12 Ways to Avoid a Broken Phone

I have been a member of the Republic Wireless Support team for four years. Over these years at Republic, thanks to my endless dinner time product promotion, I have successfully converted my family and friends to use Republic Wireless devices. This is an actual email I recently had to send my parents:

Dear Mom and Dad,

I wanted to let you know that I am completely out of those spare (free) phones to give you as replacements for your damaged phones.  I have searched my book bag  and every drawer in my desk, and I have even asked my co workers to do the same.  Alas, I  have come up empty handed.

Love,

Big Red

Before you start feeling too badly for my parents, allow me to rewind and explain my side of the story. The problem with having friends and family as customers is that when they break their phones, they expect me to magically have replacements sitting on my desk. But I believe in the old saying “ teach man to fish and feed him for a lifetime” So I’ve outlined the tips I shared with my Mom for all of you.


Let’s start out with the top 3 ways people break their phones:

cracked_screen
  1. Dropping it on a hard surface

  2. Getting it wet

  3. Sitting on it

Looking over that list, I think we’ll start out with tips on how to protect the outside of your device.

1. Buy a Case!

Seems simple, but a case and screen protector are the cornerstones to ensuring a long life for your device. A good case will protect your device from normal drops, scratches, spills, and maybe even zombie hordes.

2. Spring Cleaning

You bought a case. Great, you’re on the right track. Now you need to be aware of the dirt, dust, and moisture that can get trapped in your case. From time to time, you will need to remove your case and clean both your case and your phone. A good time to do this would be after a trip to the beach or pool, an awesome camping adventure, or a sweaty run. You can clean your phone and case by simply wiping and drying it (air drying works best). You can also use a toothbrush (clean) to gently clear debris from any port.

3. Skinny Jeans

Tight jeans with small pockets seems like a secure place to put your phone. Just remember, the pressure on your phone from those tight pockets intensifies when you move which can, and will, cause the screen to break. Also, forgetting to remove your phone from your back pocket before you sit down could result in a broken device. I would suggest putting your phone, all by its lonesome, in a dedicated front pocket. Keeping your phone and keys in opposite pockets will prevent unwanted scratches and cracks. Ladies, instead of just putting your phone in the main “anything goes here area” of your purse try putting your phone in a side pocket.

4. Fire and Ice

Extreme temperatures can send your device to the recycling bin quickly with Screen issues, Internal component failure, and even Battery death. For this reason, try not to expose your device to temperatures less than freezing or above 95°F.  Something as simple as leaving your phone on the seat of your car on a hot day could expose your phone to temperatures upward to 200°F – causing all kinds of damage.  If you have to take your phone to the beach or pool remember to keep it in the shade, preferably in a cool spot with air flow.

5. Science

Let me be forward, using your device in the bathroom is just asking for a water soaked device, and I’m not just talking about phones dropped in water aka the sink, bathtub, or toilet. Steam is a smartphone killer. The hot water you use everyday in the bathroom produces steam. Steam seeps into the device allowing moisture into the heart of your phone. Over time this moisture could short circuit the hardware inside your phone.

Protect the inside

Protecting your device doesn’t just mean maintaining its outward appearance. Even if your  phone is in perfect physical condition, it could be rendered unusable if the Android OS (Operating System) isn’t also protected from damage. Over time, Android users find that their phones tend to be less zippy than they used to be, apps don’t open as quickly, screens scroll in slow motion, and even web pages take longer to load. If you ignore these signs, eventually your device will slow down to a snail’s pace, becoming unusable. No worries, by following a few simple tips you can ensure that your device runs faster and smoother for longer.

6. Update Apps

Make sure to regularly update your apps from the Google Play Store. These updates contain new features and  bug fixes for any identified issues. Apply the updates regularly and your phone will perform optimally.

7. Crammed Full

Pay attention to your available internal storage.  Your device requires some of its internal storage to operate, so filling it up will cause your device to run slowly or even fail to function.  A good rule is to never use more than 90% of your device’s total internal storage. Also, once your device gets really low on internal storage it will stop syncing emails and app updates via the PlayStore. Below are some tips that should help prevent this issue from becoming an issue.

  • Move photos, music, and video files to either an external memory card (if your device has a memory card slot) or save them in the cloud using services such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Remove unused apps for additional storage.
  • Clearing the Cache. This will remove temporary files from your phone but will not delete your files or setting.

8. Insomnia

As much as we rely on our smartphones for almost everything these days, keeping your phone ON all the time is a bad thing. Constantly having your phone powered on overexerts its resources and could result in your phone becoming sluggish. To prevent this from happening make sure to reboot your device at least once a week.  This will ensure your caches are cleared and apps restarted properly. To simplify it, you know that feeling you get after a good night’s sleep?  Your phone feels the same way after a reboot. Shutting down the device on a regular basis will also help extend the life of your device.

9. Keep the phone out of harm’s way

Another way to improve the the life of your device is to keep your phone out of the way of life’s crazy mishaps. You can do this by using more bluetooth. Using Bluetooth allows you to use the awesome features of your device without having it in potentially dangerous situations.

10. Pump You Up

Using bluetooth headphones while working out allows you to access music and take calls without the chance of dropping and breaking your device and without continued exposure to sweat and moisture.

