Summer - proof your smart phone
Save your phone from holiday hazards.
It makes sense that summer is a time when your phone is most at risk of getting damaged when you consider the heat, the increase in time that you're using it around water, and the fact that you're probably less cautious when you're on holiday than you usually would be.
So while you're out and about this summer, take note of these five tips for keeping your smartphone in tip-top shape.
1. Keep it cool ... but not cold
Extreme variations in heat or cold affect your phone's circuitry and battery life.
Overheating is a real threat in summer, especially in parts of the country that can reach up to 40 degrees.
Don't leave your phone in your car; don't charge it for too long in the day; don't leave it in the sun; don't keep it on top of or under other devices; and don't overuse it, especially if it starts feeling hot to the touch. It's normal for phones to feel warm, but if it's actually hot, switch it off and leave it alone in a cool, dark room for a while, or even next to a fan.
2. Keep it dry
Moisture damage is one of the most common problems faced by smart devices – and it’s not always as simple as dropping your phone in the toilet. Moisture damage can be caused by humid living conditions, answering the phone with wet hands or leaving your phone under a mist cooling-system at a restaurant.
Don’t keep your phone in the bathroom, avoid using it in the kitchen while you’re cooking and make sure you have a moisture-proof sports case when using your phone during heavy exercise. If you live in an extremely humid area, consider wrapping your device in a towel overnight to protect it from liquid damage.
When you're at the beach, stick your phone in a clear Ziplock bag to keep it safe from splashes and the sand. Or invest in a waterproof smartphone case. There are a few on the market and their technology is becoming ever more impressive - think smartphone pouches that enable your phone to float!
3. Two tips for pocket protection
Guys - and handbag-averse women - we're looking at you, here. These are pretty basic common-sense ways to protect your screen, but can be easy to forget if you're in a rush.
- 1. Keep your phone in a pocket that's empty. You're asking for scratches on your screen if you put it in a pocket that's also carrying your keys, loose change, screwdrivers, and any other sharp, metallic objects you feel the need to bring along with you.
- 2. Make sure that the screen of your phone is facing your thigh. If it's facing outwards, you could damage the screen if you accidentally bump up against something, such as the corner of a table. Or if you happen to fall over.
4. Invest in a decent screen protector
Broken screens are one of the most commonly reported smartphone issues, and as you know if you've ever taken yours in to be repaired, can be a very costly exercise to replace.
Screen protectors are an absolute must, but they are not all created equal. The plastic screen protectors of yesteryear will keep your screen safe from scratches, but ask any parent who's had their phone snatched out of their hands by their progeny while they're being carried and then unceremoniously dropped to the floor, and they'll tell you that those screen protectors don't actually protect your screen from shattering on impact.
Tempered glass screen protectors might be more costly than the plastic kind, but they are a fraction of the cost of replacing a broken screen. They not only absorb impact on your screen, they also shatter when your phone is dropped screen-side down, meaning that your screen stays impact.
Two bonuses of glass screen protectors: they're easier to apply than the plastic kind (phew), and they don't feel like you're tapping your touch screen through a sheet of plastic - they're super-thin and as touch-sensitive as your regular screen.
If you have one of the Samsung or Apple flagship devices with curved screens, make sure to get a screen protector that fits from corner to corner - again, they're more pricey than the regular covers, but you don't want to leave any part of your screen unprotected in case your phone goes flying.
5. Keep it safe from falls
People buy smartphone cases for different reasons - to be trendy, to extend the battery life of their phone - but they major reason you need a case for your phone is to protect it when it falls. Because we have our phone in our hands pretty much constantly, especially in the holidays, when work doesn't get in the way of our social networking, the chances are high that we'll drop them at some point.
No smartphone case can be guaranteed to protect your phone no matter what - but different cases are manufactured to withstand falls from certain heights. If you're a regular smartphone user, one of the cheaper options will suit you. But if you plan to take your phone with you while hiking, climbing or paragliding, for example, you'll want to invest in a case that protects your phone if it's dropped from a fairly substantial height.
Here are four of the more common choices of smartphone case - depending on your needs, these will help you to decide what to ask for when you go shopping:
- 1. Most of the best cases are made out of polycarbonate, the same material as used to make bullet-proof glass. It's extremely durable and provides high-impact resistance, protecting your phone from falls of pretty great heights. But these cases are often on the bulky side.
- 2. Carbon fibre cases are thinner, lightweight and more stylish, and while they do provide protection for your phone if it's dropped from a medium height, they aren't great for protecting your phone from a serious fall.
- 3. Silicone cases are ideal for protecting your phone from everyday hazards - they're soft and stretchy, inexpensive and absorb shocks fairly well. Generally, they won't protect your phone from a drop that's anything more than low-impact, though.
- 4. Polyurethane cases are probably the most common nowadays. They're cheaper than alternatives and make your phone easy to hold. The level of protection they offer is similar to that of silicone cases, but polyurethane cases come in different colours and patterns, which can make them more appealing to some.
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