As of 2015, the average life expectancy of a smartphone stood at 4.7 years — according to a study carried out by the Consumer Electronics Association. Research by Kantar WorldPanel has also suggested that the average smartphone user in the US will only by looking to keep a hold of their gadget for close to 22 months before they decide to upgrade it to a newer model.
If you are looking to keep your smartphone functioning for much longer than the figures revealed above, there are some tips that can keep your device in great working condition for months or even years to come yet…
Keep dirt and debris from damaging your smartphone
92 per cent of smartphones tested by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in a study were found to be covered in bacteria. In 16 per cent of these cases, E.coli was also present.
Screen protectors and cases can go a long way to preventing any tiny particles of dust and crumbs from working their way into a smartphone’s joints and grooves. However, here’s some essential points on how to clean the gadgets in a safe and effective manner if it becomes too dirty:
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- 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.
Common reasons why smartphones are damaged, and how to aim to avoid them
If research is to be believed, there will be so many people using smartphones with cracked and smashed screens today. Engadget, for example, has reported that between 50 and 55 per cent of all smartphone repairs will be a result of the screen being damaged. 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 — while a smaller figure, this statistic still sits at 38 per cent when just focused on the UK.
You can take action to try and protect your device’s screen from being damaged though. Due to the display of your phone being the most fragile element of the device — as well as often the most expensive part — 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.
Buying a high-quality smartphone case should be a wise investment as well. 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.
Concerned that a case will make your smartphone less appealing on the eye? You shouldn’t be, as there are designs available now that will help make your smartphone one of the most stylish pieces of kit that you have in your possession. Samsung, HTC, Huawei and iPhone cases from Torro Cases are designed in stylish genuine leather, for instance.
Ensure your smartphone case has waterproof features too. This is after a stat from Engadget revealed that 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.
Also, be sure to never leave your smartphone unattended where kids or pets can get a hold of them if you want to further reduce the chance of costly accidents happening involving your beloved gadget.
Extend the battery life of your smartphone
You shouldn’t be only cautious about your smartphones being subjected to physical damage though. According to the 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.
Further research by the Battery University has suggested that just 250 charging cycles can reduce the battery capacity of a smartphone from approximately 88 to 94 per cent capacity to 73 to 84 per cent.
Fortunately, there are ways to extend your smartphone’s battery life. One tip 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.
Make sure to begin charging your smartphone’s battery shortly after it has been able to drop to zero per cent as well. 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.
How you use your smartphone can also help to reduce the chance of its battery dropping to a zero per cent charge over and over again. 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.