Maintenance Tips to Keep a Smartphone in Great Condition

With many of today's best-selling smartphones costing over $1,000, taking good care of them has never been more important. While it's not uncommon for people to upgrade their smartphones every year or two, they should last much longer. Properly cared for, there's no reason why the latest Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy shouldn't last for several years. However, people must take several steps to ensure this is the case.

Maintenance Is About More Than Just Cleaning

Maintaining a car or truck doesn't just involve washing it every once in a while. Instead, you need regular servicing, oil checks, tire pressure monitoring, and more to keep it running. Smartphones are much the same, requiring routine attention in various areas to prolong their lives.
It's an analogy that works well in several areas. Like applying a paint protection product to a vehicle, a smartphone screen protector serves much the same purpose. And just as any vehicle owner is unlikely to miss an annual service on a new car or truck, remaining on top of smartphone software updates is just as crucial.
These and a small handful of other steps may be all that's necessary to keep any smartphone in great condition. It's especially pertinent in light of a recently proposed law. If passed, it could see the potential average lifespan of many European smartphone owners' handsets hit seven years for the first time.

Six Ways to Maintain Your Smartphone and Prolong Its Life

Right now, Apple provides both hardware and software support for its smartphones for around five or six years. Accordingly, handsets like the latest iPhone should last at least this long when adequately cared for.
The same goes for the majority of smartphones, whether that be an iPhone, one of Samsung's hugely popular Galaxy handsets, or a model from a brand such as OnePlus or Google. In many instances, the process of prolonging a phone's life starts with buying a suitably sturdy case.

Tip #1. Invest in a Sturdy Case

High-end smartphone cases are notoriously expensive. Many of LifeProof's best-selling cases, for example, now retail for up to $100. At the same time, alternatives like Spigen's Rugged Armor lineup cost significantly less, with MSRPs starting at under $25.
And unless someone is braving the surf or shredding the slopes, cheaper alternatives are often all that's needed. As long as a smartphone has at least some additional protection, the risk of serious damage from day-to-day usage and minor knocks reduces massively.

Tip #2. Use a Screen Protector

Like cases, screen protectors vary in price. Yet, regardless of cost, they can quickly prove invaluable if a smartphone finds itself on the receiving end of an unfortunate accident. Even the cheapest screen protectors can safeguard a handset's display from scuffs and scratches.
However, a tempered glass version is generally best to ensure maximum longevity and prevent damage from more severe mishaps. Prices vary from around $10-$50, with mid-range options usually offering the best balance of protection and affordability.

Tip #3. Take Out an Extended Warranty

Maintenance can only protect a smartphone to a certain degree. Unfortunately, out-of-warranty manufacturer defects and mechanical faults can be enough to resign even the most costly smartphones to the trash. The same goes for accidental damage, including drops, cracks, and liquid spills. Yet, all is not lost. With a suitably comprehensive extended smartphone warranty, owners can insure against these and any number of other unfortunate eventualities.
Coverage can be expensive, especially when purchased directly from manufacturers and retailers. Thankfully, though, Upsie's smartphone subscription warranties cost just $9.99 per month. With that, Upsie's smartphone warranties are comprehensive, intuitive, and affordable.

Tip #4. Employ a Manufacturer's Best Charging Practices

Various truths and myths have long existed surrounding how and when people should charge tech like smartphones. Innovations in battery technology have made much of this advice obsolete. That said, some best practices do still exist. For example, regular, small charges are better than only ever plugging in a smartphone once its battery is flat. Failure to do so can eventually impact a battery's ability to hold a charge.
The best advice in this regard is to follow any manufacturer's instructions for a given handset. Using a tool like Apple's Battery Health feature is also an excellent way to keep a battery well-maintained and in top condition for as long as possible.

Tip #5. Keep It Up-To-Date

Another vital part of smartphone maintenance involves keeping it up-to-date. Users should install operating system updates immediately to keep a handset running fast and problem-free for as long as possible. Applying updates to individual third-party apps can also help, but it's those all-important operating system downloads that are the most critical.
Applying software updates as they're released also ensures a largely secure and bug-free smartphone ownership experience. Furthermore, by updating regularly, a smartphone will always be equipped with the latest new software improvements and additional features.

Tip #6. And, of Course, Keep It Clean

Finally, don't forget to keep your smartphone clean. Cleaning is an essential part of smartphone maintenance. This step may seem like common sense, but it's easy to overlook, especially when using a case and screen protector. In addition, products like makeup can negatively affect various smartphone components if allowed to build up. Dust and dirt, meanwhile, can also quickly accumulate, blocking a smartphone's ports, speakers, and microphones.
Buildup and blockages can eventually lead to hardware failures. So, keeping on top of periodic cleaning should be seen as an essential part of the crucial maintenance required to prolong the life of any smartphone.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.