According to The Consumer Electronics Association’s research carried out in 2015, the average smartphone lasts 4.7 years. However, a study by Kantar WorldPanel found that the average US smartphone user only wants to keep their device for 22 months before upgrading to a newer model.

But, do you want to keep your phone for longer than that? Here are some tips that could see your smartphone going strong and looking like new for many years to come…

Protecting from the common reasons of breakage

As you’re probably aware, smashed and cracked screens are common. 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.

There are things that you can do to keep your phone protected from cracks 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.

Consider purchasing a high-quality phone case. 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.

A phone case doesn’t need to make your phone any less attractive. There are designs available now that will help make your smartphone one of the 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.

You should always choose a waterproof case when purchasing phone protection. Consider Engadget’s stat 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.

It may seem obvious but it still happens — avoid leaving your phone unattended. This includes in public or around children and animals as this is often how accidents occur.

Can you extend the battery life?

Often, it isn’t the exterior of the phone that causes problems — as Battery University, a leading resource for information on batteries, has discovered.

Manufacturers have said that a smartphone’s battery is supposed to last 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.

Other findings have shown that the battery capacity could reduce from 88 to 94 per cent to 73 to 84 per cent following a mere 250 charging cycles. It appears as though smartphone batteries aren’t very durable.

There are things that you can do to expand your smartphone battery life though. 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.

It’s equally important to start charging the phone battery as soon as it dies. 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.

It’s important to make the most out of your smartphone battery when it does have charge. 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.

Keeping your smartphone clean

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted a study which showed that 92 per cent of smartphones that the institute tested were found to be covered in bacteria — 16 per cent also had E. coli present!

Screen protectors and cases can help prevent some dirt getting into your device, but there are other things you can do too:

  1. 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.
  2. Turn your smartphone off before beginning to clean it and don’t switch it back on until the device is entirely dry.
  3. 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.
  4. Ensure to remove all loose debris from your smartphone before using any of the liquids mentioned in the list of cleaning supplies above.
  5. 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.
  6. Apply the microfibre towel to your smartphone in a circular motion until the device is entirely dry.

Sources:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/iphone-blackberry-or-samsung-which-smartphones-do-we-keep-hold-of-the-longest/

https://www.gazelle.com/thehorn/2015/03/09/life-spans-of-used-phones-consider-smartphone-longevity-when-buying/

https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/04/7-most-common-repairs-with-modern-smartphones/

https://www.prizminstitute.com/blog/protect-your-smartphone-from-damage/

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/motorola-shattershield-cracked-smartphone-screen-survey/#/4

http://uk.businessinsider.com/smartphone-batteries-are-only-meant-to-last-a-year-2015-10?r=US&IR=T

http://www.techadvisor.co.uk/how-to/mobile-phone/how-properly-charge-phone-battery-3619623/

http://www.techadvisor.co.uk/how-to/mobile-phone/how-improve-smartphone-battery-life-facebook-myths-3284240/

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/27/how-to-clean-your-smartphone.html

https://www.androidpit.com/how-to-clean-your-smartphone

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