How to extend the life of your smartphone

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Let’s face it. Most of us use our phones primarily for texting, talking, browsing the occasional web page and sending a few emails here and there, so there really is no need to upgrade them every time a new one is released. Forget wasting money on a new fandangled phone – be smart and extend the life of the one you already have, so you can save your money to spend on other (better) things. Here’s how.

1. Declutter your smartphone
If your phone is becoming slower each day, it may well have more to do with an overload of apps, photos and other files. When your storage reaches maximum capacity, it increases the pressure on your phone’s RAM, which, in turn, makes it lag and become less responsive. The best way to prevent this from happening is to regularly remove any unnecessary apps, images, videos and documents – including text messages and emails.

2. General care
Screen protectors and sturdy cases will not guarantee that your phone never breaks or that your screen never cracks, but they will definitely prevent it from happening so easily. So, investing in a decent case and screen protector will increase the life of your phone.

It also pays to ensure your phone is secure when driving and, to prevent moisture damage, don’t exercise with it in your pocket.

3. Skip updates after two new versions
Most smartphone manufacturers will only provide support for two software updates. After that, you’re on your own. If you have an older device, it’s best not to update to the latest operating systems – it will not only slow down your phone, but it will also reduce the stability of your phone’s operation.

There’s also a ‘conspiracy theory’ amongst tech pundits that new operating systems slow your phone on purpose, forcing you to upgrade much sooner than you really need to.

4. Give it a rest
Just as you wouldn’t leave your computer on for days or even weeks at a time, you should also never leave your smartphone on all day every day. Aim to give your phone a rest at least once per week – even for just a few minutes. This will allow it to reset and refresh and it will run much more efficiently as a result.

5. Best charging practice
Seeing as your phone is basically a battery, a screen and a few microchips (among other things), looking after the battery is quite possibly the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your smartphone.

There are many opinions as to the best way to charge your battery, but according to, once your battery reaches 75 per cent, you should pop it on to charge. Leaving your battery to run down to 25 per cent or less before charging can actually impair your battery’s potential. Charging at 75 per cent will give you 2500 fully powered charges, whereas leaving it to 25 per cent will give you only 500.

Our own tech wiz Ryan says you should charge your phone (or computer) when it gets to about 40 percent charge.

Do you have any tips for extending the life of your smartphone? Why not share them with our members?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    Hmmm….this article resonated! Especially the part about skipping software updates. I have an “ancient” 4S iPhone, and like many thousands of other 4S owners, lost wireless connectivity after upgrading to IOS9.1. Apple denies there is a problem, there are a million interesting “fixes” out there in Internet land – including heating your phone battery with a hair dryer, or conversely putting the phone in the freezer – tried almost all of them to no avail. Wireless button remains stubbornly greyed out. Fortunately I only use my phone for a few applications, so no biggie, but it’s a capability my phone had before software upgrade, and now doesn’t. Apple’s stubborn refusal to admit there’s a problem is irritating, to say the least, and does smack of forcing you to upgrade your phone to the latest, greatest AND most expensive!!

  2. 0

    If your battery fails to recharge completely try turning your phone off and taking out the battery then replacing the battery and turning it back on a few times. Batteries can get memories and won’t charge properly.

    • 0

      Thanks for that info Bonny, couldn’t work out why my very elderly S3 wasn’t holding its charge, maybe using your post will fix it for me. Thanks again – Karen

  3. 0

    RE: When your storage reaches maximum capacity, it increases the pressure on your phone’s RAM, which, in turn, makes it lag and become less responsive. The best way to prevent this from happening is to regularly remove any unnecessary apps, images, videos and documents – including text messages and emails. No way… Storage space and ram are two different things. Ram is the memory you use to RUN applications. If your app is just sitting there on the hard drive then it doesn’t affect RAM.



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