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10 top tips for taking care of your phone

For many people, their mobile phone is one of the most important possessions they have, holding hundreds of memories in the form of photos, contacts, and messages. So it stands to reason that we should know how to take care of our phones to ensure they last as long as possible. 

The average smartphone’s lifespan is around two to three years, though they can last longer with the proper care. There are many things you can do to protect your smartphone from damage or death before its time. 

Check out our recommendations for keeping your smartphone in tip-top condition for as long as possible before purchasing a new one, a second-hand one, or upgrading

Purchase a protective case

The first thing you should do when you get a new phone is make sure you’ve bought a case for it. Whilst many people may like the feeling of the smooth back of their brand new smartphone, you won’t like it much if it cracks. 

A good case should be strong, sturdy, and, ideally, shockproof and waterproof. Apple have released a new line of durable and magnetic cases called MagSafe that iPhone 12 owners might want to invest in. 

Having a case snapped over the back of your smartphone will ensure that minimal to no damage is inflicted upon it if you drop it.

Use a screen protector

A screen protector is another necessity if you want to keep your phone in its best condition for as long as possible. Without a screen protector, phone screens can suffer from fingerprint smudges, scratches and cracks. 

Having a screen protector means you’ll have another layer of security over your phone. The protector itself may suffer from scratches and cracks, but if it’s a good one, these won’t translate onto your phone’s screen underneath. 

There are a few different types of materials screen protectors can be made of:

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) - these provide the least amount of scratch and impact protection, but they’re cheap, light, and thin
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) - this is a more flexible material that requires users to smooth out air bubbles once applied, but provides a relatively durable finish
  • Tempered Glass - by far the best option. Tempered glass is thicker and stronger than plastic protectors, and will mean your screen is more resistant to scratches and other visible damage.

Keep it clean

Keeping your phone clean is vital both for your health and the health of your device. Phones are ten times dirtier than toilet seats, so you’ll definitely want to know how to clean away all those nasty germs! Not to mention, a build-up of dust can also impact your phone’s performance. 

Follow our steps to clean your phone properly, including what products to use, how to treat different materials, and what not to do while cleaning your device. 

Look after the battery

For many, their phone battery is the first to go. Buying a phone with a good battery life is a helpful first step, but you also need to know how to keep your battery healthy. Maintaining your phone’s battery health will extend its lifespan. 

Taking care of your battery is mostly down to how you charge your phone, but there are a number of other things you can do to keep your battery working efficiently. 

Check out our tips on making your battery last longer, as well as our full guide on how to correctly charge your phone to avoid having to replace it. 

Maintain app and system updates

On both iPhones and Android devices, your phone will ask you to download and install app and system updates. On iPhones, the system update is currently iOS 14 and on Android devices, it’s Android 10. 

Keeping your system updated applies security features, bug fixes, and more, to keep your phone functioning at its highest capacity. If you choose not to download these, not only will you be at more risk of catching a virus, but your smartphone will start to run slower.

Likewise, applications will occasionally request to be updated from either the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Updating these means they will run more smoothly, and will be free of any bugs that were initially slowing down the app. 

Delete unused apps

The more you pack onto your phone, the slower it could become. If you have a number of apps still on your phone that you don’t use anymore, you should delete them to free up space and stop your device from updating them or keeping them running in the background. 

Expand storage

If your smartphone allows it, you could install an external SD card to increase your phone’s storage. By doing this, you can free up your device’s internal memory, which will likely result in faster performance. 

As with the unused apps, the more you pile onto your phone’s storage, the more stress you place on it to remain speedy. Clearing this will allow you to store more files, photos, apps and videos without hindering the overall performance of your smartphone. 

Avoid dropping it

Needless to say, try to avoid dropping your phone as much as possible, particularly on hard surfaces. If you have a case and screen protector, your phone is more likely to survive a drop. Without these layers of protection, your phone could smash and break, rendering it unusable or unfixable by your manufacturer. 

Avoid extreme temperatures

Too much heat or too much cold can negatively impact your smartphone’s performance by damaging your battery. Batteries do not survive well in extreme temperature conditions, and should be turned off and left to cool down if they get too hot. 

This is also why you should avoid overcharging your phone, as it can become too hot.

Avoid water

Even if your phone is waterproof, it doesn’t mean it can survive a deep dive for too long. Most waterproof ratings (referred to as IP ratings) only allow a smartphone to be submerged under one to three metres of water for up to 30 minutes at a time. 

IP68 is the most common IP rating, but you can find your phone’s waterproof rating on the back of the case or by searching your model online. 

If the worst should happen and you do drop your phone in water for longer than recommended, there are a few things you can do to revive it.

We hope your phone lives long and prospers now! For more mobile phone life hacks, follow us on Twitter!

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