How to Tell How Old Your Phone Is

How to Tell How Old Your Phone Is

If you’re buying a new phone, you might be curious to find out just how old your device is. However, the method to do so differs from one manufacturer to another.

In this article, we’ll show you how to find out exactly when your phone was manufactured.

Why Is a Phone’s Age Important?

The launch dates of various smartphones are well documented. However, your phone could have been manufactured months or even years after the launch. There are several reasons why you might want to check the manufacturing date of your phone.

  1. It may give you an insight into just how secure your device is. Old phones are generally less secure compared to newer models.
  2. Your phone’s age affects its resell value. A more recent device is likely to fetch you more money if you decide to sell it.
  3. Age affects your phone’s overall performance. Older phones tend to be slower, and their bodies are more susceptible to wear and tear.
  4. Your phone’s battery life diminishes with age.

How to Tell How Old Your Phone Is

Although manufacturers often come up with their own unique ways to show the manufacture date, there are a few shared tools you can use to check this out, regardless of the model and make of your phone. Here are a few:

Your Phone’s Purchase Box

Your phone’s box is the first place you should look. A lot of manufacturers indicate the manufacturing date of each mobile phone on its box. Most of them attach a white sticker to the back of the box. On the sticker, you may find a few words, symbols, or barcodes. Your phone’s manufacturing date may be hidden somewhere on that sticker.

While you are looking there, it’s important to confirm that the IMEI number written on the box is the same as the one appearing in your phone’s settings. If the two are different, then there’s a chance that the box is actually not the one belonging to your phone, and as such, the manufacture date is incorrect.


Some phones have their manufacture date included in the device’s settings app. This information is usually included in a folder called “About Phone,” within the settings menu. In some cases, the manufacturer may not make the date obvious, and you may have to use some kind of a formula to find out when your phone was made. A good example would be iPhones, as we shall see later in this article.


Developers have come up with applications that can dig through your phone’s data or use the IMEI number to scour through online sources and tell you exactly when your phone was manufactured. These applications may be manufacturer-specific because they are usually developed in collaboration with the manufacturers. You simply have to download and install the application to access the data.

Manufacturing Code

It may also be possible to find out your phone’s manufacture date if you know its manufacturing code. To find this, simply enter one of the following into the dial pad of your phone:

*#manufacturingcode#* or *#*#manufacturingcode#*#*

Once entered, a service menu should appear, showing important details about your phone, such as its specific model, and the manufacture date and country.

Now, we’ll look at some phone-specific ways to find out the manufacturing date.

How to Tell How Old Your Android Phone Is

Android phones are hugely popular on the market today, largely because they offer the perfect platform for a wide range of applications. So, how can you tell exactly when your Android smartphone was manufactured?

In most Android brands, you can check your phone’s manufacturing date in your device’s settings. You simply have to go to Settings and look for the “About Phone” tab. The section showing your phone’s details may also use words like Your Phone, About, or Phone Data.

Alternatively, you can try this out:

  1. Dial *#197328640#* or *#*#197328640#*#*. This should open the service menu.
  2. Tap “Menu Version Information.”
  3. Tap “Hardware Version”
  4. Select “Read Manufacturing date.”

A different code — *#000# — may also give you the manufacture date.

How to Tell How Old Your Samsung Phone Is

Samsung phones are known for their versatility when it comes to the use of applications. If you own a Samsung smartphone, you can try downloading and installing a phone info app. There are several phone info apps available from different developers, but they all serve the same purpose. To find a suitable app, go to your phone’s app store and search “Samsung phone info app.”

How to Tell How Old Your Phone Is

How to Tell How Old Your iPhone Is

If you own an iPhone, there’s a good chance that the manufacturing date is coded into your phone’s serial number. Here’s a short summary of the coding system:

  1. The third digit in the serial number represents the year. For example, 8 means 2008, 9 means 2009, 1 means 20111, and 2 means 2012.
  2. The fourth and fifth digits in the serial number represent the exact week of the year when the iPhone was manufactured.

