Understanding exactly how old your phone is can be useful for several reasons. You may want a general idea of its age to gauge if you are due an upgrade, or to see when the device was made. There is no setting on your phone that will tell you this directly, but there are ways of finding this information with the right knowledge.
In this guide, we will show where to find how old your phone is, on both Android and iPhone devices. If you decide it’s time for an upgrade, take a look at our contract and refurbished deals from the best smartphone brands.
If you still own the box your phone came in, this can tell you the manufacturing date of your device. Usually, a white sticker is placed on the back of the box, with a set of symbols and numbers on it; the date will be located within these digits.
To confirm that this box is the phone’s original packaging, check if the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number on the box matches the number in the settings menu of your device. You can find this in the following step.
The phone settings
A phone’s manufacturing date can also be found in the settings. Go to ‘About Phone’ on Android or ‘About’ on iPhone and look for the serial number. Within this set of digits is your device’s year and month of manufacturing.
The serial number structure may differ based on the manufacturer, so you may need to double-check online if the below method doesn’t line up with your serial number.
Using Samsung as an example:
- Find the fourth character in the serial number. This letter will tell you the year the phone was made e.g. M is 2019, N is 2020.
- The fifth character determines the month e.g. 4 is April.
- Combine the two to form the date your phone was constructed e.g., M4 is April 2019.
To find the date on iPhones, decoding works slightly differently:
- Find the model of your phone e.g. is it an iPhone 11.
- Look for the fourth character in the serial code. On Apple products, this is the year or half-year in which it was made e.g. C covers the months of January to June, while D covers the months of July to December.
- The fifth character is the week of manufacturing.
- As an example, if the fourth and fifth characters were CJ, this would be either 2010 or 2020. If we know the phone is an iPhone 11, this was released in 2019, and so the creation year must be 2020. The J tells us it was made in the second week of April.
Use an app
Some apps, such as Device Info, can tell you what your serial number is without searching through the settings. They will then display your phone’s core information in an easy-to-understand format.
Not every app will help decode a serial number, but they are a great way of getting these details all in one place.
The manufacturing code
Dialling a specific code on your phone can also reveal its assembly date. It won’t work on every model of phone but is worth trying, if instead of other methods.
From your device’s dial keypad, input one of the below codes:
This will then open a menu on your phone. Go to Menu Version Information, followed by Hardware versions. Read Manufacturing Date will show your phone’s date of assembly.
If you are looking to move on from your current phone, there are many options available. One such choice is Apple’s iPhone 14; take a look at our detailed review of what to expect.