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How old is my Phone? 6 ways to figure it out

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  • 4 min read

Whether you’re buying an old phone or just checking up 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 its own ways of marking manufacturing dates on their phones. In this article, we’re going over six ways you can possibly find out how old is the device you have in hand.

Check the box

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

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Check the settings

Some manufacturers, including Apple, add the date in the phone settings along with 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 in the about section of your phone settings. And while some have the date clearly 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 as made.

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

You’ll find all the month values for Samsung serial codes in the table below.

Month and Year code123456789ABC
2006A. LA1,L1A2,L2A3,L3A4,L4A5,L5A6,L6A7,L7A8,L8A9,L9AA,LAAB,LBAC,LC

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

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Try an app

This method is most likely to work on Samsung phones, but its worth a shot with any phone you have. Apps like Device Info, Droid Hardware Info, 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 just include the manufacturing date as well. 

Use the IMEI number

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, the settings or if you’re on a Samsung phone, by 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. 

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

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Check activation date

Now, this isn’t a super accurate method, and if you’re buying a second-hand phone, it won’t work at all. 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 the Google Play Store settings page on your mobile or desktop browser. 

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

Manufacturer codes

If nothing else works, you’re going to 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 for you, you’re going to have to Google the specific code for your phone’s make and model.

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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:

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