A woman holding her smartphone is unhappy because it’s not working properly.
A woman holding her smartphone is unhappy because it’s not working properly.

Extend the life of your smartphone

SMARTPHONES are more expensive than ever and many of us replace them more frequently than any other electronic device.

While most laptops have removable batteries - you can just buy a replacement - smartphones have built-in batteries that are sometimes difficult to replace or repair.

The average smartphone reportedly lasts up to three years, which is a comparatively short life for such an expensive gadget.

Telco comparison website Whistleout.com.au's publisher, Joseph Hanlon, said replacing your phone's battery would get you more mileage than any other repair.

"Most Aussies will find that it's the phone battery that goes first, but once it's replaced your phone should last for several years longer," he said. "A new iPhone costs well over $1000, while a replacement iPhone battery is much cheaper."

Apple will replace out-of-warranty batteries from $79.

If you've held onto a phone for a couple of years, it may not hold a charge the way it used to. This can also lead to your phone slowing down or shutting off randomly. The more you charge and deplete batteries, the more they degrade.

Repairing a smartphone can end up being a lot cheaper than buying a new phone.
Repairing a smartphone can end up being a lot cheaper than buying a new phone.

Canstar Blue tech expert Tara Donnelly recommends recharging your phone when it hits 40 per cent capacity, and unplugging it before it reaches 90 per cent.

"You should also avoid using cheap chargers or fast-charging accessories ... these can speed up degradation in lithium-ion batteries," she said.

The screen is usually one

of the most expensive components to change but it's still cheaper than buying a new phone. Depending on the model, Apple charges from $219 for a screen replacement if you don't have AppleCare+, the company's extended service plan.

Some Android phone repairs can be similarly expensive.

"The best way to avoid repairs is by investing in protective cases or screen protectors and taking care of your device," Ms Donnelly said.

"However, if damage or faults do occur, do your research first."

Websites such as iFixit break down the most popular phones and give them a score for how easy they are to repair.

"Move your files to a cloud-based storage to free up memory and install new updates as soon as they become available," Ms Donnelly said. "Up-to-date

apps and software not only run faster, they also ensure you're better protected from bugs or security issues."


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