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How old is my Phone? 7 ways to figure it out

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  • 6 min read

Whether buying an old phone or just checking up on the manufacturing date on your present one to plan an upgrade, knowing exactly how old your phone is can go a long way in such decisions. 

However, every manufacturer has ways of marking manufacturing dates on their phones. In this article, we’re going over seven ways to find out how old the device you have in hand is.

Check the box

For all the hoarders out there, it’s your time to shine. If you stashed away the box that your phone came in, you can find the manufacturing date somewhere on that box. Search for the label that mentions details about the phone including serial number and the manufacturing date.

Photo of the back of a phone box with details about the phone.

Oneplus, Motorola and a few other manufacturers are considerate enough to print the manufacturing date on the box itself. So a good look around your phone’s box can tell you quite a lot about it.

Also read: What happens when you reset Network Settings on Android and iOS?

Check the settings

Some manufacturers, including Apple, add the date in the phone settings and other important information like the IMEI number and system software version.

Where exactly you’ll find the date in the settings remains different from brand to brand, but it generally should be in the About section of your phone settings. And while some have the date marked, some include it in the phone’s serial number.

For example, in Apple serial numbers, the 3rd digit refers to the last digit of the year and the fourth and fifth digits are typically meant to represent the week of the year the phone was made.

Samsung devices include the year code and month number in the fourth and fifth digits of their serial numbers. So if these digits are N5, your phone was made in May 2020.

All the month values for Samsung serial codes are in the table below.

YearMonth and Year codeJanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
2006A. LA1,L1A2,L2A3,L3A4,L4A5,L5A6,L6A7,L7A8,L8A9,L9AA,LAAB,LBAC,LC

Of course, different OEMs have their standards. If you suspect your phone’s serial number might have the date hidden somewhere, try Googling it; it should help you figure the date out. 

Also read: How to fix ‘Android System WebView Won’t Update’ error?

Try an app

This method will most likely work on Samsung phones, but it’s worth a shot with any phone you have. Apps like Device Info, Droid Hardware Info, and Phone Info SAM work great with Samsung phones. 

The Google Play Store is littered with apps that can read your phone’s data (given the right permissions, of course), and that data might include the manufacturing date. 

Use the IMEI number

The IMEI (or International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a 15-digit number linked to the SIM slot and assigned to every mobile phone during production. The IMEI number can give you several details about your phone, including when your phone was manufactured. You can check your IMEI number in the following ways:

  • Settings – Go to Settings < About phone or About and scroll until you see your device’s IMEI number. If it’s a dual SIM phone, you will see 2 numbers below.
Screenshot of the About phone page showing IMEI numbers linked to the device.
  • USSD code – Dial the USSD code *#06# on your phone’s keypad. A pop-up on your screen shows the IMEI numbers assigned to your phone.
Screenshot of pop-up showing IMEI numbers that appear after dialing a USSD code.

Your IMEI number contains a lot of essential information about your device, including its manufacturing date. You can find out the IMEI either by checking the phone’s box settings or, if you’re on a Samsung phone, dialling *#06# in the dialler. 

Once you have the IMEI number, you can look it up on websites like, or, and it should give you all the information you need. 

How old is my Phone? 6 ways to figure it out | Candid.Technology

Checking the IMEI can also give you information on the warranty and the manufacturing country or the country of origin. 

Also read: ADB Commands Cheatsheet

Check activation date

Now, this isn’t a super accurate method, and if you’re buying a second-hand phone, it won’t work. However, if you’re the original owner of the phone and you logged in to the phone with your Google account the day you unboxed it, you’d at least know the unboxing date of the phone.

Step 1: Open your mobile or desktop browser’s Google Play Store settings page

How old is my Phone? 6 ways to figure it out | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be able to see all your phones, when you register them, and when you last used them. You can edit the device nickname from here as well. 

How old is my Phone? 6 ways to figure it out | Candid.Technology

Use Manufacturer codes

If nothing else works, you will have to try a manufacturing code. The problem with these is that these codes can be OEM or even model-specific. 

You can try dialling *#197328640#* or *#*#197328640#*#*, and it should bring up a service menu. However, if these codes don’t work, you must Google the specific code for your phone’s make and model.

Decipher using Serial Number

This might not work for all devices, but for some manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, the serial number for the device can be used to calculate the manufacturing date.

  • iPhone – The 4th and 5th letters of the 10-12 digital serial number found either on the box that your phone came in or in Settings >About > Serial Number denote the year and week of manufacturing.

Although the character codes could change with each new production cycle.

  • Samsung – The 4th and 5th characters denote your Samsung device’s year and manufacturing month, respectively. For example, if the characters are R5, the manufacturing date is May 2001. Each year is represented by a letter from the alphabet, not necessarily in order.

Also read: How to delete Metadata from photos on Windows and Android?

With inputs from Vanashree

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: