How can I find out when my Android phone was first activated?

I'm not too tech savy. I've searched online and found two methods that use Google Play or my Google Account, but for the life of me I can't find the settings I'm supposed to find. And also, wouldn't this information just be stored on my device? Why do I need to ask Google about my phone ?

Another method is using an IMEI code, which I've found on my phone but the website I've tried said they have no information about me. I could try again on a different website but this feels dodgy to me. Maybe I'm wrong.

So, is there a simple way to access this information? Thanks.

witty_username ,

Maybe there are update logs? Not sure if those persist after a factory reset though

Album , avatar

Start with why you need to know this?

Mothra OP , avatar

I want to know for how many years this phone has been used

Album , avatar

You can probably make a pretty fair guess based on the release date of the phone. You know it will be less than that age.

I'm not sure what you'd get out of this information. A rough estimate of Battery wear?

Other then that it's not like the age of the device is that useful?

You won't find it on device and if it's second hand you're not going to be able to look it up. I'm not even sure if a carrier would tell you... It's information about someone else.

Flatfire ,

Hey there, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "first activated". In general, you activate a SIM card, not a phone. This would be associated with your current phone plan, not the device itself. Your carrier would be able to provide that info. If you're referring to when your phone was first purchased/turned on, then most folks tend to add their Google account during setup, which might be why there's a suggestion to check your Google account to see when the device was added.

The IMEI is potentially useful as it's a device identifier, but generally doesn't matter to anyone except your carrier.

Darkassassin07 , avatar

The IMEI is potentially useful as it's a device identifier, but generally doesn't matter to anyone except your carrier.

On that note; the carrier may be able to tell you when that IMEI first became associated with your phone plan. My phone plan long pre-dates the last like 6 devices I've had so they'd have that history for many of them.

That's not a database you can search whenever you'd like though; that's a call and ask nicely.

Mothra OP , avatar

So if say I got a second-hand phone I have no way of knowing for how long it's been used other than what the previous owner can tell me?

BearOfaTime ,

Not really - that information would have to be stored off-device, as anything on-device would be destroyed by a factory reset.

At best you can see the age of a device - when it was manufactured or perhaps sold. Which for most purposes is good enough. For example, the battery is probably the most sensitive component, with time being a significant measure of its life, along with usage/usage patterns.

Flatfire ,

With that in mind, a battery health tool is probably the fastest way to tell how old a phone is going to feel. Otherwise nothing else is going to suffer wear and tear. If the phone is in good shape, and the specs are agreeable, then it doesn't matter how old it is.

Mothra OP , avatar

Okay thanks for the info!

sudo_aptget_karma , avatar

You could also check your emails for one of those "Welcome to your new [insert device name here]" emails, or for a Google sign in notification for a new device on your account.

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