It shouldn’t be too surprising to learn that Earth is home to more mobile devices than people. Current estimates suggest there are around 15 billion mobile devices worldwide compared to about 7.9 billion humans.
Researchers expect the total number of mobile devices to reach more than 18.2 billion by 2025. With such an exponential growth rate, it’s virtually impossible that the human population will ever surpass the number of mobile devices.
Naturally, 15 billion phones will mean there is a ton of variety for cell phones. As of 2021, there are more than 170 cell phone manufacturers participating in the global market. That’s quite a lot of phone variations, especially when you consider that each one produces multiple different models. In other words, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of different phones currently being used around the world.
With so many options out there, it can be tricky to keep track of your phone details. However, it’s wise to at least know the basic information about your phone. Knowing your phone's make, model, and operating system is just the tip of the iceberg for protecting your privacy online. The good news is that you can easily find this information and have several options.
Here are a few of the easiest ways to find out what kind of phone you have:
Look at the Back of Your Phone
In most cases, you won’t even need to turn on your phone to find the information that you seek. The manufacturer of your phone will likely have their logo printed on the back of the phone along with the model name and generation.
It’s kind of like how cars have the make and model information on the trunk. Manufacturers want people to know where they can get their own should they like what they see.
Knowing how your phone was made should be enough to tell you which operating system it uses. For example, iOS is only available with Apple products. If you see the famous Apple logo on the back cover, you’re currently using iOS software and have an iPhone. Seeing as how Apple and Android make up about 98% of the global market share, it’s safe to say that you’re using an Android if you don’t see the Apple logo.
Speaking of Apple, the model you have can affect where the name is on the phone itself. For all iPads, iPhones 7 or earlier, or iPod touches, the model number will be on the back of the device.
Take Out the Battery
The back of your phone will only give you the most basic of information. If you’re looking for more detailed information, remove the back panel and remove the battery. It can be a bit of a headache (especially if you have a protective case), but you should be able to get the information that you seek fairly easily.
It’s roughly the same process that you might have followed if you swapped out the SIM card when you first bought the phone.
- For safety reasons, power down your phone to ensure there’s no electrical current flowing through the battery.
- Once off, you can remove the protective case and back panel of your phone.
- The battery should be clearly visible and easy to remove.
- You should see a manufacturer's sticker in the space where the battery was located.
- The sticker should provide you with several pieces of information, including the phone’s model number, brand, and date/location of manufacture.
Open Up the Phone’s Settings Menu
Each phone manufacturer understands how important it is for you to know about your phone. For that reason, you can easily locate such information by accessing the “Settings'' menu of your device. The list of information that you’ll find there will be extensive and probably much more detailed than you’ll ever need.
Luckily, the process is simple and should only take a minute or two:
- Swipe down from the top of your home screen.
- Click on the Settings app that looks like a gear icon.
- Scroll down to the very bottom of the list and select the “About Phone” option.
- You should be able to see the phone number, product name, model name, serial number, IMEI, software version, and hardware version.
- Swipe down from the top of your home screen.
- Open the “Spotlight Search” and enter the word: "Settings."
- Tap on the “Settings” icon that looks like a gear.
- Click on the “General” option in the next menu.
- Select the “About” option to learn about the software version, phone’s model name, model number, and serial number.
Connect To Bluetooth
One quick way to find out the model of your mobile phone is to try to connect another device to it via Bluetooth. The second device should create a list of potential pairing partners. The default name of your phone will likely be the model of the phone that you’re using. If you recognize all of the other names of the scanned devices, the one remaining is the model of your phone.
Check Out the Box
The topic of whether or not to keep new phone boxes is a complicated one. Obviously, throw out pizza boxes as soon as you take out the last slice. It’s a tad more complicated when it comes to electronics.
Most people keep these boxes for practicality. Boxes used to package electronics are typically very durable and can be used to store small items and important papers.
If you keep the original box, you can easily find out a lot of information about it, even if the booklets inside have been lost to time.
There should be a white sticker with multiple barcodes somewhere on the box (usually on the very bottom). It should tell you the model name and serial number of your phone and other additional information that might be handy.
Review the Receipt
It’s quite a long shot that you’ve kept the physical receipt of when you bought your phone. However, if you’re a thorough record keeper, then you can find out a lot about your phone by reviewing it. There should at least be the name of the manufacturer and model name on the receipt, but it should include more information.
If you bought your phone online, it would be much easier to locate the receipt. Look for an email regarding the purchase somewhere in your inbox. Of course, you might have long deleted that email if the purchase was made a long time ago. There’s a good reason why using the receipt is so low on this list, as it’s quite a long shot.
Download an App
If all of the other methods have failed, you still have the option of downloading an app. A simple search in the Apple Store or Google Play Store is all it will take. Several apps could help in this scenario. Two popular ones include System Information Lite for iPhones and Droid Hardware Info for Androids. Both apps are free to use and should be able to tell you everything that you need to know about your phone.
It’s practically guaranteed that you either have an iPhone model or an Android. Ideally, you should at least know which of the two you’re using. It wouldn’t hurt if you also knew the make and model of your phone. Using one of the options listed above should be enough to provide you with that information.
If you’re looking for more information on the realm of phones, including the ever-expanding world of data privacy, check out Burner’s collection of resources and see why you might want to get a second phone number.