iPhone 13 Pro Max
We understand how important it is to have all the facts before choosing a smartphone. Whether you are most interested in a long battery life, a beautiful display or the best possible cameras, we’ve surveyed more than 15,000 members to find out more about the problems and experiences they've had with brands over the past eight years.
Battery problems are by far the biggest fault that can develop in smartphones and they account for a third of our members' problems. However, issues with phones crashing or freezing, as well as becoming sluggish over time can be common too.
Fortunately, smartphones seem capable of lasting a good amount of time. According to our survey, the estimated lifetime – how long a product will last without a fault or a problem - is on average more than 5.5 years for smartphones. Unfortunately, brands don't often support devices for this long. While iPhones tend to receive five or six years of updates, some Android phones stop receiving them after two or three. Using a phone that is no longer receiving security updates is a risk – read our guide to to see how long a phone has left.
In our latest research, we’ve investigated the performance and reliability of some of the most popular smartphone brands including Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, Google, Sony, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Nokia.
Customer satisfaction score
% replaced within two years
Faults developed within the first two years
Table notes Results are based on a survey of 10,716 Which? members who own smartphones, conducted in July 2021. Where 'n/a' is reported, there isn't enough data.
We have calculated an estimated average lifetime for each brand of phone. This is based on our own members' experiences when they have to replace a phone because of a fault that's out of their control.
The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2021 covering 10,716 smartphones.
The majority of reported faults by far are to do with the battery life, the charger or the phone quickly losing power. You can improve the time it takes to charge a phone through buying a more powerful charger, although this doesn’t do anything to help battery life. Often powerful processors and impressive displays on expensive models drain batteries faster, but manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung seem focused on improving these in their new models. If you don’t need your internet on all the time, turn this off to improve battery life. Dimming the screen usually works too.
8% of members in our survey with a phone fault reported that their smartphone crashed or froze. When this happens, it’s worth reducing your storage and memory because this may be slowing things down. Restarting or resetting the phone altogether can help too.
To try to alleviate sluggish phones, cleaning up your storage and clearing your cache will help the processor. The cache stores lots of information to speed up your experience using apps and web browsers, meaning it could be storing things you don’t need. Always double check that your phone is not due an update because running an older operating system can slow things down.
We surveyed more than 15,000 Which? members and asked them about the technology products they own including smartphones.
We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey. We combine these with our rigorous lab tests to form our recommendations.
Our scores take into account what’s important to consumers. We will take away Best Buy status if a phone is going to run out of security updates within one year.
We independently test more than 80 smartphones a year at all prices from £80 to nearly £2,000. Our extensive scientific tests mean each phone is tested under identical conditions so they are directly comparable.
Know which smartphone you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews and find the model that works best for you: