Tech reliability

Which brands make the most reliable technology?

Tablet surrounded by laptop and mobile phone.

The year is 2021. Telephones scan your face to authorise payments. Headphones make 3D maps of your ears to optimise sound. And yet, what we desire most is a device that does the basics well for a long time.

In our latest reliability survey, 4000 of you told us about the tech products you own. We’ve turned your feedback into some fancy tables that clearly show which brands and varieties of gadget are worth your money.

About our survey

  • We asked members about products they’d bought new in the past 10 years. In 2020 we surveyed mobile phones, tablets, sound bars and home theatre systems, headphones and digital cameras.
  • We wanted to know the brand, the year the product was bought and whether it had ever developed a fault. We also asked respondents if they were satisfied with their product.
  • We only analyse brands that got more than 30 responses in a category. For each brand, we calculate our reliability score as the percentage of its products that have never developed a fault. We ask about satisfaction on a 0-to-10 scale, where a score of eight to 10 reflects “very satisfied”. Numbers in brackets show how many purchases were reported in the survey.
  • We’ve also reported survey results from 2018 and 2019 for other products. In the 2018 survey, we only asked about products bought in the previous 3 years.

Which appliances can you rely on?

Which appliances can you rely on?

16may appliance reliability promo

Which appliances can you rely on?

We've also surveyed members about their household appliances, including whiteware, heat pumps and garden tools to find the brands you can rely on.

See the results


Want to read the full article?

  • Heaps of buying advice so you can choose with confidence
  • Independent reviews of thousands of products and services
  • Personal advice an email or phone call away on our advice line (members only).

Computers (laptops and desktops)


Mobile phones


Smartwatches and fitness trackers

Sound bars and home theatre



Wireless speakers

Member comments

Get access to comment

Angeline S.
09 Jan 2021
why do smartphones only last 3 years?

Does anyone else find it absolutely appalling that smartphones seem to be designed to only last 3 years max? Even if you replace the battery (which they don't make easy or cheap to do) they seem to die soon after. That's millions of phones going to landfill a year. And the expense and hassle of having to set up a new phone every 3 years.

Jeff S.
24 Nov 2018
Apple external hard drives

Could Consumer tell me where to buy one as I don’t think they exist. And didn’t exist last time you did this topic. Yet your staff still don’t know this.

Consumer staff
29 Nov 2018
Re: Apple external hard drives

Hi Jeff,

There are Apple network storage drives, such as the Apple AirPort Time Capsules, available from most major NZ electronic retailers.

Our 2017 survey results for Apple are based on 43 Consumer members. The responses are self-reported so there may be some minor confusion by respondents about the brand.

Kind regards,

Natalie - Consumer NZ staff

08 Dec 2018

Apple Time Capsules were discontinued April 26, 2018, you can still see them in some Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming stores.

J W.
21 Dec 2020

While none of these are branded "Apple", many of them are marked "Only at Apple". Will they do?

Gavin S.
04 Dec 2017
Smart TVs

We have two 5 year old Samsung Smart TVs which have never been user friendly computers compared to Desk Tops, LapTops, Tablets and Cellphones.
The operating systems are a poor relative of Windows, Apple Mac and Android.
But what has recently peeved me off is that our local broadcasters "On- Demand" apps are no longer supported by these Ancient TVs at only 5 years old.
So I am not really blaming the Samsung TVs but I am blaming the Broadcasters TVNZ and TV3 (threeNow) 0r (+HR=E).
Why do the broadcasters not retro develop Apps so they also work on older formats too.
Samsung UA46ES7500 (7 Series)
Samsung UA32ES6200 (6 series)
Our Tablets and ancient Laptop still play these On Demand Apps.
Anyone else very annoyed?

Megan & Curtis
24 Feb 2018
"Smart" TVs

The term Smart TV is an oxymoron for just this reason. They're slow, get out of date, lack ongoing support, and are locked down. Dedicated proprietary boxes (Roku, AppleTV, Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire) are better, but still locked down and often not NZ friendly.
Far better to hook a small PC (e.g intel NUC) to your TV and go from there.

Kane D.
09 Feb 2019
Not so Smart TV

I did some of my own research into why those earlier Samsung smart TV's no longer support the broadcasters OnDemand services... My understanding is that the broadcasters use a content delivery platform called Brightcove to deliver the video streams to you... That platform was upgraded (probably at request from the copyright owners of the video content studios) with much greater encryption and anti-piracy technology to prevent the video being recorded and copied (and thus redistributed on those pirate sites). Unfortunately for technical reasons, it seems that those earlier Samsung Smart TV's were incapable of being upgraded with the necessary decoding capability to deal with Brightcove's newer encryption technology. As Megan points out, I'd not touch a Smart TV... Use an external set-top box for all the "smarts" and just use the TV as a screen.