We all love our smartphones. Heck, do you even remember what life was like without them? I know I don’t. I’m not sure I could live without mine and I’m sure many of you are the same way. That’s why it’s important that we take care of our smartphones so they last.
Sure, today many of us have contracts that last around two years. Each time we renew, we are allowed to upgrade to a new phone. That works for many of us just fine. However, what if you don’t want to renew your contract or what if you just want to keep using your phone a little longer so you can save a little money? Currently, there is nothing wrong with doing this, but in many cases our smartphones just aren’t in good enough shape to do this.
Sometimes, the problems we are having are software and speed related. Others it’s just the overall shape that our smartphones are in that causes us to have to upgrade. So, today we will look at ways you can make your smartphone last even longer so you don’t have to get a replacement even when your contract is up. Unless you want to, of course.
Tip 1: Keep It Clean
First things first, clean your smartphone. You may be surprised that I have to say that. However, smartphones are pretty darn dirty. Think about it. How often do you bother cleaning your smartphone? Not very often I’m guessing. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’m even guilty of this. Occasionally, I will realize that my smartphone is dirty and should be cleaned. However, I, like the rest of you, should make this more of a regular habit.
Try making it a habit to clean your phone once or twice a month. Turn your phone off and then use rubbing alcohol to wipe the screen and the casing of your smartphone. Grab a can of air and blow out the charging port and headphone port to get rid of any dust or pocket lint that may have found its way inside your smartphone, as well. This will help keep your phone looking great and running great as dust, oils and other grime won’t work their way inside.
Tip 2: Invest in a Quality Case
Now I know that the new smartphones today look pretty darn slick. They look so good I’m sure you are tempting to use it without bothering with a case. Trust me, I understand. I have felt the same temptation. Whatever you do, don’t give in. What happens if you drop your phone? Will the screen crack? Will it get scratched? Nothing will shorten the lifespan of a smartphone quicker than using it all the time without the protection of a good quality case.
Don’t skimp either. I recommend picking up a high quality case that will give your smartphone the protection it needs if you drop it. Of course, it’s not just drops I’m worried about. You have to worry about drops, spills and even the wear and tear from being in your pocket. That is where a good case and/or a good screen protector will come in very handy.
Tip 3: Remove Stuff You Don’t Need
Now this won’t really help you keep it good shape, but it will make it run better. If you have ever used a slow smartphone, you know how great it is to have a phone that runs well and how frustrating a slow smartphone really can be. If you don’t use an app anymore, get rid of it. Why are you keeping it on your smartphone, anyway?
Periodically backup your photos and music and remove anything that has been on your phone for a while. This will help you make sure you don’t lose anything as well as free up much needed space on your smartphone. The more space you have, the more you can store what you do need to use. And, like computers, the less on your smartphone the more efficiently it will run.
Tip 4: Watch Those Temperatures
Extreme hot and extreme cold temperatures are very hard on smartphones. We are all familiar with the concept of smartphones overheating, but we often don’t think about the problems with the cold. Cold weather is actually very hard on your battery life. While it won’t necessarily damage the phone, over time it will wear out your battery. This could mean you need to take in for a replacement.
Heat is the major enemy of smartphones. You see, extreme heat will keep your smartphone from cooling itself. This can cause extreme temperatures to put pressure on the components of your smartphone. Today, most smartphones will turn themselves off so they don’t get damaged, but these hot temps are still hard on your smartphone and regular exposure will reduce the life of your smartphone without a doubt.
Tip 5: Take Care of Your Battery
If anything is going to go on your smartphone, chances are it will be the battery before anything else. Over time, your battery will lose its ability to hold a charge. There is just no avoiding it. However, there are things you can do to extend the life of the battery so it lasts you a little longer before needing to be replaced.
Periodically allow your phone to run until it shuts down. This will completely drain the battery. Then, give it a full charge and don’t remove it until the charge is complete. At the same time, avoid short charges and don’t leave it plugged in all night either as that pushes more juice to the battery than it really needs. When it hits full charge, disconnect the charger.
All of the above should help you take care of your battery so it lasts longer. Even still, you may find that you have to replace it if you want to get a lot more time out of your smartphone before you upgrade.
Tip 6: Look Out for Liquids
I know this is another obvious one, but so many smartphones are damaged or lost to liquid spills or accidental dips in the wash that it should be mentioned here. Heck, I don’t know of a phone that my wife owned that didn’t take a bath at least once. Not all of them survived.
Your best defense is to avoid liquids altogether and be mindful when you are around pools of water. If you do drop it in water, make sure to turn it off as quickly as possible, remove the case and place it in a rice bath to try and soak up the water. While this won’t always work, it is a good way to try and stop the damage.
Still, to ensure your phone lasts longer than your contract, your best bet is to avoid it completely, as a phone that does take a dip and survives still probably won’t last as long as one that has stayed dry its entire life.
Tip 7: Add Storage (If You Can)
Now I know this won’t work for everyone. iPhone readers, you may as well move onto the final section below as this one just doesn’t apply to you. Most Android smartphones, on the other hand, come with a microSD card slot that allows you to greatly expand the storage of your smartphone. This means that you will gain more space to store anything, including music, photos, videos and even apps. If space has been an issue for you, this is a great way to expand your smartphone and keep it viable for just a little longer before you have no other choice but to upgrade.
Just because they say that your smartphone will be obsolete in two years, doesn’t mean that it is of no use to you after that amount of time. In many cases, it comes down to how you use it. This is especially true for more basic users. You can get a lot of life out of a smartphone if you use it for basic tasks such as texting and email. However, your mileage will vary based on your usage.
If you enjoy being frugal, then you probably want to get an extra year or maybe two out of your smartphone before you upgrade. Don’t worry, it can easily be done. All you have to do is follow the tips I have included in this post and you will be well on your way toward having a phone that will last you much longer than your two year contract. If you are looking to save money on your electronics, I can’t think of a better way to do it.
Did I leave any important tips off this list? If so, why don’t you let me know in the comments below. Maybe we can create the go to list for smartphone care that we can all use to keep our smartphones in the best shape possible so they last us much longer than our standard contracts.