Which Phone Should Be Called The Most Reliable Smartphone?

My first smartphone was Huawei. It worked well.
Then I have had a Samsung s3,s4,j3 and j5 pro. Samsung is the most reliable to date but pricey. Excellent aftersales service too.
Moto G5s was the best value for money but its unreliable especially its micro sdcard.

So which phone is most reliable performancewise (very few bugs or no critical breakdowns) phone you had? And how long you have it?


  • +10

    I've had the Pixel XL and Pixel 2 XL.

    Apart from the teething bugs with any new product, no further issues.

    Won't be upgrading to 3 but I'm sure that by December, it's as stable as any of it's predecessors.

      • +27


        Huawei, Samsung s3,s4,j3 and j5 pro

        all android by google

        • -15

          that's why I am thinking switching to iPhone.
          but at least I make it damn hard for them by not using chrome lol

          • +22

            @ozbar: Hahahahaha he thinks mapple is not doing the exact same thing

            • -7

              @padman: Android is free for a reason.

              • +7

                @smartazz104: you dont pay separately for mobile ios

                • +1

                  @havok44: It’s factored into the cost of iDevices.

                • +4

                  @havok44: you pay apple when you use IOS by purchasing their product. You dont pay google when you use android on a samsung or huawei. wanna guess google's biggest source of income?

            • +1

              @padman: Source? so far its been andriod/google thats under the media for their lack of support on privacy

              • -4

                @KozieSeller: You know there is no way Padman will have a source cos they are flat out wrong. Thing is, who carers? Let the Android fanboys wallow in their terrible data privacy practices of Google.

            • +5

              @padman: As much as we all love to be cynical, Apple isn't doing the same thing at all. If you request your data from Apple which is a legal obligation now with the GDPR, Apple has very little information stored on you relative to Google. They do a lot of processing "on device" (instead of on server) and they encrypt and/or anonymise much of what is sent. Their browser as of recent updates blocks third party cookies and fingerprinting by default. There's PLENTY of reasons to hae Apple, but privacy is their strong point. Probably because, unlike Google, they're not heavily involved in the advertising industry. So they simply don't have a need to mine you.

          • +2

            @ozbar: If you going Android to ios.. I bet you will be back in couple of weeks.

          • +3

            @ozbar: You could use a custom android ROM without the google services built in.

          • +2

            @ozbar: You know nothing ozbar..

        • I had an S3 and it had the infamous memory burn issue and died after 14 months. I loved the phone but will never buy another Samsung phone again.

    • I've got the original pixel. Has been my best phone to date. I had Samsung's before. Getting the pixel 3 next week.
      My battery on this phone is pretty bad now though. But I've learnt to live with it

      • +2

        news that the new pixel battery is even worse.

        • +2

          Pixel 3 is (profanity) and looks like a phone from 2 years ago and this is coming from an Android/Google fanboy. Google been (profanity) up their hardware and software year after year now.

    • I got Pixel 3 last week. First time getting an android phone. Absolutely beautiful phone with fast and quick software. Completely changed my perception about Android OS. Pixel 3 has best camera in business.

      • +3

        This was going to be my first year not updating/upgrading.

        Don't do this to me.

      • +1

        Pixels has the built quality of a Xiaomi Redmi. No match for Samsung or Apple

        • Maybe, I am happy with the quality of Pixel 3 so far. I have never owned an Android phone before. Also it is very important for me to get priority OS updates for next few years. Not many android manufactures promise/do that.

  • +18

    iPhone 6S

    • +11

      I have the same and yes, it has not had any issue whatsoever till date except for an acceptable decrease in battery charge retention after almost 3 years. In my opinion iPhones are all quite reliable and if you have any issues with it, it can be quickly sorted out by their great customer service.

      That said, my next purchase will not be an iPhone and i don't think I will ever go back to using it again. I hate being locked into their stupidly expensive ecosystem.

      • -2

        Not too mention they are fast turning into an overpriced Android. New models will follow the USB-C path. Also, settings in the top right corner, that has been standard on Android for 6 years, plus wiping from the bottom to access recent apps. I do like my Ipad for music, but I am frustrated by their ecosystem, not too mention nearly every App I have looked at, is cheaper on the Google Play store, as well as some books.

      • +4

        Shout-out to Apple confirming that newer iOS releases underclock the CPU (and so make the phones slower) in order to try and mitigate the lower battery charge as the device ages.

