Mobile phone reviews: Reliability
To find out which tech brands are the UK’s favourites, every year we ask almost 10,000 Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own – from how happy they are to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they’re home.
Read our expert Which? reviews of the best mobile phones.
Best mobile phones for reliability
Mobile phone reliability is important. When your phone breaks it can leave you cut off from your friends and family. It's even worse if you need your phone for work as a faulty device can prevent you from doing your job properly or an cause you to miss out on important business.
Getting your phone fixed can also be a painful process as you're bounced between the retailer, network and manufacturer while all deny responsibility. And the chances are that even when you do find someone to repair or replace your faulty device, you'll still have to do without a phone for a few days while they deal with your problem.
That’s why we survey thousands of members every year to find out just how reliable their mobile phone brands are. This unique survey helps us find out the most common reasons for phones breaking down or failing altogether.
In our most recent survey, owners of all the major phone brands - from Nokia and Samsung to Apple and HTC - told us about their experiences.
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Common phone problems
Our unique survey lets us identify the things that tend to go wrong. You told us about a huge range of different problems, from contacts disappearing to the phone not ringing, but by far the mode common issue was a problem with the phone's screen.
- Faulty screen (11%) - most smartphones are now controlled through their touchscreens so when these go wrong it can make the device unusable.
- Faulty battery (3%) - batteries that won't hold their charge, or can't be recharged, were the second most common complaint.
- Faulty software (2%) - problems with the phone's operating systems, in essence the phone's 'brain', can mean that you can't access key features.
Mobile phone reviews
Our reliability surveys help Which? to uncover common mobile phone problems that can affect owners over time. Combined with our extensive lab tests, this means we can recommend the best mobile phones for you to buy.
Every phone we review goes through weeks of expert assessment in our lab. We check the battery life on calls and online, rate how easy it is to use, measure the sound quality (in quiet and loud situations) and test the entertainment features such as the camera and music player.
Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test, so our advice helps you to make the right choice and avoid costly mistakes.
Of course, there will be times when things go wrong. If this happens to you then our guide to dealing with a faulty phone will provide you all the advice you need.