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The age of smartphone longevity: A shift towards quality, sustainability, value

The throwaway culture versus sustainable tech.

Johannesburg, 01 Dec 2023
Challenging the culture of frequent smartphone replacements.
Challenging the culture of frequent smartphone replacements.

The traditional notion of upgrading to a new smartphone every year or two is facing a significant shift. The emergence of long-lasting smartphones is challenging the status quo and offering users a sustainable, quality-driven and economically savvy alternative.

For years, the tech industry has operated on a model encouraging users to stay at the forefront of innovation by upgrading to the latest smartphone models. This approach was driven by a desire to deliver cutting-edge technology and meet the ever-evolving consumer preferences. However, it has also led to a culture of frequent smartphone replacements, which, while providing users with access to new features and capabilities, has raised concerns about electronic waste and sustainability. The emergence of long-lasting smartphones offers an alternative that balances the drive for innovation with a more sustainable approach to tech consumption.

Longevity as a new standard

Long-lasting smartphones are changing this narrative by prioritising quality and longevity. These devices are engineered to withstand the test of time, offering a host of benefits to users and the environment alike, says Avashnee Moodley, Head of Marketing at OPPO South Africa. “By creating smartphones that can stand the test of time, we contribute to environmental sustainability while upholding the highest quality standard. This doesn’t mean that as manufacturers, our focus on quality and innovation has waned; by extending the lifespan of electronic devices, we are reducing electronic waste and promoting responsible consumption without compromising quality.”

One example of this shift is the latest OPPO premium device currently on the market, the Reno10 Pro+ 5G. It redefines the concept of smartphone longevity, designed to remain a premium device for up to 48 months. This longevity is reflected in its fast and fluid Dynamic Computing Engine, which improves fluency and stability, ensuring the device delivers consistently smooth and high-quality performance even after four years of use.

Extended performance and reliability

Smartphones designed for longevity prioritise durability and performance, incorporating high-quality materials and components that can withstand the rigours of daily use. Moodley notes: “When considering durability, users expect not only fewer slowdowns, hardware issues or software glitches, but also top-tier quality, ensuring a consistently reliable and enjoyable smartphone experience," says Moodley. This can be delivered in many forms – the hardware benefits from smart, longevity-focused technology. On the Reno10 Pro+ 5G, we have included a long-lasting 4 700aAh battery. It is part of our Battery Health Engine, which ensures that the device maintains an impressive lifespan and will hold up to 80% capacity in its expected lifespan.”

Reduced electronic waste

Reducing electronic waste is one of the most significant advantages of long-lasting devices, aligning with global efforts to minimise the environmental footprint of the tech industry. Moodley emphasises that sustainability extends to aesthetics, ensuring the design maintains its appeal and quality over time. For consumers, the exterior is as important when considering sustainable design and consumption. The Reno10 Pro+ 5G comprises a sleek 8.28mm chassis with strong, carefully sculpted glass that protects the display and the rear, ensuring that the consumer is not let down by the look and feel of the design over a period of time.

Consumer investment and empowerment

“The tech industry is making a turning point towards sustainability; a battery can continue to function properly for up to 1 600 cycles of charging and discharging; it assures the consumer that the device is dependable and safe. The Reno10 Pro+ 5G has been certified as a safe charging system by TÜV Rheinland. This accreditation gives users peace of mind in the same way that consumers across all manufacturers receive ongoing support and updates, keeping devices secure and up to date even as technology advances.

"When consumers are ready to move on, long-lasting smartphones often retain value, allowing for resale, trade-in or sustainable gifting. This choice not only reduces electronic waste, but also supports responsible consumption, contributing to environmental sustainability in ways that consumers may not have previously considered, and also maintains the quality of the device in the hands of the next user,” Moodley concludes.

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