11. Party Time

While at the beach or pool try bringing along a bluetooth speaker. This will allow you to stream your music without putting your phone in danger. Remember to keep your device out of direct sunlight and away from water.

12. Beam me up scotty

So let’s be honest, we’re checking our devices all the time. The more you handle your device the greater the chance you mishandle it by maybe dropping it or putting it in situations that are less than ideal. A smartwatch allows you to put your phone in a safe location such a gym bag, purse, or even just docked on your desk  while still allowing you to stay connected. A smartwatch notifies you of incoming calls, texts, emails and all of your super important social media notifications from apps like facebook, twitter, and instagram just to name a few. In addition smartwatches will send you calendar reminders, events, and alarms just like your phone would. You can even access your phone like a remote enabling you to access and play music, use google search, and much much more. I recommend the Moto 360 but there are tons of options and flavors out there for everyone.

You’re still reading this Blog? That’s awesome. Your phone and myself both thank you. I hope that you have found our tips and tricks for getting the longest life out of your device useful. Before I go I would like to leave you with a few bonus tips.


Bonus Tips:

  • If your smartphone happens to be exposed to the elements such as sunlight and overheating, water or freezing temperatures, the best thing to do is turn the device off for an extended amount of time (Normally 24 hours) and allow it to cool down, warm up or dry off. This will help prevent additional damage to your device that might occur during your next boot up.
  • Keep your phone out of the bathroom. If you need music while getting ready look into bluetooth speakers designed for bathroom use.  And ahem, let’s bring magazines back for bathroom reading.
  • Bring a plastic sandwich bag with you. That way you can put your device in the sandwich bag (half closed to allow some airflow) while you’re out  having fun adding extra protection from random splashes.

What do you do to keep your smartphone protected and speedy?
Let us know in the comments below.

 

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  • ConnectingDots

    These are good suggestions, but they don’t address the biggest drawback for RW customers: the inability to get a replacement RW cellphone quickly.

    • Joe Abbey

      I don’t mean to be rude but if you follow these steps it should avoid the need for replacing a phone. The only thing he does not cover is a manufacturer defect which is unavoidable. Anyways my phones last me a while and when I get a new one the old one usually goes in an emergency box just in case my new phone breaks. It may be convenient to get rid of the old phone but by keeping at least one back it gives you some extra space for if your new phone breaks.

      • ConnectingDots

        Thanks, Joe. I did not find your comment rude. You make good points!

        I am referring to the inability to get a replacement RW cellphone quickly.

        Many RW customers have only ONE RW phone. When that phone breaks or is lost or gets stolen, they must wait SEVERAL days to get a replacement RW phone.

        Piled on top of that, RW does not allow RW customers to set up forwarding to another TN of calls to the broken, lost, or stolen phone after that phone is broken, lost, or stolen.

        The best that a one-RW-phone customer can do when the RW phone gets broken, lost, or stolen is to check voicemail messages to that broken, lost, or stolen phone until SEVERAL DAYS LATER, when the replacement RW phone arrives.

        RW should have a quick-replacement approach, but they don’t.

  • Eleanor Damaschke

    I’ll admit I use my phone to play music while I’m in the shower, because I don’t own any Bluetooth speakers and they’re not on my budget for the next couple months.
    Is it better-ish if my phone is sitting on a lower surface (because steam rises) or should I just serenade myself without the backup singers on my phone? My Moto G has been working very well for the past year or so, and I’d like to keep it that way.

    • Red Houze

      If you have a desktop PC with external speakers, the jack for your speakers likely fits the headphone port on your phone. Set your phone outside the bathroom, & set the speakers just inside the doorway. Lots of cords, but it can work.

  • Peggy Parker Coons

    A good secure case is one of the best preventive measures. I’m always shocked when I see “naked” phones! My otterbox has protected my phone from numerous slips as well as debris.

  • Don Dangler

    Two additional fail points on the phone are the charging port and the physical buttons. I protect the charging port by only plugging my phone in when I know it will stay that way for some time. You can use apps such as shake awake to wake your phone without using the power button. Moxo x users can do it with a gesture. There are also widgets to put the phone to sleep when you are done with it. Again saving wear on power button.

  • N2theizzle

    I have a simple slip on case for my moto x 1st gen. Has worked well. I use SD Main Pro and have it run on a 3 day schedule. I will also update my apps and then reboot as soon as it is convenient. This seems to have helped keep my moto x 1st gen from becoming unbearable. Thanks for the tip for clearing the cache on bootup.

  • Red Houze

    I use the ES File Explorer app to keep an eye on my phone memory & SD card. I still don’t understand why some apps can’t be moved to the SD card.

    • Joe Abbey

      Most google apps don’t allow moving to the SD card since the SD card limits the speed it can be accessed at so with any of the google apps they like to keep them prioritized so that you have a fast google experience. This is also why some larger apps can only be moved partially to an SD card rather than fully, they keep just enough memory to start the program without too much lag.

  • Geoff

    I am a bicyclist and use the last item, plastic sandwich bag, to carry my phone on rides. I also have a folded paper towel and some money in there with the phone. It keeps everything dry in case there is a surprise storm.

  • Susan Kuipers

    I would plain and simplev instructions on how to clean out the “cache” storage area on my phone.