KIM KOMANDO

Your phone has an expiration date. Here’s how to find it.

Oct 16, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 5:32 am

man holds cellphone...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Trying to squeeze every last drop of life out of your smartphone? It’s one thing to deal with a battery that doesn’t last a day and crashing apps to avoid spending a big chunk of change.

But using your phone past its end of life is risky business. So is clicking any link that comes your way. Bummer hackers are weaving them into AI chatbot results.

Let’s look at one of the easiest ways to keep your digital life safer: Only using devices that get current security updates.

I write about the latest tech gear, security alerts and digital life hacks in my daily emails. Join 600K+ who get the Current each day. It’s free!

The lifespan lowdown

Today, the average lifespan of smartphones is around 2.5 years. It could be even less for some devices — between 15 and 18 months. That’s not much when phones cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Bigger brands like Apple and Samsung tend to have longer lifespans than smaller companies. Here are the average lifespans for some of today’s most popular phones:

● iPhone – 4 to 8 years
● Samsung – 3 to 6 years
● Google Pixel – 3 to 5 years
● Huawei – 2 to 4 years

These are averages, meaning your mileage may vary.

Find your number

Your phone’s lifespan clock starts from when it was made, not when you purchased it. That makes keeping track of all this a little tricky. If you’re unsure when your phone was made, you can find out with some sleuthing.

● Still have the phone’s original box? The manufacture date should be listed on the package or in any included documentation.
● If you tossed the box, the information should be listed within your phone’s settings under “About” or a similar option.
● You can also use your phone’s serial number to decipher when it was made. Many manufacturers hide the date or year within these numbers. The serial number is tucked in your phone’s settings.
● There are special dial codes and boot logging menus, too, that can show you this info.

Are your eyes glazing over? I thought so.

There’s an easier way

Instead of doing all the steps above, a great place to check your phone’s end of life, or EOL for short, is dropping by the site end of life.date.

This straightforward site lists EOL dates and lifecycles for devices, software programs and more. It currently tracks 261 products and has an iCal integration, so you can get a reminder that you need to upgrade something.

At the very top, there’s a search box. Type your make and model in there, and presto, the info you need is right on the screen. Or choose from the four major manufacturers listed in the Devices row. If you can’t find your phone there, scroll through the complete list of products and manufacturers in the left-hand menu.

When you click on a manufacturer, its phones are listed chronologically. You can view each phone’s release date, when it was discontinued and if the manufacturer still supports it.

This is serious stuff

Using a phone past its EOL data spells trouble. That’s you if you’re still using an iPhone 5C, Google Pixel 5 or Samsung S10S — among many others.

You won’t get the latest and greatest features and advancements, but that’s not the biggest issue.

Once a smartphone reaches its expiration, the manufacturer no longer pushes security updates to that device. This means any bugs and security problems in your phone will go unfixed.

An outdated phone is a gold mine for hackers, who could quickly access everything from your bank accounts and company information to your health data. They could even steal your voice through audio data from phone calls and voicemails.

Do yourself a favor and make sure your phone is safe and secure. If not, it’s time to start shopping!

Keep your tech-know going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: Block war videos online, home swapping in NYC & goodbye to passwords

Plus, a website that makes it easy to find any movie on streaming. And hey, victims of the MGM cyberattack — Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club has a little something to make it up to you. The health features your watch can keep track of, and how to keep your location off Google Maps.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 400,000 people who get her free 5-minute daily email newsletter.

Copyright 2023, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. By clicking the shopping links, you’re supporting my research. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products I believe in.

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Your phone has an expiration date. Here’s how to find it.