CompAsia’s guide to buying a phone that lasts _CompAsia Malaysia

Are smartphones still considered as long term investments? The answer to that question is rather complicated. These days, manufacturers are putting more emphasis on device longevity. We see this in brands committing to more years of OS updates and changes between annual flagship releases becoming less significant. 

While many sources claim that the average lifespan of a phone is about 2.5 years. More recent articles claim that the number is closer to 15 to 18 months. The way we see it, the longevity of a device greatly depends on the user. Here are a number of user types and phone recommendations that will ensure satisfaction for a good 3 to 5 years.

The light user

You are someone who can spend hours or even days without your phone. Your phone may not even be close to you most of the time. The most interactions you’ve had with your phone was when MySejahtera was introduced and you needed it to enter some places.

Recommended phones: Even a Nokia 3310 should be sufficient enough to cover your needs. Any phone that allows you to take calls and receive messages basically. At most you would consider one that allows you to download messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.

Social media butterfly

Not only do you enjoy consuming content, you are a creator yourself. You would want a great camera that can capture stunning photos and videos. And because you take a lot of pictures and videos, a big amount of storage is required. Your screen should be wide enough to allow for easier editing and typing of witty captions. 

Recommended phones: Galaxy S22 Ultra, iPhone 13 Pro, Pro Max, 14 Pro and Pro Max. You can expect nothing but the best when it comes to quality captures, which is why these big screened, superphones are recommended for you. You can expect any of these recommended models to help you shoot awesome content for at least the next 4-6 years.

Gaming machine

When it comes to gaming, it’s all about processing power and higher RAM. Gaming also causes rapid battery drainage so a fast charging device with a large battery capacity is preferred. In terms of display, it would be ideally an OLED with a refresh rate of at least 90Hz 

Recommended phones: You will pretty much know a gaming phone when you see one, but for cost effective options that will last you a long time, we recommend the lasting power of Apple’s Bionic Chips, in other words iPhone 12 Pro and up (the base iPhone 12 and 12 mini only has a refresh rate of 60Hz), and also Xiaomi’s Blackshark series or Asus’ ROG series. For a more economical option, you can also consider the Poco F4 GT which uses the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor found in many flagship devices.

Business minded

If you are a busy person, your phone should help you tackle your tasks. This means, big screens, and the ability to multitask. Naturally, that also translates into strong processing power and a long lasting battery that will get you through the day.

Recommended phones: It’s really quite difficult to outdo the South Koreans as Samsung has more than one device that can truly help you optimise your work. Firstly, the undisputed king of productivity, the Galaxy Ultra phones (formerly known as the Note series) comes with the best everything Samsung has to offer and then some. As of now, it is the most dominant device, offering a smart pen, desktop mimicking capabilities (through Samsung Dex) and one of the biggest screens. 

Next, Samsung’s Fold series offers one of the most reliable foldable screen experiences to date. It truly brings the tablet experience to a phone, although it does come with quite the price tag.

Photography pro

If you pride yourself in your artistic eye, then a phone with a worthy camera is ideal for you. With a more advanced understanding of cameras and photography, you wouldn’t just take photos with default settings (eww!). You would want a phone that offers customisable settings and the ability to shoot all sorts of scenarios.

Recommended phones: the safest bet would be any iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max and up. You could also opt for Samsung’s Ultra series or if you’re feeling more adventurous, Xiaomi has a unique collaboration with Leica on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra which has a massive triple camera setup that makes the phone look more like a camera than a phone.

Drama addict 

After a long day of work, you just want to unwind and watch some Netflix. But not just any Netflix, it needs to be Dolby Vision supported with a wide enough screen. Battery life should also be long enough that you do not need to prop yourself next to a charging port.

Recommended phones: Once again we have the usual suspects: iPhone and Samsung’s S and Z series. Alternatively, Dolby Vision is also widely supported by Xiaomi devices. Anything from the Mi 11 and later supports Dolby Vision so you can get the premium viewing experience without having to break the bank.


You may be one or several types of these profiles; and of course your usage patterns may also change over time. Ultimately, it makes more sense to get a flagship device due to its well-rounded features and lasting power. Due to the bigger price tag that comes with flagship devices, it may also be a better idea to get a second-hand flagship device. 

Shop.CompAsia offers a wide range of second-hand devices across all tiers, helping you save more, even if you decide to get a flagship device. Check out what amazing deals are available today!

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