        • +1

          They allow to toggle that now with iOS 12, no issues.

      • +5

        If you were going to use your iPhone for another couple of years, it may be worth paying $39 for a battery replacement through Apple. Deal expires end of this year.

      • but their spare parts are much cheaper than Samsung.

    • It's one of the least reliable based on actual data.


      • -1

        Not really? did you read the PDF?

        • +1

          Yes, it has a 14% failure rate. Second worst for a single model in the whole report.

      • +1

        i wonder how they collect the data, it is strange that the 2 prime manufacturers with leading RD departments could be the worst in the market. I would expect most hardwares make in china to be not vastly difference. the differences is perhaps how they integrate the softwares and hardwares and fine tuned their products. perhaps a computer engineer amongst us can enlighten us.

        • +3

          I think this company provides a testing suite for mobile repair places and retailers and also a service to erase returned phones which they run diagnostics on. The data comes from that.

          I think if you have a cheaper android you might not bother getting it repaired or complaining about slow performance so it doesn't show up in the numbers, whereas if you have spent a fortune on a flagship you will want even small issues fixed.

          The flagships do pack a lot more cutting edge functionality in as well, maybe it contributes to more going wrong.

          The data isn't going to be perfect in this kind of report but it's better than hearsay.

    • I had an iPhone 6S and it was good until less than 18 months down the line where it came across lagging issues - opening up an application and it would take 1 whole second before it registers that I’ve clicked on the app. Also the keyboard sensitivity has gone down and some of the keys would stop working and/ or lag. Quite frustrating because I wouldn’t even be able to type a sentence without having to restart the application.

      • +3

        Wipe it, put iOS 12 on it.
        It’ll be like new.

    • +27

      Samsung Galaxy S9, and it’s better and more powerful than the Apple IPhone XS

      Better? Subjective; you can argue until you’re black and blue.
      More powerful? Categorically false.

      Benchmark scores are for single core/multi core performance.

      iPhone7: 3402 / 5728
      Galaxy S9: 3273 / 8519
      iPhone 8/X: 4223 / 10126
      iPhone XS: 4794 / 11231

      Not only is the S9 not as powerful as the XS, it’s behind by a considerable margin not only to the XS, but also to the 8/X which was released ~6 months before the S9. Hell, even the iPhone 7 which pre-dates the S9 by 18 months still has better single core performance than the S9. Its embarrassing for Samsung and anyone who holds this belief, quite frankly.

      • +16

        The Apple SoC’s are monsters. Literally years ahead especially in single core performance. Extremely noticeable in JavaScript.

  • +12

    Anecdotal evidence is almost meaningless.

    • +63

      I've heard a few people say the same.

      • +1

        Thank you - I got a properly wholesome laugh out of that!

    • +1

      'Opinions are like mobile phones, everyone's got one'…or something like that

  • +8

    I didn’t think anyone these days kept a phone long enough for it to have issues.

    • +2

      You're wrong, my Nexus 6P got the famous bootloop. Replaced this for Pixel 2, very happy with it.

      • +2

        It's not worth getting flagships, nor is it worth getting mid-range devices. And low-end devices will always have compromises.

        I've formulated that the best value (performance/price) you can have is to now buy a flagship device One Year late. And if possible get it Used in pristine condition. Then sell it next year, and upgrade. This way you will still have one of the best handsets, and usually better than the mid-range devices, and still get security and system updates.

        As a special point, aim for mainstream devices…which means more spare parts, servicing, support etc etc. And also make sure it is developer friendly (documentation, source, drivers, bootloader, r00t, custom rom, etc etc).

        This really is better than keeping an Android flagship for 2 years, or an iPhone flagship for 3 years. Better value in the long-term.

        • My main worry there would be buying a stolen or bricked device, how do you avoid that?

          • @Jolakot: Just do your due diligence. I personally "try before buy" and grab a sneaky pic and number plate.

            And if it's too good to be true, it usually is.

            I wish I formulated this upgrade ideology. I would've upgraded from 2013 Note3-QSD, to Note4-Exy, S7-Exy, LGV30… and to S9+ in 2019 for maybe $450 and selling the older one for $300. Basically spending ~$200 each year to stay upgraded, better than spending >$800 every 1-2-3 years.

  • +14

    my iphone 7 seems pretty consistent after 2 years. i think ill be using it for another 2,3 more years since theres nothing wrong with it.

  • +9

    From what I've heard iPhone's seem to have the greatest longevity and resale value, as long as you don't run into battery issues.

    Best phone I ever owned was nexus 5 - worked for 3 years flawlessly, battery life wasn't great towards the end though. Then owned Xiaomi Mi 5, was fine for about a year before battery deteriorated. Currently own an S8 (for nearly a year) and have no complaints. Hopefully should last me for another year or 2.

    • yes my friend had a similar problem with xiaomi. put me off.

    • 3 years is long? My Galaxy S2 lasted almost 5 (and I gave it away because I wanted to upgrade, but it was still working fine).

  • +5

    From personal experience Samsung. Think they've only had the note 7 fiasco and the s6 (when they tried pulling an Apple) against them, bjt the latter was avoidable via consumers.

    Apple I couldn't say are reliable thanks to the BS that happens every single year. Seriously, name a year when something wasn't wrong with one of their devices at launch.

    *Maybe last year, can't remember. But i'm pretty sure the other years have just had something wrong with em.

    As for other android makers. Googpe are seemingly very reliable. OnePlus as well.

    • +2

      I agree. I had Apple phones from the first one until the 6 and all of them had issues (some minor, some major) but what I disliked the most was iTunes and the huge limitations iOS has. I bought a Samsung tablet while I had an iPhone to see if I'd like Android and I did. Switched to Galaxy S7, now an S8+ and I love them. Couldn't go back to Apple now.

  • +2

    I would hope that all the high end flagship phones are perfectly reliable.
    I use a Galaxy S8, and can't think of any issues. GPS location works fine, phone calls have no isses, apps open and close.

    Is this question more about the longevity of smartphones?
    Mine I've had for a year and a half so far.
    I've always said you get what you pay for when it comes to smartphones.

    • if your phone hang often or the micro sdcard delete your data whats the use of longevity right?
      imagine your lifework or family photos deleted in a second…performance reliability therefore should be the no.1 priority.

      • +1

        If your lifework or family photos are that important to you, why aren't u backing them up?

      • iOS or Android - just install Google photos, no limit to backup of photos. Sorted.

  • +1

    What sd problems did you have with the g5s+?

    My only problems after a few months was the phone kept on restarting by itself. A quick format did the job.

    Since the latest update. It seems like the battery is draining quicker.

    • +1

      after few months motog5s didn't recognise the sdcard. I was using a genuine Samsung sdcard and the problem still surfaced. worst still is Motorola keep denying it. even their latest moto g7 still has same problem. moto unreliability is infamous in the tech forums. i will never trust moto again even though i owned one of their earlier older model which was better.

      • +1

        Lenovo really sunk the Moto brand :(

      • +1

        Similar issue with my Moto G5 Plus. Phone started slowing down and then apps kept crashing. Found out the Micro SD became corrupted over time when formatted as adoptable storage.

        Now using a new card as external storage, sucks because Android doesnt allow Apps to move to SD anymore.

  • +7

    I'm always quite impressed by the Samsung Galaxy S3 - lasted me ages.

    The best so far has been my iPhone SE, though. Somehow, after lots and lots of drops, it's still looking like it's brand new! Still getting updates and OS upgrades. It's doing me good so far. I don't think I'd upgrade to another iPhone unless they did an SE v2.

    • +3

      My SE still going well, and yeah I've dropped it a few times too (but always in a protective casing and sacrificial glass screen protector). Ppl diss the iOS but really when ur the go-to IT troubleshooting person for the whole extended family, that job is soooo much easier! 🤣

      At the end of the day any reasonably priced phone that can last 2-3 years with decent firmware updates in that time, work well enough so long as that person is happy with its functions. Technical comparisons can be meaningless.

    • My S3 lasted ages too, and now gets used as a kids games phone (no sim). They love it and it's still going strong

  • +6

    Never had any issue with my iPhones. Kept my iPhone 6 for 3.5 years with no issues, it was still going strong when I upgraded to the iPhone X. No issues with this phone either.

    • +1

      Just had a brainstorming session, and here's how I think the various brands did over the course of this short-long history. I realised an OEM can make a great hardware, great specifications, or great price…yet hardly a good combination of the three. And if they did, that would mean the OEM was really trying/being ambitious and putting the consumer first.

