Tech reliability

Which brands make the most reliable technology?

Tablet surrounded by laptop and mobile phone.

Our 2019 survey of 15,123 TVs, computers, mobile phones, printers and wearables, found just 15 percent of products up to 10 years old became faulty.

Far too many owners of Toshiba computers, FitBit fitness trackers, Samsung TVs, and Sony, Vodafone and Apple mobile phones experienced problems. The reliability of these brands lagged others in our survey – they really should do better.

About our survey

  • We asked members about products they’d bought new in the past 10 years. In 2019 we surveyed televisions, mobile phones, laptop and desktop computers, printers, and fitness trackers and smartwatches.
  • 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 2017 and 2018 for other products. In these surveys, 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


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Computers (laptops and desktops)

External hard drives


Mobile phones



Smartwatches and fitness trackers

Sound bars and home theatre



Wireless speakers

Member comments

Get access to comment

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.

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.