Why the best phones in 2023 are repairable

If you're buying a phone, look for a durable and long-lasting brand. Our repair scorecard grades the most popular phone brands.

Alec Meltzer | TPIN

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If you’re looking for the best phone in 2023, it’s worth it to buy a repairable model. After all, if something goes wrong, you don’t want to have to replace the entire cellphone.

The updated Failing the Fix scorecard can help you make a decision. This scorecard rates smartphone brands on how easy they are to repair.

Scorecard that ranks brands on the repairability of cellphones.

Motorola continues to lead with a B+, followed by Samsung with a C, Google with a D+, and Apple with a D, up from last year’s F.Photo by Staff | TPIN

Since January of 2021, France has required companies to provide detailed information about how fixable certain products are, and to post an overall repair score at the point of sale, much like the U.S. Energy Star rating that measures energy efficiency. Our second edition of “Failing the Fix” reviews the detailed repair information for 330 devices and tracks changes in grades since our last report.

To calculate a final grade we use the five categories from France’s repair scores, as well as our own category measuring if the company is lobbying against your Right to Repair. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Documentation: Does the manufacturer provide free service manual information to consumers?
  • Disassembly: How easy is it to open and repair the device? Our grade weighs this score more heavily than the others because of its importance.
  • Parts availability: Is it easy to find replacement parts?
  • Parts pricing: Are spare parts affordable?
  • Cellphone-specific category: Several factors that are specific to cellphone repairability such as the availability of software updates.
  • Corporate lobbying against Right to Repair: We remove points if the manufacturer is a member of trade organizations that lobby against the Right to Repair such as TechNet or Consumer Technology Association (CTA), or if they lobby directly.

Which brands are repairable and which are Failing the Fix?

Samsung Cellphone Repair Scorecard
Scored devices: 37
Average French score (out of 10): 7.9
Average disassembly score (out of 10): 3.9
Record of direct lobbying: No
Member of TechNet: No
Member of CTA: Yes

Final grade: 5.60 C

Photo by Staff | TPIN

Google Cellphone Repair Scorecard
Scored devices: 5
Average French score (out of 10): 6.7
Average disassembly score (out of 10): 5.8
Record of direct lobbying: Yes
Member of TechNet: Yes
Member of CTA: Yes

Final grade: 4.47 D+

Photo by Staff | TPIN

Apple Cellphone Repair Scorecard
Scored Devices: 9
Average French score (out of 10): 6.6
Average disassembly score (out of 10): 6.6
Record of direct lobbying: Yes
Member of TechNet: Yes
Member of CTA: Yes

Final grade: 4.20 D

Photo by Staff | TPIN

Motorola Cellphone Repair Scorecard
Scored devices: 39
Average French score (out of 10): 7.0
Average disassembly score (out of 10): 7.4
Record of direct lobbying: No
Member of TechNet: No
Member of CTA: No

Final grade: 7.20 B+

Photo by Staff | TPIN

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Repairability is important to if you care about the environment. Electronic waste is now the fastest-growing part of the domestic municipal waste stream, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s also important if you’re a budget. Another of our reports found that Americans would save $40 billion a year if they could repair instead of replace their tech.

That’s why you should buy from repairable brands while searching for the best cellphone. Read the full Failing the Fix report.

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Authors

Lucas Gutterman

Director, Designed to Last Campaign, PIRG

Lucas leads PIRG’s Designed to Last campaign, fighting against obsolescence and e-waste and winning concrete policy changes that extend electronic consumer product lifespans and hold manufacturers accountable for forcing upgrades or disposal.

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