How to Maximize Your Phone’s Lifespan

How to Maximize Your Phone’s Lifespan

Even though smartphones are getting thinner and lighter, they’re still becoming more durable. Unlike early smartphones, today’s phones are typically tested to ensure their longevity, and technology is constantly evolving to make phones easier to use and less likely to become damaged through typical use. However, it’s still worth taking a few basic steps to prevent possible problems with your phone. Here are a few guidelines for avoiding common problems with smartphones and other smart devices.

Consider a Case

Cases add a bit of bulk to smartphones, but this extra size and weight provides protection against drops. Although a case won’t ensure you avoid a cracked screen or other damage, they do provide a bit of robustness that can mean the difference between an intact phone and a broken one. Not all cases are the same. If you have a history of dropping your phone, it might be worth investing in a more rugged case. If you’d prefer to preserve your phones look, consider a case that only covers the sides and not the back. As phones continue to become thinner, many people are finding they prefer a thicker device than is available on the market. Cases can provide a better feel for many people, and textured cases can help prevent your phone from slipping during long conversations.

Learn What Causes Scratches

Glass is a surprisingly hard material, and only harder materials can cause scratches. Metal, no matter how sharp, won’t scratch a smartphone’s screen, so don’t worry too much about car keys or other metal items causing scratches. One of the most common causes of smartphone scratches is sand, which can be harder than the glass on a phone’s screen. Wipe your phone screen gently, as wiping away sand or other small materials too harshly can lead to scratching. If you typically carry your smartphone in a purse or backpack, consider picking up a case that covers the screen to avoid scratching.

Updates Are Important

Smartphones are computers, and they need to be maintained like any other computer. Make sure to run security updates promptly, as failing to do so can leave your phone vulnerable to hacks, potentially compromising your information. App updates are important as well, as vulnerabilities in programs you run can lead to problems as well. If updates fail for any reason, make sure to talk with experts to find out how to resolve the issue.

Take Care of Your Battery

Modern smartphones are designed to maximize the life of batteries, but there are steps you can take to prevent premature wear. Try to avoid letting your battery drain completely, as doing so can shorten its lifespan; developing a habit of plugging in your phone every morning or evening can help keep it topped off. However, experts also advise against leaving your phone plugged in once its completely charged. Letting your battery drain a bit helps keep it functioning optimally. Note, however, that batteries inevitably lose their capacity, so consider picking a phone with a replaceable battery if you plan on using it for the long term.

Keep Your Phone Dry

Many phones on the market are advertised as being water resistant, and many that don’t advertise that feature can still function after being submerged in water. However, it’s still best to keep your phone dry whenever possible. Small cracks can make a water-resistant phone vulnerable to water damage. Furthermore, saltwater can still build up on a phone, potentially causing scratching and other issues. If your phone stops working after being submerged, give it time to dry completely before trying to power it on again. Note that the rice trick, which involves placing your phone in a container of rice, isn’t advised by most experts. It has little effect on drying out your phone, and small rice particles can become embedded in your phone. Silica gel packets, on the other hand, can safely speed up the drying process.

Be Wary of Non-Standard Apps

Android phones can be set to sideload apps, which lets you run programs not installed via the official store. Furthermore, third-party stores are common as well. Some people jailbreak their iPhones, which lets them run programs not found in the App Store. If you’re interested in running such apps, be careful, as malware is a growing problem with smartphones. These apps can sometimes capture information covertly, which can lead to identity theft and other problems. People often use their phones for banking and other critical tasks, so ensure any third-party app you install comes from a trusted source, such as Amazon or other established companies.

Avoid Temperature Extremes

Extreme temperatures can have a number of effects on smartphones. Hot and cold temperatures can shorten a battery’s lifespan, and phone screens and other parts sometimes fail to work properly in especially hot or cold temperatures. While those who live in hot or cold regions have little choice when it comes to smartphone temperatures, avoiding keeping a phone in a car when the temperature is hot can help you avoid issues. It’s generally best to keep your phone indoors as much as possible, especially if rain or snow is likely.

