Our readers keep their Android phones for longer than we expected

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs S21 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs S21 Plus (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Over the weekend, we asked AC readers how long they kept a smartphone before upgrading.
  • The majority of respondents said they held onto a device for 1-3 years.
  • Nearly as many kept their phones until they no longer worked.

It seems like there's a shiny new device coming out every few weeks, and while it's very tempting to immediately upgrade to the latest and best Android phones, that's not necessarily the most practical or financially sound decision.

Here at AC, we've read the industry trends and surveys about upgrade cycles and phone sales, but we wanted to know what real Android users like yourselves were doing. So this past Saturday, we asked you how long you typically keep a phone before upgrading, and the answers were a little surprising if we're honest. As Android enthusiasts, we expected more than 2.28% to say that they upgraded their devices every 12 months or less, but that simply wasn't the case. In fact, over 50% said they waited from one to three years to upgrade, and nearly as many (47%) said they used their phones until they literally stopped working. That's pretty impressive!

Whether you keep your phone longer to save money, or to save the environment, or just because you like it, it's probably a good thing that you're maximizing your return on investment. Our readers had a lot to say about this topic, so we thought we'd share some of their comments below for your enlightenment and entertainment.

Reader wilson_smyth said they keep their phone:

As long as it keeps going. Buying a new phone is the least satisfying experience as they rarely do much more than the previous phone. Had my galaxy S7 for 5 years until it stopped working. Got an s20FE to replace it and it does literally nothing new the old s7 couldn't already do. Sure the camera is a bit better but the S7 camera was quite good. Screen doesn't seem any better and I've actually lost a headphone jack. Also, the longer a phone lasts, the lower its total cost of ownership. Besides a phone breaking or a desire to have the latest to try and impress people, there is no need to upgrade a phone more than every 5 years minimum.

On Twitter, @iSaisarma90 said:

See more

While on Facebook, Emma Layton raised a great point about the phone's build, components, and purchase price.

Emma Layton Facebook comment

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

What about you? Our poll is now closed, but you can still tell us in the comments below how long you keep your Android phones and why you make the choices you do. We'd love to hear from you!

Jeramy Johnson

Jeramy was the Editor-in-Chief of Android Central. He is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand.