New smartphones are released almost every month of every year, and that makes it feel like the smartphones are being released almost every single day. With each new smartphone also comes a brand new innovation that makes our smartphones even smarter. It’s pretty much a never ending cycle of smartphones; people buy smartphone A, smartphone B releases, then they buy that – and so on. But that is only for the very few who can constantly purchase a brand new smartphone – what about those who can’t?
It’s like an urban belief that most electronic devices created today (smartphones included) care only meant to last for two years before it breaks down. Apparently this is so that you can keep buying a new device over and over again; and that just scares most people. After all, we’d all like to keep our current smartphones up, right, and pristine for as long as possible, right? It is not a difficult task to extend your smartphone’s lifespan, whether it’s the internals, the software, or the very physical body of the smartphone itself. Read along to find out!
Out of juice? Fill it up the right way
One of the most common smartphone component failure (besides the shattering of displays from drops and falls) is the battery. Heavy users that really push their smartphones will often find that their smartphone’s battery don’t seem to hold as much charge as it did when they first acquired it. Worst, some smartphone’s even have their battery exploding during charging!
When it comes to taking care of smartphone’s batteries, there are a lot of different methods and techniques. Some are just downright ridiculous, and some make sense. The thing is that, half of these tips and tricks to take care of your phone’s battery refer to the older nickel-based batteries; smartphones today use lithium-ion cells instead. They’re both different, and require different ways to keep it in tip-top shape.
- Try to keep your smartphone’s battery topped up whenever you can. Charging it up whenever your smartphone has reached around half or whenever convenient is a great idea. Draining your smartphone’s battery to zero and charging it full again constantly can damage the battery slowly.
- If you are going to store a smartphone away for a very long time, keep the battery capacity about 50%. Even when the smartphone is turned off, the battery will discharge power slowly (perhaps about 5% or so within a month) and when it gets to zero, the battery can be unstable to charge full again.
- Don’t use your smartphone while its charging. This will cause a lot of heat, especially if you are going to be playing games. Heat is one of the worst enemies of lithium-ion batteries and it can seriously degrade battery life. Don’t stick them into unattended cars!
- Use certified and quality chargers only. Certified and properly built chargers may be expensive, but it often comes with important components that protect your smartphone from overcharging. Different chargers also output different power.
- Use the proper cables, not cheap ones you find everywhere. Charging cables can affect the power that travels from the charger to the smartphone; cheap cables have a risk of damaging your smartphone as it may not have the capability to carry power properly.
Cover me, I’m making a call
The slimmer the smartphone, the more prone it is to slipping out of the hands. Sometimes, it does feel like the world of smartphones is going backwards just a little bit: smartphones get more svelte and fragile with precious materials, and battery life takes a plunge. Or something like that.
The point is that smartphones are more commonly being made with very precious-looking finishes, such as the ever so elegant Samsung Galaxy S7 and its shiny glass body or the elegant metal of the Apple iPhone 6S. Beautiful, yes. Strong and protective? Not so much. So how do we protect our smartphones? Use a case!
There are tons of different smartphone cases out there, from the simple slim silicon slip-on cases to the thick and bulky cases that require tools to install. Smartphone cases give a much needed layer of protection to our precious smartphones, among other features:
- Protect against bumps, scuffs, and scratches.
- Weather-proof our smartphones.
- Lift off the screen so that it doesn’t sit flush with a surface when you place it down.
- Flip cases cover the display when not in use.
- Keep your smartphone personalized.
You can check out the various smartphone cases out there from brands such as Spigen and Urban Armor Gear. Alternatively, if you feel that a case could be way too bulky, a skin could protect your smartphone from scratches instead, but it wouldn’t do much against falls and drops.
Protection, front and centre
Cracked glass and displays are a common sight on smartphones. These devices can slip out of pockets and hands, and then straight to the ground, resulting in a heart-breaking cracked display. Or for the more minor cases, scratches all over from keys or even dirt in our pockets. Fortunately for everyone, protection for smartphone displays have been around for a very long time, even when we didn’t have touchscreens; it is none other than the screen protector.
Typically, these screen protectors won’t really protect your display from breaking in a really tall fall, but it protects the screen from scratches and scuffs in your daily usage. Smartphone screen protectors come in two forms: the older softer plastic sheet and the newer tempered glass.
The plastic screen protectors have been around for many years, protecting even the older feature phones’ displays. Plastic screen protectors have several different types itself: clear glossy ones that look good but are prone to scratches and fingerprints; matte ones that are fingerprint resistant and feel good to use, but may blur the screen slightly; and many other types that may come with custom prints, colours and effects.
Tempered glass protectors are simply pieces of thin tempered glass that we lay onto our smartphone’s displays to act as a protector. These are costlier and better in quality than the plastic ones, as it also feels exactly like the original smartphone’s display itself. They are also more resistant to scratches, but can break or crack when it protects your smartphone from a fall.
An App a day keeps the virus away
This is more towards smartphones that utilize the Android operating system than Apple’s very own iOS on its iPhones, iPads, and iPods. Due to the open-ended nature of the Android operating system, users can opt to install an app through other means besides downloading it from the Google app Play Store itself. This can cause several problems for an Android smartphone. Because apps that do not go through the Google Play Store do not have to follow any guidelines and conditions, they may contain offensive and malicious content. Virus, malware, and spyware could be loaded into the Android smartphone through this way.
Even some apps from the PlayStore could be a risky download; an app that give users flashlight functionality through their camera flash should not have access to messages and calls. Always check the app permissions when you download an app from the Google Play Store. It is also wise to download apps from “Top Developers” on the Play Store; these are symbolized with a blue symbol next to their names. Editor’s Choice apps are also perfectly fine!
Keep it clean
We are always tempted to download a spanking brand new app from the Play Store or App Store. Its downloaded immediately into our smartphones, we play with it, be it games or feature app, and then it sits untouched in the depths of our smartphone’s storage for weeks. As our smartphone’s storage space is filled up with these unused apps and other files such as pictures and videos, the phone will slow down slightly. So it is best to keep your smartphone in its tip top condition constantly by doing a little clean-up every now and then.
Just keep in mind, your smartphone is very much a miniature computer or a car. It takes a little pampering and maintenance every now and then to have it stay by your side for as long as possible. Have your smartphone kept in check with all of the points above and you should have no problem whatsoever.