Streamline Your Apps

Today’s smartphones are often able to store a seemingly unlimited number of apps, but uninstalling apps to save space can be wise even if you have plenty of room left. Phone storage components wear down over time, and smartphones can spread information across the storage space to slow this degradation. Freeing up space offers more room for this process. Furthermore, uninstalling apps helps keep you interface from becoming cluttered, helping you find apps more quickly. Some apps run in the background, which can cost you bandwidth and lead to poorer performance. If you haven’t used an app in an extended period of time, think about if you’re likely to use it again in the future.

Smartphones are better than ever, and they’ll continue evolving over time. Although devices are more rugged and durable than ever before, a bit of caution and maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring your phone lasts as long as possible.

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Seven New Smartphone Features For 2019

Seven New Smartphone Features For 2019

Every year the premium smartphone market gets a little more competitive. Both sales and revenue continue to increase every year and so far show no signs of slowing down. In order to entice new customers to their brands, manufacturers are hard at work on some exciting new features for the coming year. Let’s take a look at seven of the most interesting new developments we hope to see in 2019.

Triple-sensor Cameras Finally Arrive

High-quality cameras in smartphones have proven to be a popular draw with consumers, and manufacturers have realised the importance of continued improvement in imaging technology. Recent phones have integrated two separate camera lenses and sensors in the back of the phone, one wide-angle and one long-distance lens. The images generated by the two lenses are then combined on the phone for the best possible picture. This new field of computational photography offers some exciting possibilities. It is widely expected that many manufacturers will make the leap to triple-sensor cameras on their new flagship phones. The extra sensor could allow improved low-light pictures. We also expect to see additional image stabilisation built into these cameras, allowing steady photos and videos even when filming handheld.

Enhanced Privacy Protection

2018 will be remembered as the year in which consumers finally became aware of the huge volume of information held on them by social media giants and advertising companies. This trove of data contains details about almost every aspect of their lives, and a number of scandals involving large companies has shown that this data can be quite easily lost, stolen or used for political purposes. Many customers are now showing an increased desire to control their own personal information more closely and protect how it is used. Apple is taking a leading role in this movement, restricting heavily the extent to which advertisers can track their customers. It is becoming much more common for users to install their own ad-blocking software measures. We can expect hardware and software companies to take notice of this trend in the next year and cater to people who place a high premium on digital privacy.

Fully Waterproof Phones

In the last number of years, a number of manufacturers have made advancements in increasing the protection offered by smartphones against water damage. This is becoming increasingly necessary for premium flagship phones as the price has increased sharply over the last few generations. For example, the iPhone X now starts at over A$1500. Most high-end phones offer some level of water-resistance, which means they will survive brief exposure to liquids. Now manufacturers seek to make the phones entirely waterproof. This will involve careful engineering of the charging port and the grilles used for the speaker and microphone. It is not a simple task to make these ports functional but also keep out any liquids. This is one of the most-requested features from customers, as anyone who has fallen into a pool with a phone in their pocket knows.

Faster Internet With 5G

A consortium of chip fabricators and phone manufacturers has been planning to make 2019 the year in which 5G will be properly integrated into smartphones for the first time. Qualcomm, who designs and sells the modems used in most phones, has indicated that they will have a consumer-level chip available in large numbers to facilitate this rollout. 5G, which will be a substantial upgrade over existing 4G networks, will potentially offer speeds one thousand times faster with latency speeds of less then one millisecond. Users could see downloads running at over 10 Gbps, allowing movies to be sent to your device in seconds. It should be noted that even if new smartphones contain 5G chips, it will take time for the necessary and expensive network upgrades to be performed, meaning these speeds may not be widely available until 2020.

