How long did you keep your last smartphone?

Published: November 28, 2012

In a world where new smartphones are announced what seems like every week and old models slip into obsolescence just as quickly, it's difficult to stay attached to a single phone for more than a few months a a time.

Last year, I managed to go through at least 25 (personal) phones. (That's a very conservative estimate.) I would only use a phone for a couple weeks before growing bored and looking to sell or trade it (and some cash, of course) for a newer device. The year before that was worse. I probably went through 30 phones. And the year before that was likely the worst of all.

I could never find contentment in any device. There were always a million, tiny idiosyncrasies about a particular phone that would pick away at my nerves over time.

For example, the Galaxy Nexus was a great phone. It still is, for that matter. But, even at 720p, the HD Super AMOLED display was hideous and grainy. And the camera wasn't much to talk about either. Nor was the meager battery life. And at least a dozen Android phones I owned before that suffered from pitiful battery life, constant lag or force closing apps (or both ... at the same time) and a bevy of other annoyances I found nearly impossible to deal with.

So every few weeks, I would switch to a new phone, start from scratch and continue my search for a phone that best suited my needs. But this year has been different. Very different. We are now heading into December and I have only purchased six phones: Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nokia Lumia 900, BlackBerry Bold 9930, HTC One X and Apple iPhone 5.

I couldn't take the lag on the Galaxy Note, so I purchased a Nokia Lumia 900 with a new contract. After a few weeks with it, the handful of bugs and glitches associated with the camera or the lack of ecosystem on Windows Phone got the best of me. So I traded it for the HTC One X. Only late last month did I finally switch from the One X, meaning I spent nearly six months – early May to late October – with the One X with very few complaints.

Finally, I ended up with the Samsung Galaxy Note II, which I have covered ample times. If I haven't made it clear enough already, I am more content with this phone than I have ever been with any phone ... ever. And I imagine I will keep it for some time. How long? I'm unsure – new devices come along quickly. But if I were to guess, I imagine my time with the Galaxy Note II could easily stretch past seven or eight months. Maybe longer … maybe until Samsung makes a Note III.

Recently, however, the phone I have kept the longest was the iPhone 4S, which I purchased on launch day last year and kept until the iPhone 5 launched in September – 11 full months.

However, it doesn't appear as if the iPhone 5 will last long. I have only had it since September 21 and it already feels old and dated. Both the software and hardware are painstakingly reminiscent of older iPhones from years ago (not just last year's). After only two months with the phone, my eyes are wandering and I'm looking to switch to anything new and exciting.

No less, my last two phones were the longest I have held on to devices in as long as I can remember – almost six months with the One X and nearly double that with the iPhone 4S.

Tell me, readers. How long did you spend with your last phone? Your current phone? What's the longest you have ever kept a phone? Are you already looking to upgrade your current phone within the next few months?

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