Your smartphone history and reasons you replaced your old phone

Hi Folks. We’ve had smartphones around for a while, and it seems to me that we end up replacing them quite often. What’s your smartphone history, and why did you replace each phone? Was it getting too slow? Did you break it? Did it stop working in some way?

My smartphone history, it turns out, is pretty short:

Oct 2012: Got the Galaxy Nexus. Worked fine, for about 18 months, then started requiring more and more reboots, and started getting very slow. Google had stopped updating the software, and I got tired of it being so slow and not being able to switch apps easily like I used to be able to do when I first got the phone in 2012.

Oct 2014: Got the OnePlus One. Worked wonderfully for over a year. Then started having issues. I had to start rebooting it all the time. Sometimes it would reboot itself. Sometimes the self-reboots would get locked on the loading screen and I’d have to hard reset it again. And each time, the reboots started taking upwards of 5 minutes. I got the replacement back in 2016, but I still use the OnePlus One as an mp3 player. I still listen to Audible audiobooks on it, as well as music when I’m at the gym.

Oct 2016: I got the Nexus 6p (Huawei) for Google Fi. Now that I’m looking at this pattern, it seems obvious. I’m probably going to have problems with 6p next summer in 2018, and in October I’ll be tired of it, and will finally succumb to temptation to get a new phone.

I hope not though. I’m hoping the Nexus 6p is the first phone that actually lasts me at least 3 years, without slowing down and having to reboot it all the time.

3G -> 4 -> 5 -> 6+ -> 6S+ -> X

None of them broke, all in perfect condition. Iphones have been perfectly usable starting with the 4-- the 3G was pretty pokey at even standard tasks.

None were replaced due to speed, just new shinyness. I will say the 4 and 6S+ were very noticeable performance improvements, though. The 4 due to having a decent processor and the 6S+ due to getting 2GB RAM. Everything else was an incremental improvement in performance, but a great one in form factor and featureset.

Nokia N73 (replaced because the N95 was much better and a “free” upgrade on contract)
Nokia N95 8GB (replaced because I wanted an Android phone)
HTC Desire HD (replaced as free upgrade)
HTC One M8 (replaced when main microphone died)
Samsung S6 (replaced in part because S7 Edge was a pretty big upgrade in a couple ways I really care about, and in part because it had an autofocus issue)
Samsung S7 Edge (still using)

Let’s see… iPhone 4 in fall 2010… iPhone 6s in fall 2016.

Woulda kept the 4 were it not for the fact it was no longer able to update the OS, and apps were no longer gonna work for that reason.

I got the Motorola Droid 1 on Verizon in ~October of 2009 as my very first smartphone as a reward for getting my very first adult job. It was great and EXTREMELY hackable; I ran nonstock software on it almost from day one. Eventually, though, the aging TI OMAP processor, miniscule RAM, and tiny internal storage forced an upgrade. . . I still really miss this device, though. Solid, well-made. slide-out keyboard. . . it was amazing.

So I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 on Verizon to lock in unlimited data in July of 2012. Still fairly hackable, I did eventually turn to rooting and such to keep it fresh, but by then, the tide had started to turn against moddable phones. It eventually started to slow down noticeably, however, and I was eager to move off Verizon to something more affordable. . .

So in January of 2015, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 on T-Mobile. That was a hell of a phone. Gigantic, still featuring a replaceable battery and upgradable storage at a time when Google was eliminating those features in the Nexus line, fast as fuck. It was an amazing phone.

Sadly, in January of 2017, the Note 4 spectacularly died out of the blue, falling into an unending bootloop, and I was forced to upgrade. I bought into the best thing available at the time, the Samsung Galaxy S7Edge, which I loathe. It’s fucking shit, and I can’t wait to get rid of it.

I miss getting 2.5-3 years out of devices, so I hope whatever I pick up in January (my TMO Jump plan enables annual upgrades if I want) will last at least that long.

Wow, 6 years. Crazy.

I think the future is no more phones - they will be a Pocket PC (or called something similar) that happens to make phone calls since most people (so they say) do not even talk very much on their phones anymore) ; )

I have had an iPhone 4, 5C, & 7 (how do you all remember the dates you had them!?).

I use my smartphone until it dies which is usually the battery giving out.

Work pays my phone bill, plus I get a reduced price when I buy one through my company. I mention this because there are only so many models available that I can use for work and the security features I need to have loaded. If they ever stop paying the bill I would go for the cheapest phone I could.

I use my iPad all the time to do most things at home, especially because of my eyesight as I get older (can not see that great on the little phone screen). So I do not do everything on a phone anyway. (though I must admit now that we have annual passes to Disney World I would miss the Disney Experience app that lets me set up fast passes and itinerary on my phone as we walk around the parks).

Haha, oh boy.

My first smartphone was an Xperia Play in September 2011. I got it because Vendetta Online was recently ported to Android. Yes, a game actually drove me to adopt a smart phone. I loved that it flipped/slid open to reveal a playstation-esque gamepad. Truly a great concept.

I eventually replaced this with a Galaxy S3, not sure when exactly, maybe in 2013. Then a LG Vista in 2014 which had a nice screen size but the GPS on the device just did not work.

In August 2016 I upgraded to a Galaxy S6 in order to get Gear VR, which I have been reasonably satisfied with.

