I have had two smart phones in the last 8 years: the first I kept for 5 years, and my current phone I have had for 3 years. I don't mind keeping the same phone for a long time, but it seems like no matter how much research I have done I always wind up with a phone that won't last as long as I want it to.

My first phone developed issues with the micro USB plug, apparently it was a design flaw whereby over time the connection became intermittent, making it difficult to keep the phone properly charged.

My current phone has known issues with the battery. I suppose I can always replace the battery every year or two at 50-100 bucks a pop, but unlike my first phone the battery is not user replaceable and this is somewhat of a pain as well as more expensive than if it was user replaceable.

What specific makes and models should I consider if I want to use the same phone for at least ten years? Assume that I don't care about OS updates, Android is preferred, and that I'm willing to buy a (possibly used) phone already a year or two old so as to have a better idea of its track record (no design flaws that shake out in the first year or two) as well as save some money versus a new product. Exact feature set is not terribly important as long as it's towards the high end of the smart phone range as of the time of its offering. In general they all seems pretty similar to me and the main thing I am concerned about, long term reliability, isn't easy to come by and certainly isn't a listed feature or necessarily even a design concern given the propensity of many people to buy a phone every two years to keep up with the latest incremental features.

Update: From the comments, it seems like the most likely candidate will have wireless charging (to avoid premature USB failure from plugging and unplugging it a lot) and a removable battery (which makes a lot of sense not only from easy of replacing the battery when it fails, but also being able to carry along extra batteries to extend life.) However, looking at 2018 phones there appears to be no intersection of the two, as the former is a high end feature and high end phones apparently eschew a removable battery in favor of being somewhat waterproof, a feature which is very low on my priority list (getting a bit of sweat on it in my pocket is about as wet as my phone will ever get.)

  • 1
    I'd look for induction charging, to avoid issues with the USB socket wearing out.
    – vclaw
    Sep 23 '18 at 10:32
  • This is just unrealistic. Consider that Android has only been around for 10 years, I don't think anyone still uses an original Android phone. As such, I wouldn't expect, say, a Pixel 3 to last half as long.
    – user1691
    Sep 23 '18 at 22:59
  • @SiXandSeven8ths Oh definitely unrealistic ten years ago, but Android has matured.
    – Michael
    Sep 23 '18 at 23:09
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    To find one (sorted by popularity) with Android, 1080P, from 2009-2016 check out the GSMArena Phone Finder. My personal favorite would be the HTC One M7 but it would be used, and thus well under $200 - with a battery replacement at a Phone Repair Kiosk add another $100. --- USB socket or battery are usually the first to go, headphone jack is next if it is being used. My dozen year old Nokia N95 still works perfectly (and it's a slider), the battery is a bit weak but I bought a spare.
    – Rob
    Sep 24 '18 at 3:45
  • @Michael Yes, OS is probably OK but the hardware will never hold up.
    – user1691
    Sep 24 '18 at 13:23

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