Which Smartphone Brand Offers the Longest Support period?

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The process of buying a smartphone is not one that should be taken lightly, as it involves both financial and environmental costs. With the exorbitant prices of smartphones on the market in recent years, consumers are rightfully looking for models that offer a combination of performance and sustainability. Whether in an ecological approach or for a better return on investment, the selection criteria for purchasing a smartphone are not always clear to understand.

One of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a smartphone is its lifespan. It is not just about the initial cost of the device, but also about how long it will last. This is where the concept of durability comes into play. Durability refers to a product’s ability to withstand wear and tear. And to remain functional for a long period of time. In the case of smartphones, this means that the device should be able to withstand daily use, software updates, and repairs, and still function properly over time.

Sustainable Smartphones

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In recent years, many smartphone manufacturers have become aware of the importance of sustainability and durability, and have made efforts to communicate their commitment to these values. Companies like Apple and Fairphone have made significant strides in ensuring that the construction of their devices is as green as possible. However, it is not just about the construction of the device, but also its lifespan. The phone that you keep the longest is actually the most ecological choice.

Therefore, it is crucial to consider the number of software updates offered by manufacturers when looking for a durable smartphone. Software updates can extend the life of a device by adding new features and improving its performance. In general, the more updates a smartphone receives, the longer it will last. For example, Apple offers 5 years of software updates, while Fairphone offers an impressive 7 years of software support. Samsung, Oppo, and OnePlus offer 4 years of updates, and Google offers 3 years of updates.

It is important to note that there is a difference between eco-friendly and ecological smartphones. An eco-friendly smartphone is one that is designed to have a minimal impact on the environment during its production and use. An ecological smartphone, on the other hand, is one that is designed to have a minimal impact on the environment throughout its entire lifecycle, from production to disposal. While there are some smartphones on the market that are eco-friendly, very few are truly ecological.

So, purchasing a durable smartphone requires careful consideration of several factors, including its lifespan, software updates, and eco-friendliness. By choosing a smartphone with a longer lifespan and more software updates, you can ensure that your investment will last longer and have a lower environmental impact. While some manufacturers have made significant strides in promoting sustainability and durability, there is still much work to be done to create truly ecological smartphones. As consumers, we can make a difference by choosing to support companies that prioritize sustainability and durability in their products.

The Brand Showdown: Lifespan of Leading Smartphone Brands

To assist consumers in making informed decisions, let us delve into the specific offerings of some prominent smartphone manufacturers concerning the duration of software updates they provide:

  • Apple: Setting the Standard with 5 Years of Software Updates

iPhone sideloading

Apple is known for being one of the top performers in the global telecommunications market when it comes to software updates. But they are also notorious for not being transparent about their software updates. With each new iteration of iOS, Apple specifies which models are eligible for the update, and the latest version of the operating system is compatible with the iPhone 8, which was released in 2017.

In addition to their software updates, Apple will be making ecologically sound decisions with their products. For instance, they have recently removed chargers from their iPhone boxes as a means of reducing emissions. Additionally, Tim Cook has made carbon neutrality a priority for both Apple and their suppliers. In recent years, Apple has been making strides in recycling, particularly with their smartphones.

However, despite their advancements, Apple still receives criticism for certain aspects of their business. One such criticism is their lack of emphasis on repair over recycling, especially given the decreasing availability of rare earths, which are essential to smartphone construction. Apple has taken the first step towards addressing this issue with their Self Service Repair program in the United States. Nonetheless, if you have the budget for it and are looking for a long-lasting, eco friendly phone, the iPhone is a top contender.

  • Fairphone: Going Above and Beyond with 7 Years of Software Support

Fairphone 4 5G renders_2

Fairphone, a smartphone manufacturer, has made a name for itself in the industry by prioritizing eco-friendliness. Its devices present a unique dilemma for potential buyers, who must choose between their environmental convictions and their desire for a modern smartphone. Despite the fact that Fairphone devices often lag behind in terms of Android versions, the company makes up for it by utilizing a significant amount of recyclable materials in the construction of its devices.

One of the standout features of Fairphone devices is their repairability. The Fairphone 4, for instance, received a perfect score of 10/10 from iFixit, a website that evaluates the repairability of electronic devices. This means that users can easily replace any component of the phone, making it a more sustainable option in the long run. Additionally, Fairphone provides updates for its devices, even for older models like the Fairphone 2, which was released in 2015 and is still relevant with the latest Android 10 update.

However, it is important to note that Fairphone devices may require users to make significant concessions in terms of features. The software is not without flaws, and during tests, this was the top criticism aimed at the manufacturer. Nevertheless, for consumers who prioritize sustainability and repairability, a Fairphone device may be an ideal choice. By using recyclable materials and offering repairable components, Fairphone is leading the way in creating a more environmentally responsible smartphone industry.

  • Samsung: Striving for Sustainability with 4 Years of Software Updates

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung has the leading software tracking for Android telephony. It surpassed Google. Samsung sets a new standard with four years of major updates and two years of support for S23, S22, S21, and expensive A models, plus foldable phones since S22. Mid-range devices like Galaxy J and Galaxy M aren’t part of it yet. Samsung deserves praise for extending support to devices under $400, like the A54, popular among the general public.

On the product front, Samsung previously ridiculed Apple for removing chargers from its packaging but has now followed suit. High-end devices no longer come with additional chargers, and there are plans to extend this decision across all ranges. While Samsung needs to improve the repairability of its devices, choosing a Samsung smartphone is still a wise decision for better longevity.

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  • Oppo and OnePlus: On Par with 4 Years of Updates

Oppo Find X6 Pro DxoMark
Oppo Find X6

The smartphone industry is competitive, with companies offering the latest technology and features. OnePlus recently extended support for high-end phones. The company now offers four years of major updates and five years of security patches. This includes the OnePlus 11.

