How to extend the life of your smartphone (before buying a new one) July 15, 2020 – Posted in: Smartphone news


Whether it’s an entry-level model or a state-of-the-art flagship, there are simple and concrete ways to extend the lifespan of any smartphone. Here are some recommendations to make him play extra time.

Do not skip updates to your OS and apps

To keep your smartphone working as quickly and as well as possible, it is important to keep the operating system and third-party applications up to date. It doesn’t take a long time and the benefits can be huge, from fixing bugs to solving security issues to new features and improving overall performance.

Android and iOS provide automatic application updates by default. On the Android Play Store, you can check it by going to Settings and checking the Automatic update of apps option. On an iPhone, go to Settings>[votre nom] > iTunes and App Store and activate the option Updating apps.

For operating system updates on an Android smartphone, you can check their availability by opening the
Settings> System> Advanced Preferences> System Update. You can also wait for your phone to notify you that an update is available, and then follow the instructions. Google releases monthly security updates around the first of each month.

For iPhone owners, you have the option of allowing your phone to automatically install any new updates. The installation will be done a day or two after the release of the new version and will take place during the next overnight charge. To install an update or activate automatic updates, go to Settings > General> Software update. If an update is available, follow the instructions to install it. Otherwise, tap Automatic Updates to turn them on or off.

Clean up your applications

Smartphones have limited storage capacity and memory, which is why it’s important to minimize the number of unused apps. By regularly removing apps that are of little or no use to you, you will save storage space and prevent programs from running in the background, which consumes valuable resources and can give the impression that your phone is slower and closer to the end of its life than it actually is.

  • To delete applications on an iPhone, nothing could be simpler: just long press on the icon until it starts to float, then press on the X of the application to delete it.

  • Android users can follow a similar approach: long press on the app icon then on Info on the app and finally on Uninstall.

Invest in a shell

Do you like your phone? So why not protect it with a shell? We know that for a style purist, even the most minimalist cases are already too many. The problem is that an accidental fall is almost inevitable and that it can be fatal to your precious one. There is no need to invest in the most expensive case, but having one will certainly help extend the life of your mobile. Another advantage: it keeps it in impeccable condition and benefits from the highest resale price when you want to part with it.

Clean screen and ports

Even if you use a shell, take a few minutes from time to time to clean the dirt that gets lodged in the charging port, the microphone, the speaker grille or the headphone jack, if your phone still has one. A toothpick will do the trick to dislodge everything in it.

A soft microfiber cloth is recommended to remove dust and fingerprints. Apple says it is possible to clean the iPhone screen using a ” wipe impregnated with 70% isopropyl alcohol or Clorox disinfectant wipe. For Android smartphones, it is preferable to refer to the recommendations of each manufacturer even if those of Apple remain valid as a general rule.

Wipes with 70% isopropyl alcohol on Amazon

Microfiber cloths on Amazon

Avoid overcharging or overheating the battery

If a quick charge will not damage the battery of your smartphone, allowing it to drain completely regularly could harm it. Also avoid exposing the phone to high temperatures, such as leaving it in direct sunlight. The device will turn off by itself in the event of overheating, but this imposes stress on the battery which contributes to reducing its lifespan.

Better to change the battery than the phone

Even if you’ve done everything right, unfortunately you can end up with a battery that over time refuses to charge. But rather than replacing the phone, just change the battery. Often, this simple and not too expensive intervention can add a few months or even a few years to the lifespan of your phone. Most current models have built-in batteries which require disassembly of the case. The more DIY enthusiasts can invest in a dedicated iPhone kit or even some Android smartphone which includes the necessary tools and a new battery. For the others, it will be necessary either to go to an Apple Store or to use an authorized third-party repairer. We recommend asking for a quote before any intervention.

Perform regular backups

Backing up your data will not do anything to extend the life of your phone, but it will give you all of your personalized contacts, photos, videos, and settings when the time comes to change them.

On iPhone, check that iCloud backup is activated by going to Settings then tap on your name at the top of the screen> iCloud> iCloud Backup and flip the switch.

For owners of an Android smartphone, the backup procedure varies depending on the brand, but in general, you can go to the Settings then go on Google> Save. Some manufacturers, like Samsung, offer their own backup service in addition to that of Google. The easiest way to find your device’s automatic backup service is to open Settings and type “Backup” in the search engine.

CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance

Image: Ian Knighton / CNET, iFixit