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Just how OLD should a BRAND NEW Phone be (Bought in a Big Retail Store - in the Box) ???

Jimmy Recard

Aug 21, 2021

So I've just bought 3x pretty expensive Samsung Phones - for myself and my family, it'll be one week today.
I'm planning on taking them back though as I called the Samsung - and they told me how to check the actual Manufacture Date.

It turns out these 'brand new' phones were actually made way back at the start of April?

PLEASE don't post any 'snarky/joke' comments/posts - it just dilutes and reduces the number of actually useful replies you receive.

I'm genuinely trying to solve a problem here - not just talking about something meaningless.

For those who think this is a joke - the only reason we stopped using the last 3x phones I had bought the family - was because the software updates ran out.

All of a sudden all the apps started saying - 'you're X is too old - see you later'.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the phones in general - and just because of the lack of updates - we lost probably at least another 1-3 or more years we could have gotten out of the phones because we took extra care with them.

And it was likely really only due to the phone companies wanting you to buy new phones - it wasn't a security/functionality thing. We only used basic apps and regular internet browsing. Everything worked just fine.

These were Samsung Galaxy S5's.

Now you might say - 'dude, that's ancient'... and if you're a fanboy or materialist who needs the latest phone every 6 months - then yeah it is!

However, when I looked into it - I had seen articles solely about how Samsung had shot themselves in the foot because they'd made such a useful/robust affordable phone with 'too much' longevity for a company who relies on making you buy more stuff every year or two.

That's the only reason it was killed off.

I don't have a monthly phone cap, I don't buy a new phone every few years - not everyone has cash to burn.

So these New phones - they've been sitting in a warehouse somewhere with their batteries slowly draining bit by bit.

Also, it might not be stored properly, might be too hot or too humid etc… who knows.

It might have an older Hardware and/or Sofware version than one that was manufactured Today?
I'm concerned about that as you want the newest phone you can get.

More to the point, I've heard Samsung have said something to the effect of - they guarantee 4 (?) major updates in the life of the product.

Now if you buy a phone that was made today - you'll get 4 updates… but if I buy a phone that was made 7-8 months ago - that might require 1-2 major updates just to catch up to the phone that was made today.

So does that mean I'll only have 2 major updates left for the life of my phone (compared to you with 4 left?)
Some of you might think that's not how it works - but no one really knows do they?

Even if the software thing wasn't a concern - it still seems super dodgy/fraudulent to give you such an old 'new' phone'!

Anyone got any advice on my rights here?

If they only have old phones - I might just want a full refund - then try to find somewhere else that has much newer ones….

But can I say that I have that right legally as it was kind of sold under false pretences (not exactly as advertised)?

I don't think the average person would expect a brand new phone to be 7-8 months old already!

Because I bought it at well known retail store, I feel like I have to swap them over on the spot with them as they might try to make it impossible to get a refund.

They might make it impossible to swap them over on the spot too… but those are the only two options i'll accept.

There is no way I am sending in a brand new phone less than a week old - could take 1-2 months if you're unlucky.

Now when I go back to the store where I bought it - is there any way that the retail store I got it from, or Samsung chat support or someone at a Samsung Store (asked over the phone while I'm at the retail store) can do to tell me the manufacture date of a new phone still in the box at the store?

That way I can at least see what I'm getting?

Maybe they can do it from the serial/imei and other numbers printed on the box, or via info from the Store Computer system, or maybe they can contact Samsung or someone else?

The only other thing I can think of - is maybe they can check the Store computer and tell give me the newest stock they received and tell me that date?

If I get someone helpful - maybe they could do that, but if I get someone unhelpful they'll probably just lie and say they can't tell?

My dad suggested that maybe it's old unsold stock from overseas…. he could be right?

BTW - is this a common issue with many other tech, computer, home appliances type items?
And how do you check other things/brands in advance or while at point of purchase to avoid this kind of ripoff?