Some of these will be out of order, and I’m sure I’m missing others entirely. It’s a lot of phones, but I’ve been designing and/or building smartphone apps for much of this time, so it’s not just personal use.

Nokia N95 - aka what happens if you graft smartphone features onto a feature phone UI
iPhone (the original modern smartphone)
iPhone 3G
iPhone 3GS
HTC Hero for Sprint (the most disappointing device I can remember purchasing)
Motorola Droid (what a great phone at the time)
HTC Evo (the startup where I worked at the time’s live video streaming app was in the phone and on the box)
iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6+, 6S+, 7+, X (X is my daily driver now)

Other Android phones intermingled with the iPhones, each around their launch:

Nexus 1
OnePlus One
Galaxy S4, S6 Edge, S7 Edge+, S8+ (some of these were pretty brief periods due to hating the laggy UI)

Where’s the Blackberry love? I don’t remember the models, but my first two smartphones were Blackberries since that’s all my employer would support at the time. Hey, they were paying, worked for me.

After that it’s been all Android for me. Used a Huawei P8 for about 18 months before the touchscreen went all wonky, now I’ve got a Samsung Galaxy S5. Eventually that’s gonna die, might look at Google phones next.

Wow, if iPhones can last 6 years, then they’re the cheapest phones on the market. I’d switch over in a second if I see more stories like this. The only people I know around me who have iPhones tend to get a new one every couple of years.

I looked at my Google Photos history. I knew that when the photos first started appearing in there, that was my Nexus, and then I knew a certain event around which I got the OnePlus One, etc. So I tied it to certain photos, I knew when each phone purchase took place.

Mine were usually tied to life events.

I got my first adult-ass job in October 2009 and almost immediately got a smartphone so I would have a reliable GPS.

I got the S3 the summer my gf was away in Saba so I had to buy both phones but ask that they not activate her new one just yet so that her current phone out on the island didn’t get shut off. . .

The Note 4 date actually wouldn’t be memorable (January 2015) if it hadn’t died exactly 2 years later on the same day that I made my final payment on it with TMO in 2017. . . which also makes the S7E’s date pretty memorable :)

I hold onto smartphones longer than I should. Let’s see…

2008 - iPhone 3G
2010 - HTC Evo 4G
2013 - Google LG Nexus 5
2017 - Essential PH-1

2009 - Blackberry Bold 9700 (I still miss the keyboard on that one).

2011 - Galaxy S2 (Blackberry got stolen while I slept in hospital room).

2015 - Galaxy S6 (S2 was feeling pretty slow at this point even for just basic usage).

2016 - LG V10 (S6 starting to glitch, had T-Mobile’s upgrade plan so got the Shiny New at a low price).

2017 - LG V20 (Didn’t NEED a new phone…but again, with T-Mobile’s plan, the sooner you upgrade to a new model, the more you $ave. But really happy with this phone (music SQ is outstanding due to built in custom DAC and very smooth speedy and smooth operation for my needs, so probably won’t need to upgrade for several years… and I don’t like the look of the new V30 ).

I’ve been iphoning for years but just got my first android (Moto G5) because it’s cheaper and money is a factor these days.

Dumbphone plus iPad gen1 with 3G, April 2010. Actually liked this setup for quite awhile and am tempted today to go back to an iPad for work.

iPhone 5, Sept 2012. Replaced due to fall damage that disabled the camera, otherwise it still works and I still use it occasionally around the house.

Nexus 6 in May 2015, it still works great, but I’m looking to upgrade soon mostly for a better camera.

I had a Nokia dumb-phone back in college up through maybe…2006? Then I went several years with no cell phone at all. I barely made any calls, didn’t see the need for the expense, resented all the nickle-and-dime stuff like being charged for texting, etc.

An iPod Touch was my first foray into iOS devices; I think I had one for about a year before I finally decided to get a cell phone again with the release of the iPhone 3GS. From there, it’s iPhones all the way down.

iPhone 3GS 2009–2011 - replaced because contract was up so why not get something new and shiny?
iPhone 4S 2011–2014 - told myself the hardware curve was flattening and I could probably get three years out of it before it got sluggish.
iPhone 6 2014–2017 - told myself no, really, the hardware curve has got to be slowing, surely I can get three years out of this phone before iOS updates make it feel painfully slow
iPhone X 2017–? - I’m on the Apple Upgrade program now. Screw that three years with the same phone lifestyle. Upgrading in 2019 at the latest, maybe 2018 if there’s any kind of huge leap.

Your list is almost exactly the same as mine. iPhones 3GS > 4S > 6+ > X.

I always upgrade due to wanting a better camera and a faster processor. And, in the case of the 6+, a bigger screen.

T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream (August 2010-February 2013): Hand-me-down from my dad. I still miss the physical keyboard.
Nexus 4 (February 2013-June 2016): After the Dream finally died, I went to the Nexus 4, which was the perfect size.
Nexus 5X (June 2016-present): Switched to this when I switched to Project Fi. I’d still rather have a smaller, thicker phone, but ship, sailed, etc.

About a year into owning the 6 I decided that next time around I wanted to get the best camera an iPhone could offer, even if that meant what at the time I thought would be an “iPhone 7S Plus”. Instead of ending up with a bigger phone than I wanted in some version of the Plus, I’ve ended up with a more expensive phone than I wanted, but so far I don’t regret it at all.