Smartphones have become an integral part of the modern individual's day-to-day life. Most people refuse to leave home without their phone in hand, and feel naked should they happen to accidentally leave it behind for the day.

Because smartphones are always so close at hand, it stands to reason that we have come to rely on them for a huge number of things. While some people may use their smart devices for directions to new places, others use them to play music or check their email.

No matter what you use your phone for, it is likely that it has become an important part of your lifestyle. Unfortunately, these fancy gadgets can be pretty pricey, meaning phones that give out before their time can cause financial problems for their owners.

Since nobody wants to be left without a phone, and nobody wants to shell out several hundred dollars for a new one before it is absolutely necessary, it is important to do everything you can to extend the life of your smartphone.

That said, many people haven't a clue how to go about this. Therefore, we have gathered a list of great ways to ensure your gadget lives a long and productive life.

Take Care of Your Battery

Seeing as more and more people are using their smartphones for work, to access mobile optimized SaaS products or to schedule a meeting, a short phone battery life can be a very frustrating problem. Not only that, it could actually lead to job termination should a dead battery prevent a person from completing certain tasks.

Fortunately, there are things one can do in order to extend the life of their battery.

  • Don't recharge until the battery is at less than 50%.
  • Unplug as soon as the battery has a full charge.
  • Turn of unnecessary features such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when they are not in use.

Additionally, it is good to keep in mind that a bad battery can be replaced for a fraction of the cost of a new phone.

Avoid Extremes

Extreme cold can negatively affect your phone's battery. On the other hand, sweltering heat is also bad for smart devices and can damage the touchscreen and other components. Therefore, it is crucial that phone owners make an effort to keep their devices in neutral temperatures as often as possible.

That said, the temperature rule can be broken in one instance. If a phone battery dies and refuses to turn back on, the device can sometimes be resurrected by heating the back of the phone—and therefore its battery—with a hairdryer. While heating for too long could damage other parts of the phone, a bit of heat may be enough to kickstart the battery so it can take a charge.

Steer Clear of Water

As mentioned above, more and more people are using their phones for work. These devices are also commonly used to store information both for work and for personal purposes. This information might include notes, spreadsheets, checklists, and a multitude of other important data.

Unfortunately, one plunge into a pool can be the end of a smart device, as well as the information stored there. On the other hand, something as simple as a drop of water or a bit of steam in the wrong place on a phone can also be the cause of the gadget's demise.

Obviously, if one is using a smartphone to store important bits of information, it is highly important to back the information up elsewhere, keep the phone in a waterproof case, and keep the device away from water. That said, if a phone does happen to go for a swim, it might still be salvageable.

To attempt to save a wet phone:

  • Remove the device from water quickly. Do not attempt to power it on.
  • Disassemble the phone as much as possible by removing the back and taking out the battery, SIM card, and microSD card (if applicable).
  • Place all pieces in a bag of rice to dry. This can be overnight or even a few days, depending on the level of damage and your willingness to go without the device.
  • Reassemble, charge, and attempt to use the phone.

Protect Your Device

Clearly, using a scratched phone screen is not ideal. Still, a large number of smartphone users put up with scratches and even cracks simply because their phone was not properly protected.

In order to avoid a scratched or broken screen due to an accidental drop, be sure it is properly protected with a high-quality, heavy-duty case and a strong screen protector.

If, despite your best efforts to protect it, your screen does become scratched, it may be repairable. To attempt repair, simply rub a bit of non-gel toothpaste on the blemish using a soft, lint-free cloth. This will often leave the screen looking as good as new.

For those scratches that just can't be repaired, as well as cracks and shattered screens, consider replacing your screen. The cost to do so is minimal compared to the cost of a new device and will leave your phone looking as good as new.

Free Up Space

Many people end up replacing their phone because their current device starts running slowly. However, this is actually completely fixable and doesn't constitute a new phone at all.

Lagging speeds on older phones are almost always due to a lack of free storage space. This can be fixed by moving photos and videos over to an online storage solution, deleting unused apps, and cleaning out email and text message inboxes.  By freeing up some space, you will end up with a phone that runs as well as ever.

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