To see your iPhone’s serial number,

  1. Go to your phone’s settings.
  2. Under “General,” select “About.”

Impressively, an iPhone offers you even more ways to find out the manufacture date. A Dutch website called Chipmunks offers a platform where you can check your phone’s details for free. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Visit the Chipmunk website through your iPhone’s web browser. You can also do this using a PC or Mac.
  2. Enter your phone’s serial number in the input box.
  3. Click on “Laat de informative,” loosely translated to mean “Provide Information.” This should, among other things, show you your phone’s manufacture date.

Alternatively, you might want to try Apple’s “Check Coverage” website. Although the platform was primarily built to help iPhone users to view their warranty status, your device’s manufacture date also appears once you’ve entered the serial number.

How to Tell If Your Old Phone Is Unlocked

If your phone is unlocked, it can accommodate sim cards from various service providers. This comes in handy when you want to travel to a new country. When unlocked, your phone should accept a sim card from just about every network in the world.

Here’s how to check if an iPhone is unlocked:

  1. Open your phone’s setting and tap on “Cellular.”
  2. If your phone is unlocked, the Cellular menu will include a “Cellular Data option.”
  3. If your phone is locked, you won’t see the “Cellular Data option” under the Cellular menu.

How about Android smartphones?

  1. Open your phone’s settings
  2. Select “Connections.”
  3. Open “Networks.”
  4. Click on “Network Operators.” If your phone is unlocked, you’ll see a list of all the available networks. If you get just one result, your phone may be locked.

How to Tell How Old Your Google Phone Is

Google phones may not be as popular as some of the other smartphone brands on the market today, in part because they entered the market much later. However, the good thing is that Google phones seem to follow the old script when it comes to the manufacture date. Here’s how you can see find out when your phone was made:

  1. Open your phone’s settings.
  2. Click on “General.”
  3. Select “About.”

How to Tell How Old Your LG Phone Is

The most reliable way to find out exactly when your LG phone was manufactured involves downloading the LG phone info app from the app store.

Alternatively, you can use the online IMEI checker. You simply need to enter your phone’s IMEI number in the search box and click on “Check.”

How to Tell How Old Your Motorola Phone Is

As with Google phones, you might find information on exactly when your Motorola phone was manufactured under Settings. In most Motorola models, this information also appears in the box.

Additional FAQ

How to Know If Your Old Phone Is Unlocked?

There’s a reliable method to test whether your phone is locked. You simply have to remove your sim card and replace it with another one from a different carrier. If you’re able to make a call with the new sim card, your phone is unlocked. If not, your phone is most likely locked to the first carrier.

How Do You Check How Long You’ve Had Your Phone?

You can find out how long you’ve had your current phone by contacting your network provider. They’ll have a detailed record of all of your transactions.

How Can I Find My Old Phone Number?

If you have your old phone in good working condition, proceed as follows:

• Open your phone’s settings.

• Click on “About Phone.”

• Select “Status.”

• Click on “My phone number.”

Alternatively, you can ask a friend or family member or scour through your tax records.

How to Enable Find My Phone?

If using an iOS device:

• Open the settings app

• Select your name.

• Select “Find My”

• Turn on “Find My iPhone”

For Android users:

• Open the settings app

• Tap “Security”.

• Select “Find My Device”

• Turn on “Find My Device”

Can I Keep My Old Phone?

Yes. Preferably, you should take it to a phone store and ask them to check it out to see if it’s still usable. However, you might have to unlock your phone in order to use it again. Your old carrier can do that for you once the contract period has elapsed.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how old your phone is can help you to plan on your next purchase. Besides, it can help you to establish whether your phone is protected against the latest cybersecurity threats. With the information in our article, you can now jump right in to check just how old your device is. Have you had any challenges trying to find out how old your phone is? Do you have any related hacks to share?

Let’s engage in the comments.