According to Kantar WorldPanel, US smartphone users change their phone on average every 22 months – which could potentially be an unnecessary upgrade considering the Consumer Electronics Association conducted research which suggested that the average smartphone life expectancy was 4.7 years as of 2015.
However, if you are a user who wants to keep their smart gadget longer than the average figures suggest, here are some tips that could see your smartphone going strong and looking like new for many years to come…
Protect against damage
A significant amount of smartphone users have been a victim, or know a victim, of a smashed and cracked smartphone screen. They appear to be a common sight, if the research into this issue is anything to go by.
According to Engadget, between 50 and 55 per cent of all smartphone repairs are to fix a damaged screen. Furthermore, Motorola has conducted its own survey and found that 50 per cent of people globally have experienced a cracked smartphone screen at least once in their lives — whilst a smaller figure, this statistic still sits at 38 per cent when just focused on the UK.
Your phone screen is likely to be the most fragile part of your smartphone – and can often cost the most to have it repaired. To prevent risk of damaging your screen, you should look to fit a suitable tempered glass screen protector at the earliest possible opportunity. These accessories will protect the screen from cracking or shattering if it is dropped or mishandled, as well as reduce the number of scratches that ruin the display.
Phone cases can also save your phone from a lot of damage – especially when it is dropped onto a hard surface. Many people try to invest in a high-quality case for their smartphone too. These will not only work to protect your gadget’s screen from damage when dropped or mishandled, but also reduce the risk of chips appearing around your device and elements like the camera lens being broken.
Phone cases don’t need to reduce the aesthetic appeal of your phone either – many cases now have designs that will help make your smartphone one of the stylish pieces of kit that you have in your possession. iPhone, HTC, Huawei and Samsung cases from Torro Cases are designed in stylish genuine leather, for instance.
A worthwhile investment is a phone case that has waterproof properties. According to Engadget, between 15 and 20 per cent of all smartphone repairs are as a result of liquid immersion or the devices coming into contact with water or any other liquid. With water and other liquids possibly causing damage to a device’s circuitry, hardware components and motherboard, it also makes sense to err on the side of caution and refrain from using your phone while in the bath or when outside in heavy rain showers.
When children or pets get a hold of your device, the chance of an accident happening is increased. To be on the safe side, you shouldn’t leave your smartphone unattended in a place where pets or kids can access them either to reduce the risk of costly accidents occurring.
Longer battery life
A headache that many mobile users are familiar with is a lack of battery life.
According to Battery University, a leading resource for information on batteries, manufacturers have stated that a smartphone’s lithium-ion battery is designed to have a lifespan of between 300 and 500 charging cycles. To put this into context, a charging cycle occurs every instance that you plug in your phone to charge it once the battery has dropped below 70 per cent.
Furthermore, a smartphone battery’s capacity could reduce from around 88 to 94 per cent capacity to 73 to 84 per cent following a mere 250 charging cycles and it becomes clear that phone batteries are quite fragile. However, there are techniques which heighten the possibility of your smartphone’s battery life being expanded though.
One method that you could consider to lengthen your battery’s life is to try and keep Li-ion batteries at 50 per cent or more for the majority of the time. Refrain from charging them all the way to 100 per cent though, as fully recharging a battery regularly can shorten its lifespan. Instead, aim for a full zero to 100 per cent recharge of the battery around once a month — this process will recalibrate the battery a little like you get when restarting a computer.
As soon as your battery runs out completely, you should put it on charge as soon as possible – this is because there is the possibility that a battery that has been entirely discharged and then left uncharged for a long period of time can eventually become incapable of ever holding a charge at all again.
To increase the time it takes for your battery to run out, you should use your phone until it reaches zero per cent – get the most out of your battery by dimming the brightness of a smartphone’s screen, reducing how long the screen stays lit after receiving an input, switching off both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, not using the vibrate function and refraining from running apps in the background are all easy ways to boost a device’s battery life.
Keep your smartphone clean
A shocking amount of dirt, bacteria and debris can be found on a smartphone device. A study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine revealed that 92 per cent of smartphones that the institute tested were found to be covered in bacteria — 16 per cent also had E. coli present!
Screen protectors and cases are the first step to protecting your phone from dirt – however, they can’t prevent all particles of dust, dirt and bacteria. Here are some essential points on how to clean the gadgets in a safe and effective manner if it becomes too dirty:
- Stock up on suitable cleaning supplies — either a cloth or microfibre towel, alcohol or regular dry swabs, water, isopropyl alcohol, distilled water or a special liquid designed for cleaning electronic devices.
- Turn your smartphone off before beginning to clean it and don’t switch it back on until the device is entirely dry.
- Refrain from pressing too hard on the smartphone’s display if using a cloth, as this can scratch the glass when there’s dirt and debris present.
- Ensure to remove all loose debris from your smartphone before using any of the liquids mentioned in the list of cleaning supplies above.
- Use just a little bit of any suitable cleaning liquid and try to avoid them getting around the edges of the device, into headphone inputs and under physical buttons by taking special care.
- Apply the microfibre towel to your smartphone in a circular motion until the device is entirely dry.