Augmented Reality

The latest smartphones have a killer combination of high-resolution cameras, speedy graphic chips and fast processors. After the addition of motion tracking, along with the 3D depth-projection and scanning systems used for facial recognition, all the pieces are now in place for augmented reality software to succeed. Also known as AR, it refers to the combining of computer-generated images and real-world pictures or data into a single image. One of the first successful examples of this is Apple’s animojis, animated emojis using the front-facing camera and the 3D scanner to make onscreen characters that can exactly copy the voice and facial expressions of the user. The major game development studios are also working on games which use this same technology to overlay the gameplay onto real-life settings. This is an area with enormous potential to change the way people interact with their phones.

Under-Screen Sensors

The decision by Apple to move to a notch-based design was due to the trade-offs inherent in making the bezel as slim as possible, but also preserving the front-facing camera and some form of biometric identification for security. Some manufacturers chose to shift the fingerprint reader to the back of the phone. Others moved the selfie camera to the bottom lip of the phone, saving space but providing an unflattering angle for photos. The next year should see the first generation of fingerprint readers and front cameras which are directly integrated into the screen itself. Prototypes have already been demonstrated, and this technology is expected to be popular with phone companies and customers alike over the next year. The development of these integrated sensors will also allow the continued shrinking of phone bezels, a style trend which has been a strong driver of new phone sales.

Tough Sapphire Screens

Most manufacturers currently use Gorilla Glass in their phones, a special form of toughened glass which is extremely solid and durable. Apple and other companies have been testing out the potential of sapphire displays. Sapphire is extremely hard and resistant to scratches, but currently it is difficult to manufacture in the large quantities required for smartphones. HTC actually shipped a premium phone in 2017 using such a display but it was only sold in very small numbers. If the manufacturing challenges involved in making large flat-panel sapphire sheets can be overcome, then customers will be offered a much more durable and scratch-proof screen made from the same material currently used in luxury watches.

Call us today at 03 9555 5502 and get a free quote on repairs from our specialists. Sending in your phone or arranging a pick-up is easy with our online booking form.

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Wireless Charging Is Here To Stay!

Wireless Charging Is Here To Stay!

Once upon a time, the tech world clamoured for a connected environment. Of course, that meant connecting with wires but today, the same wires are increasingly perceived as a nuisance. As one of the most important functions of the smartphone, charging has traditionally been done by plugging into a power source via cable but it turns out that people are tired of that method. Earlier iterations of the wireless charging systems were quite clumsy and typically worked with one or two of the major standards.

It actually took some time to catch on with brands like Apple lagging behind until recently. The technology giant’s spokesman, Phil Schiller once argued that “having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated”. This position has changed with Apple wholeheartedly adopting the technology in its latest phones. Android phones were faster in adopting this technology but its spread was somewhat limited but today, there is an acceleration and this is expected to increase this year with the emerging high-end phones.

Many people may wonder what the technology is about. Here is a peek into the world of wireless charging.

What wireless charging really means
Alternatively known as inductive charging, this system of charging allows you to charge your mobile device conveniently and wirelessly. In order to function, there are two requirements;
A charger: This is typically in the designed like a mat or stand which has a direct connection to a power source
A device (mobile e.g. smartphone) that is wireless charging-compatible.
Apparently, wireless charging gives the smartphone freedom from cables but not from a direct connection to a power source. Secondly, the device must be compatible with wireless charging as the technology has been adopted but yet to gain widespread usage.

Wireless Charging Standards
While Qi (by Wireless Power Consortium) is fast becoming the most popular standard for wireless charging, it must be noted that other systems exist and these include PMA and Airfuel Alliance standards.
Qi’s edge over its competitors would be its adoption by iconic brands such as Apple.

The Pros of Wireless Charging
Convenience: All you need to do with a wireless charger is to place your phone without having to worry about cables and stretching to plug in. Additionally, you do not have to worry about the wires getting worn out or breaking internally.
Continuous Charging: Unlike using a wired charger, whenever you place your phone on the wireless charger, it adds to its battery power. No need to plug in; simply set it down casually and be assured that battery power is being increased instantly.
Speed: As the technology improved, wireless charging also improved in charging speed. If you have a five-watt charger, you can be assured of charging just as fast as a 5-watt/1 Amp wall charger.

