Budgeting Tips

9 Ways to Make Your Smartphone Last Longer and Save Money

Phone and hand

It’s amazing to think that almost two thirds of us own a smartphone, and that number is only expected to increase over the next few years. Most people will buy a new phone every 2-3 years but if you’re savvy with your device and look after it, it can easily last 5 years or more.

As we all know smartphones aren’t cheap, and they’re not really the sort of thing we want to be replacing as often as a toothbrush, right? Plus going through several devices is not particularly good for the environment either.

Here are some simple ways to prolong the lifespan of your smartphone so that you can save your hard earned cash.

Take care of the battery

The battery is the single most important component of your phone. As we all know, without it your device wouldn’t even switch on. Taking care of your battery is one of the smartest and easiest ways to get the most out of your phone.

To get the best use out of your battery, put it on charge once it gets down to 20% and remove it from the power supply once it gets to 90% if you can. Don’t leave it on charge for hours after it reaches 100% but don’t let it run down to 0%, as doing either of these will cut your battery lifespan short. Surprisingly, short charges are ok so if you find that you need to top up the charge during the day then it’s perfectly fine.

Tip: Things like the location services and Bluetooth will sap energy from the battery much faster, so if you know that you won’t be using these features then turn them off until you do need them. Also, turning down the brightness on your phone screen will make a single charge of your battery last longer.

Remember, the less you drain and charge your phone,the longer your battery will last. After around 500 complete phone charges, there will be a noticeable decline in battery life, so even if you do take care of the battery, it will eventually stop holding the maximum amount of charge. Which brings me to my next tip…

It’s usually cheaper to replace the battery than the phone

If it seems as though you’re forever needing to charge your phone, then it may be time to get a new one. Most batteries should last for around 2 – 3 years before they will need swapping for a new one.

A lot of newer phones are made without a removable battery so you’ll have to look into replacing the back section but it’s definitely worth doing some research before rushing out to get a new phone.

Schedule updates regularly and delete, disable or restrict apps that you don’t need or use

Apps take up a lot of space and if the data limit on your phone is almost full, it will slow the device right down and make it sluggish. You can check in your phone settings for the apps which use up the most energy and then either delete, disable or restrict access. Obviously this won’t really be practical for the apps that you use often but it’s worth checking for other apps you don’t use or ones that come with the phone that you don’t use (or may not even know about).

You should also update your phone regularly to keep it healthy. Think of an update as a check up with the doctor. Making sure that the software is up to date will keep your phone secure and make sure that it runs with maximum efficiency.

If the screen is cracked, pay to replace it rather than buying a new phone

You might be able to buy a screen repair kit online for your make and model of phone online but if not, do some research into taking it to be repaired. The cost of repair is sometimes less than the price of buying a new phone, so it’s worth doing your research first.

Transfer files to external storage so that your memory doesn’t fill up

Depending on the make and model of your phone, you may be able to get extra storage. Both Android and iPhone users can get access to free online storage through the Google storage app. Use it to store files such as photos or videos which will take up a lot of space.

Or, alternatively take some time to go through all of the photos and videos on your phone and delete anything that you don’t need to keep.

Buy a good quality cover and screen protector to keep your phone safe

It’s so easy to drop your phone when you’re out and about, so making sure that you buy a durable case will keep your device protected from those bumps and scrapes.

Keep it clean

Dust, dirt and oils can get into parts of the phone you didn’t even know existed, so try and clean out the ports of your device as often as possible. This will keep it in top working order for longer.

You can get a great 60 piece port cleaner kit for under $7 here.

Don’t let it get too hot or too cold

Don’t leave your smartphone in direct sunlight as this might frazzle the battery or cause the device to overheat. This will put strain on your battery, shortening its life. Likewise, if the temperature drops to below 32F (0C) then this will also cause issues for your battery.

Keep it away from water

Keep your phone away from water, unless of course it’s a waterproof phone, although obviously they aren’t usually designed to be submerged for long periods of time. The phones that are advertised as waterproof are actually only really splash/rainproof. If it does get wet, turn it off immediately, take out any removable parts, wipe it with a clean towel to get any excess water off.

Drying your phone in a bowl of uncooked rice might work but some say that if your phone is too wet then the starch from the rice might clog up the internal workings. Alternatively, you can get Dry-All, a wet phone emergency kit from Amazon.

Hopefully you put these tips to good use to extend the life of your smartphone. They’re not really too complicated but they will make a difference.

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