      The LG Google Nexus 4…. was the most ambitious phone by Google.

      Whilst Apple's most ambitious device was the iPhone 4.
      The most ambitious "phablet" was the Galaxy Note 3.
      Samsung's most ambitious flagship was the Galaxy SII.
      Their rival LG's best attempt was with the LG G2.
      Long forgotten HTC did their best with the EVO 4G.
      Sony's Xperia Z3 Compact is the stuff of legends.
      Nokia's most ambitious Android device is the recent Nokia 7 Plus.
      Blackberry tried their hardest with the sleek Priv.
      Motorola were most innovative with the Atrix 4G.
      Lenovo's recent ZUK Z2 was their best attempt yet.
      ASUS has only recently pushed the envelope with the RoG Phone.
      Vivo's lineup impressed me the most with the Nex S.
      Oppo were most innovative with their dev-focussed N1.
      OnePlus' most ambitious was with the OnePlus One.
      ZTE's best attempt is easily the Axon 7.
      TCL's ambitious attempt was with the Idol 3 Plus.
      LeCo's Pro3 seems like their finest attempt.
      Huawei's hardest attempt was the superb P9 Plus.
      Meizu most innovative handset has probably been the Pro 6.
      Xiaomi? Too many, a toss-up between the Mi Mix, Poco F1, Mi A2, Mi 3, and the OzBargain special that is the Redmi Note3.

  • +2

    Still rocking a 6 year old Xperia Z C6603. Battery life is amazing considering its age. Limited to Android 5.1.1 tho. I'm not a fan of CM.

    • i used it for 3 months and got sick with the battery life. u must be lucky abt battery life. sold it and moved to Shamesung (:

  • Here is some actual data:


    Generally Androids have a lower reported failure rate than Iphones, but it depends on the manufacturer. There are probably a lot of cheaper androids that people dont bother fixing that would distort the numbers further.

    • +3

      I’d like to point out an important point in that document, which is that the number 1 issue with Android devices is “device performance” which accounts for a whopping 27% of all Android issues; the next closest is camera issues at 5%. Conversely, Bluetooth is the biggest iOS issue at 3% and performance is nowhere in the top 5 (so accounts for 1% or less of all failures since the 5th most prevalent is 1%, itself).

      This number would likely be skewed due to the Android space containing budget models and being prone to user-caused issues like installing nefarious apps. But you don’t get a gap of 26% (or more) just from those points alone. Android is inherently prone to performance issues to do not being an optimised OS; Google has to make it compatible with thousands of devices, whereas Apple only needs to make iOS compatible with a handful, and get to work alongside the hardware team. This will never change unless Google changes their Android business model entirely.

      • Android is terribly designed for performance, bloated beyond bursting for each version with more features.

        Google knows that, that's the reason they're working on Fuchsia.

  • +4

    Still rocking an iPhone 6. Had to replace the battery recently and also up to the third screen from being clumsy with it. Other than that, have not had a single issue with it.

    • its funny cause I heard many first hand report and vouched for it but yet the report above said its the worst of the lot.

  • +5

    I think you need to better define what you mean by reliable because Nokia 3310 comes into mind…

    • +1

      lol but I did say smartphone.

      • Oh you're right. I'm sorry. But still, if you mean will last the longest, I'll say iPhone even though I stopped using them ages ago, especially the newer ones.

        Go on youtube and check out Jerry Rig Everything's iphone XS drop test, super impressive. Battery life is also one of the best and they have 5 year guaranteed updates so it's reliable in the software department too. Although I'll still never switch back :)

        • but I do agree nokia was one of the toughest and most intuitive phone I used pre smartphone era. I was more worry about the performance reliability though.

        • and why not switch back?

          • +1

            @ozbar: They're just a bit boring. I use to use them because there was nothing like it on the market. I never experienced any bugs or issues using them even from the iphone 4. IMO, they dropped the ball around IOS 11 but really picked themselves back up over the last year. But android has far more customization, lots of features and often the newest tech (e.g in screen fingerprint reader). Most iPhones look the same except for background and the actual apps on the screen. With android, you can make it yours and file transfers are sooo much easier than apple. But a lot more androids lag overtime and just look at how many bugs the newest pixel has. I have an old iphone 5 (bought on release) and the battery, whilsts not great, still does better than some newer android phones I have, the iPhone 5 still runs smooth as well.

