Taking Care of Your Smartphone


Smartphones have become more than just a communication tool. On a regular basis, it keeps us in the loop, entertains us, and more often than not, promotes productivity. We naturally gravitate towards it for the reason that it holds much of what we need. These days, investing in a capable (and good-looking) smartphone is reasonable. What’s a PHP 20K or more cash out when you’ve got a phone that allows you to do so much more? With that, it just makes proper sense to take care of your smartphone, as it is an investment, and we don’t want good money to go to waste.

Get a Screen Protector and Phone Case, Stat!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that smartphones aren’t invincible. Compared to feature phones of old that you can reassemble when it falls and breaks into parts on the ground—and would still work mighty fine right after—a smartphone’s usability is more likely to suffer when it falls flat on the cold, hard floor. I learned that the hard way when my then-new iPod Touch acquired a painful battle scar from falling off the bed. Instead of housing it in a case that would protect it, I opted for a case that’s stylish; and the device’s screen suffered in the end.

When you purchase a phone, the after market products you should be going after are a screen protector and a tough phone case. With screen protectors, you can go for glossy or matte plastic, or if you’re willing to shell out more, and want a more visually appealing option, tempered glass screen guards are the way to go. There are also military-grade screen protectors that are built with self-healing technologies. Regardless of the type and brand, screen guards are extra layer of toughness that exist to protect your display from scratches—and cracks, in some cases.

What’s next is to house your phone in a case that’s meant to protect, not just something that would make it look extra good. I suggest going for cases that sport soft cores and with extra outer covers as they offer just the right protection to prevent internal damages as well as keep your phone dent-free when you accidentally knock your phone over on hard surfaces. Sure, you give up a fair bit in design, thinness, and general aesthetics, but at least you’re more likely to have a working phone 100-percent of the time.

Keep Your Phone Away from Harsh Elements
I always hear this saying in the vernacular “sa una lang yan,” which shouldn’t be the case when caring for your phone. If you want to keep your phone in tip-top shape, you better stop tossing your phone around. When not in use, place your phone somewhere it won’t likely fall onto the floor or worse, sat on. Keep it far from the reach of kids. In my experience, little tots shouldn’t be trusted with phones. Have you seen Toy Story 3? Also, you would want to place your phone on a surface near the plug, which you could also designate as the permanent space for your charger for better organization.

As a rule of thumb, keep your phone away from anything liquid. Yes, we get your phone is supposedly water-proof, but we’ve heard cases where water damage isn’t covered by the warranty.

Your Gadget Needs Cleaning Too
Congratulations! You’ve successfully fostered a habitat for germs and bacteria. Yes, your phone is a breeding ground for foreign elements we’d rather not have in our system. Think of the things you do before you touch your phone: go to the restroom, hold money, eat, and other activities which lead you to gunk up your device. Studies have found that your phone screen houses more bacteria than a toilet seat. Disgusting, we know. This is why you should clean your phone regularly, unless your aim is to gain acne and some gastrointestinal disease. Put a halt to the developing colony of germs on your phone by disinfecting it with an antimicrobial spray and wiping it with a soft cloth. You can use alcohol on plastic surfaces, such as your phone’s rear cover, just don’t leave it on for too long, as the alcohol will eat up the plastic eventually.

Your Battery Would Last Longer When Fully Charged
The battery, as we know, can affect the overall performance of the phone when it is worn out and loses its charge. What we normally do when this happens is to replace it. However, original batteries are quite pricey and some smartphones come in unibody designs, which means the battery isn’t replaceable.

To preserve the quality of your juice pack, recharge before the power goes under 20-percent. If your phone runs flat, its ability to hold a charge starts to gets compromised, further hampering the device’s performance. Also, avoid using your phone when plugged so that it tops up quickly.

In addition, avoid exposure to extreme temperatures as it may damage the battery’s internal structure. Use genuine chargers and accessories to extend your battery’s lifespan and keep it from getting charred.

Install Management Software
I strongly believe that management apps are indeed useful. In my experience, it doesn’t take up much space and battery as it runs quietly in the background. Memory management software can improve the overall performance of your phone by informing you which apps take too much space, or telling you about processes that need to be closed, and duplicated media that slows your device down. These management software are usually free or are available at a very low cost. It basically functions like Disk Cleanup and Defragmenter found in our PCs. It frees up space to make your phone run faster.

But you could also just manually close unused apps, clear cache and cookies, and delete unused programs to help restore your phone’s processing power.

One Word: Backup!
If it hasn’t been stressed enough, we’ll say it again, backup! With files backed up on a cloud service or an external hard drive, you are able to free up space without second thinking if you should erase this app or this picture you’ve taken years ago. Also, in the case that your phone needs a factory reset, you’ll know where to retrieve your files.

Protect Your Phone From Thieves
Digitally and physically. Yes, you love your phone, but displaying it for the world to see makes you an easy target for criminals. With lightning fast skills, they can easily snatch your investment away from you. Word of advice, if it isn’t urgent, try to not use your phone during commutes. Also, set a screen lock on or use a theft shutdown software to keep your information safe and render the phone useless in the event it gets lost or stolen.

Another form of theft you should be aware of are the ones done via the Internet; and since your phone is connected to the Internet, you are also an open target for hacking and other nasty cybercrimes. If you don’t have the budget for security solutions, just remember to stay away from questionable links, examine what goes through your mail, and avoid torrents as much as possible.

Our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves; so the more we must take care of them like how we want our bodies to always be in top condition. Follow these tips to keep your phone at its peak. When all else fails and your phone decides to just give up on you, you could always buy a new one; but keep in mind, you’re approximately 10 months away from receiving your Christmas bonus.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE February 2016 issue.

Words by Mia Carisse Barrientos