Phones that are manufactured with wireless charging capability

– Apple iPhone: 8, 8 Plus, X
– Samsung Galaxy: S9, S9+, Note 8, S8, S8+, S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6, S6 Edge
– LG: V30, G6 (US version only), G4 (optional), G3 (optional)
– Microsoft Lumia: 1520, 1020, 930, 929, 928, 920
– Google Nexus: 4, 5, 6, 7 (2013)

However, if your phone was not manufactured with wireless charging capabilities, there is a walk-around for it. You will need to use an adapter to connect the wireless charger. If you are using an Android phone, you need to use the micro USB port. If it is an iPhone, it will use its lightening port. The phones listed below can work with adapter to link a wireless charger.

– Apple: iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 5S
– Samsung: Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2
– Microsoft: Lumia 930, Lumia 925, Lumia 830
– Sony: Xperia Z3, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z

Technological Advancements
Even after the technology became commercially available, it still needed to increase in convenience of use. Here are a few areas where further strides have been taken so far.

Faster Charging: One argument against wireless charging has been its speed of charging but Powermat is currently working on making its chargers at least 2.5 times faster than those currently available. While 15-watt wireless chargers are looking feasible today, very soon, 40-watt chargers may also hit the market. According to a Powermat spokesman, Aya Kantor, “When we talk about the next generation….We’re talking about 30 watts [of power]” While this falls short of the desired 40-watt wireless charger that the market desires, it will still be able to take a phone from zero to hundred percent charge in just twenty-five minutes. This is not bad. The spokesman further states that “We do expect that in two or three years down the line we’re going to see devices charging at those [40-watt] speeds,” Surely, there is a lot to anticipate.

Distance Charging: Right now, a phone would typically have to be placed on the wireless charger to get charged but passive over-the-air charging is an area that some companies have explored. This just requires a device to be paired with the charger and sitting within range. The innovations in this field are truly amazing, including the use of radio frequencies to reach devices as far as three feet away from the charging device. If this beats your imagination, then try another device that claims to deliver power over radio waves within a thirty-feet radius. The innovation that takes the trophy here however is one that already has approval from the U.S Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and capable of delivering charging power to devices within eighty feet. Although it is not a phone-specific device, it indicates that the technology can be used for phones pretty soon.

These are surely exciting times for smartphone users as innovations are becoming increasingly daring. It is no longer what has been achieved with innovation but what is even remotely possible. Necessity has typically spurred innovation, especially with mobile technology but now, we are seeing smartphone companies leveraging innovation from other fields to make life easier for users. It is certainly a win-win for lovers of smartphone technology.

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A Quick Guide To Mid-tier Smartphones

A Quick Guide To Mid-tier Smartphones

Smartphones have become an important staple of our daily lives. No longer are they luxury items sought out by the technologically minded. From communication and entertainment to navigation and banking, our phones play a pivotal role in many of our activities. However, their prices can be off-putting and downright prohibitive when it comes to top-notch devices. Choosing the right phone at an affordable price can be a cumbersome experience if you’re not familiar with the technical specifications and their meaning, and you might end up paying extra for features you don’t need.

This short guide will look at five smartphones priced below $500 AUD, highlighting their features and explaining the difference between them. In this price range, these devices often eschew state-of-the-art bells and whistles and yet are powerful enough to allow for a hassle-free experience.

The phones we propose are the Samsung Galaxy A5, the Motorola G5 Plus, the Huawei P9, the HTC U Play and the Oppo R9s. At a glance, they are very similar devices, roughly the same size, although aesthetically different.

Display

Screen sizes in these devices are the same, 5.2”, except for the Oppo R9s, 5.5”. Screen size is important if you plan to do a lot of reading on your phone or if you want to use it to watch movies or TV shows. