Whether you’re buying a used phone or simply curious when your phone was actually made, you might wonder if there’s a way to figure out how old your phone actually is? Unfortunately, it’s complicated. Every Android manufacturer is different but there are a few areas you can check or attempt if you want to figure out how old your phone is.
Check your box – OnePlus, Motorola, and a few others
Some manufacturers are kind enough to make your life easy and include the manufacturer date right on the box. Just turn it over and look for “date”. We can confirm that all (at least newer) OnePlus and many Motorola phones include it on the box. Can’t find it there? Time to check a few other places.
In the settings – Apple and a few Android brands
Some phones include the manufacturer date in the settings of the phone itself. Exactly where it might appear in the settings will vary, but typically somewhere under About Phone. This might require some sleuthing.
Now some will have it clearly marked as manufacturing date or hardware version, but others sneak it into the serial code. Unfortunately, that makes it harder to figure out. For example, Apple puts the manufacturing info right into their serial numbers. The 3rd digit refers to the year, with 9 meaning 2009, 0 meaning 2010, 1 meaning 2011, and rinse and repeat. The fourth and fifth digits typically refer to the week of the year the iPhone was made.
If you think your serial number might be hiding this information we recommend giving it a google. Because there are so many different OEMs out there, you’re going to have to search for this one yourself. We’d try something like “[your phone brand and model] serial number manufacturing code].
Try using an app – Samsung and a few others
If you own a Samsung phone, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to use this super simple method. Simply head to Google Play and look for a phone info app. For example, Phone Info *Samsung* worked successfully when we tested it on a Galaxy S7 Edge.
Unfortunately, we tested a few other phones (a OnePlus 6, Blackberry Key2, and Doogee Mix) and phone info apps didn’t provide manufacturing data, so it seems to mostly be a Samsung thing. Who knows, you might just get lucky.
Unfortunately, if you didn’t find it on the box, in the settings, or through an app — you’re left with trying manufacturing codes. The problem with these codes is that they are typically not just OEM specific, but can even be model specific. That makes it impossible for us to directly guide you.
Some devices will respond to entering the *#197328640#*or *#*#197328640#*#* into the dialer. This will then open a service menu. If this doesn’t work for your device you’ll have to look up your specific manufacturer code via Google.
Know of any other methods that work or specific manufacturer codes? Let us know about them down in the comments!