This move puts OnePlus on a par with Samsung, which has a similar policy for its high-end smartphones. It is also a positive step for OnePlus, as it demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing a high level of service to its customers.

However, there is a potential downside to this decision. The future of both OnePlus and Samsung in Europe is uncertain, as the two companies are facing increasing competition from Chinese smartphone manufacturers, who are able to offer similar features at a lower price point. This could make it difficult for OnePlus and Samsung to maintain their market share in the region.

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In the case of Oppo, which has benefited from its association with OnePlus, the company has also announced that it will be providing four years of major updates for its smartphones. Currently, Oppo’s ColorOS 13, which is based on Android 13, is being deployed on its devices, including the recent Oppo Find N2 Flip. This move is in line with Oppo’s long-term green ambitions, which the company has been vocal about. As part of this, Oppo has partnered with the Eco Rating environmental label and is focused on reconditioning its devices.

However, there is still work to be done in terms of implementing sustainable practices for these companies. While Oppo and OnePlus have both expressed their ecological ambitions, they have not yet fully implemented a plan to align with those goals. For example, phone chargers are still included in the boxes, and not all materials in use in the manufacturing process are certified as 100% eco-friendly. As such, there is still a long way to go in terms of making these companies truly sustainable.

  • Google: Providing 3 Years of Updates

Google Pixel 7 series

The manufacturer of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro range, as well as the Pixel 6, provides three years of major updates and five years of security patches, which is less generous than what we would expect from the owner of Android. This becomes even more apparent when we compare it to the superior performance of Samsung, Oppo, and OnePlus.

Furthermore, the company has chosen to partner with iFixit to sell spare parts for its high end phones. The Pixel 6 has a repairability index of 6.4/10, while the Pro version has 6.3/10. However, Google has made significant improvements in the next generation, as the Pixel 7 has a repairability index of 7.2/10 and the Pixel 7 Pro, 7.1/10.

Similar to Apple, Google is also emphasizing its carbon impact by using recyclable materials to give each device a second life. This is evident in its decision to exclude chargers from the boxes of new devices.

  • Other Android Smartphone Manufacturers

Android manufacturers differ in software update efforts. Vivo, a Chinese brand, offers three years of support for X devices. Y and V ranges get two major updates and three years of security patches. Xiaomi, a major sales heavyweight, offers three major updates over four years for 11T and 11T Pro devices. Soon, all high end Xiaomi devices will have the same update entitlement.

Realme, on the other hand, is not performing well in this regard. With the number of years of software support varying across its product range. The Realme GT gets two versions of Android and three years of security updates. While lower ranges may only receive one version of Android and two years of updates. Motorola’s Edge 20, a premium device, gets two major Android updates and two years of security updates. And it is unlikely that any other device in its catalog will receive more than two years of tracking.

Is it important to buy a smartphone that has a long software support period?

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Source: notebookcheck

There are several benefits to buying a smartphone that has a long software support period. These include:

  • Security: Software updates often include security patches that protect your phone from the latest malware and vulnerabilities. By keeping your phone up to date, you can help to ensure that it is as secure as possible.
  • Performance: Software updates can also improve the performance of your phone. This is because they often include bug fixes and performance optimizations. As a result, your phone will run more smoothly and efficiently after receiving a software update.
  • Features: Software updates can also add new features to your phone. This means that you can continue to enjoy the latest features and functionality. Even after your phone has been on the market for a few years.
  • Compatibility: Software updates can also help to ensure that your phone is compatible with the latest apps and services. This is important because if your phone is not up to date, you may not be able to use the latest apps or services.
  • Resale value: Smartphones with a long software support period tend to hold their value better than those with a shorter support period. This is because buyers are more likely to be interested in a phone that will continue to receive software updates for several years.

  • Reduced risk of obsolescence: As technology advances, older smartphones can become obsolete. This means that they may not be able to run the latest apps or services. Or they may be more vulnerable to security threats. By buying a phone with a long software support period, you can reduce the risk of your phone becoming obsolete.
  • Improved user experience: Software updates can often improve the user experience of a smartphone. This can include things like adding new features, improving performance, or fixing bugs. By keeping your phone up to date, you can ensure that you are getting the best possible user experience.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your phone will continue to receive software updates for several years can give you peace of mind. This means that you can be confident that your phone will be secure, perform well, and be compatible with the latest apps and services for years to come.

Overall, there are many benefits to buying a smartphone that has a long software support period. If you are looking for a phone that will last for several years, then you should definitely consider a phone with a long software support period.

It is important to note that the length of software support can vary depending on the specific phone model. So, it is always best to check with the manufacturer to see how long they support their phones before making a purchase.

It’s a personal decision to buy a phone with long software support. If you want a phone that lasts for years and offers the best experience, choose one with long software support.

Here are some additional things to consider when choosing a smartphone with a long software support period:

  • The brand of the phone: Some brands, such as Apple and Google, are popular for offering long software support for their phones.
  • The specific phone model: The length of software support can vary depending on the specific phone model. So, it is always best to check with the manufacturer to see how long they support their phones before making a purchase.
  • The operating system: The operating system of the phone can also affect the length of software support. For example, Android phones typically receive software updates for a shorter period of time than iOS phones.


In conclusion, finding a durable smartphone is complex. It involves considering ecology, software updates, and repairability. Consumers can promote sustainability by choosing eco friendly and long lasting phones. Top brands like Apple, Fairphone, Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, and Google have various eco conscious efforts. Knowing this, people can choose phones that meet their needs and support a greener future.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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