Thank you for your help
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The update cycle is based on the model of the phone, not when it was made. So, let's say it's an S22- the first one off the assembly line will get the same updates as the last one.
Depending on where you bought them, if it's a smaller retailer they may not go through their stock as fast as a larger one so the phone you get might be older. i.e. the local mom & pop phone store probably doesn't rotate their stock nearly as fast as a Best Buy etc. And add to that the current supply and shipping issues and it's likely that there is a rather long lead time from factory to store shelf.
I wouldn't worry too much about it, but by all means if it bothers you return them and get newer ones assuming they are available.
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So that's about 7 months from the date of actual manufacture? Quite frankly I don't think that's too excessive.

Maybe it was held up by the global shipping crisis, like it could have in a shipping container stuck on a dockside in Vietnam for months, or was on a boat for months.


I just checked my Samsung phone, and that was apparently five months from date of manufacture to when I bought it.
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If you state which models they are, it's easy to check.

Samsung have been pretty generous with their update policy for S and A series phones in the last year.


As said, the promise on some devices of 4 Android versions and 5 years of Security updates relates to the release / first on sale date - soo you lose 6 months or so out of that, but it's a lot better than many good brands who still sell models released 1 year ago with originally 2 OS updates and 2 - 3 years secuity patches, often later released only in 3 or 4 month cycles.

I bought a factory sealed Nokia in a department store sale in the UK in 2019 that came out 18 months earlier. it still functions perfectly though it stopped receiving uodates over a year ago. I also have a Moto E6 I also bought new as a run out model. Again no more updates, except for the Google Play System. I have two other phones from Xiaomi.

You won't get an S5 equivalent to be supported for the length of time you kept it.

The hardware and battery may hold out, but storage, speed and connectivity will become outdated as software and apps need higher specification devices.

My two cents. Your receiving a Samsung model that was manufactured 6 months ago is irrelevant in regard to battery health.
The information was available then as to when that model was released, and what update support you could expect from that date or month of release.

Incidentally if you happened to buy the Galaxy A52s, that's a far better model than the A53 that replaced it.
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Now if you buy a phone that was made today - you'll get 4 updates… but if I buy a phone that was made 7-8 months ago - that might require 1-2 major updates just to catch up to the phone that was made today.
Probably not: there will only be 1 major update per year, when a new Android version comes out (or, in most cases, a few months after that). So yes, if you buy a Galaxy s22, released in the Spring of 2022 when Android 12 was the latest, then there will be one major update (to Android 13) waiting for you. If it was very recently made that update might have been applied in the factory, but that doesn't mean that the new one gets updated for longer than the older one, because as people have said it depends on the model rather than the individual handset.

The flagship Pixels (with names like Pixel 6, Pixel 7) tend to be released when a new Android version comes out, so if you buy one of those when it is first released its next major update will be a year later. If you buy one of their midrange models (Pixel 5a, Pixel 6a, etc) they are released half a year later, and will get their first major update 6 months after release.

Any of these phones will get security updates regularly in addition to the major updates.
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If a phone has a Mediatek CPU in it, you're lucky if you get one Android version update or even a security patch. This is still an issue for the budget A-series line of phones. The Galaxy A01 (2020) just last month got Android 12!

As for old stock remaining in stores far longer than they should, I was still spotting Motorola RAZR VIII's as 'GoPhones' (AT&T) as late as 2011! I never had one so I bought one then to try out--turns out it was only good for phone calls as GPRS, which those used for data usage, had been EOL since 3G became a thing. So I didn't have that phone long. Wasn't so much fun without at least the ability to send MMSs.

In 2017, there were still Samsung Galaxy SIIIs sold on a Sprint MVNO here in town. I think for $49. There's also an LG Rebel 3 collecting dust at a nearby Dollar General store (I don't think it even supports VoLTE)

In 2019, Dollar General was still selling the Samsung Galaxy Centura on Net10 (Tracfone, for $10 each). The Centura was a 3G only GSM smartphone running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

None of that holds a candle to the time capsule that K-Mart (The Saving's Place!) was in 2016. You could walk in and still find new, in-box (as well as mostly broken demo displays) of the NEW Nintendo 64! Oh but it gets better! You could also still buy the AT&T Trimline landline telephone! But still, more! VCRs, anyone?

I miss K-Mart....

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