’s not only an issue for banking apps, you don’t want people in your network, regardless of what you are doing. Ransomware is only one potential attack that has been very prevalent in the last couple of years for example.

I run my old devices on a (physically) separated network, and they certainly don’t get to talk to the internet if they don’t have to. But most consumer can’t or won’t do that, they just keep using them.
It’s absolutely vital that devices get updated automatically, and for a long time.