            Secondly, Apple is being really greedy lately (not giving people a dongle that probably cost them 50c to make), people will say 'it's just business' but still, not a fan and won't support it.

            • @bkhm: that was a good comparison…cant say I blame you I would be just as piss over a dongle. my Samsung s4 was virtually bug free for a year until they upgrade and somehow something that was working normally fail to work suddenly… they actually upgraded to make it obsolete. I switched off the auto upgrade in google play and things seem to go back normal….That's why I don't believe in buying a flagship phone anymore….. Its a money spinner for them.

      • I was about to say Nokia 3210 until I saw the 'smartphone' in the heading…

  • +1

    OP needs to detail for what purposes they use their phone, since we’d need to start with that and then go from there. For example, if it’s only basic use then the Nokia 3310 re-release would be the way to go. But, of course, it’s far from suitable if OP wants a smart phone.

    From my experience, hardware “quality” is fairly consistent across all phone manufacturers. Of course, there are some outliers but by and large consistency is there (hence why the outliers are, well, outliers). In terms of software, iOS has the upper hand due to being developed in house by Apple, and alongside the hardware team. In addition, iOS needs to be made for only 13 phones (including plus/MAX variants). Compare that to Android, which is made separately (by Google) then given to manufacturers (e.g Samsung) who gets their CPU from other manufacturers (e.g Qualcomm; although Exynos is reaching greater volumes). Android needs to be compatible with thousands of potential variations, and so will have some more issues.

    The best analogy is that Android can do more than iOS, therefore has more working “parts”, none of which are optimised for that given device (Nexus/Pixel aside, arguably) and hence more points of failure. Conversely, iOS does less, but if you don’t need to do those extra things that it can’t do, then you yield the benefit of having not only less working “parts” but said parts are made in-house and are highly optimised.

    Lastly, the thing that people aren’t considering in this thread (thus far) is that all phones can fail, no matter how well-built. So an important factor is not only durability/stability of the device itself, but also how difficult it is to get it repaired. Until recently, Apple had the monopoly on easy repairs - simply drop in to an Apple store and walk out with a replacement within an hour or so. Nowadays, Samsung has retail store presence so has similar capabilities, but not to the same extent (usually restricted due to having kiosks instead of stores like Apple, and because it’s too difficult to stock parts for all devices so may need to order in parts of its not a Galaxy A/S/Note). So you should factor this in, and means that issues with Motorola, Huawei, Xiaomi etc will all be a much bigger headache than Apple or even Samsung.

    • That's true. I think a lot of the issues androids face can be managed by a technically minded user themselves, but you need to enjoy that aspect.

      • Exactly right. For me, whilst I’m well versed in a wide range of technology, I treat my phone like a car; I couldn’t care less about a feature that I might use once a month when it comes at the cost of the entire car being unreliable. I want to be able to have a device that is on hand and has an extremely low chance of becoming an issue. For me, I’ve not found an Android that can fill that purpose; I’ve had to fix far too many of them.

  • +2

    Nokia 5110


    • Smartphone

      • +2

        Yep, it was a very smart phone for the day

  • +1

    An iPhone for sure.

  • +1

    If the user is smart then an Android handset such as the Samsung Galaxy series which you can tweak to your heart's content otherwise Apple if they can afford it.

  • +8

    I had an iPhone 6 Plus which had the 'bending' issue, despite never keeping it in my pocket.
    It meant that the screen became inactive in certain places where I guess the sensors had detached from the back of the screen.
    If I carefully bent it it the other way most of them worked again.
    It didn't show until it was out of warranty and Apple refused to acknowledge that it was a generic problem, so quoted me a ridiculous price to fix it, with no guarantee that it would not happen again.
    I took it to a different Apple shop having carefully bent it into shape and traded it in as 'perfect' and received a decent price.
    They rang me later and said that the screen was misbehaving and had I had any issues with it?
    I said that I wasn't sure what they were talking about.
    Very satisfying.

  • +1

    Having had multiple Samsungs over the years I would say they were NOT the most reliable. However as they have a samsung shop in Melbourne CBD to address any issues that come up I can tolerate it.

  • -1

    Nexus 5 since Dec 2013. Perfect phone.

    Replaced OEM battery last year, going great.

    • how easy is the battery to replace??
      I have the same phone, and the battery life is attrocious now.

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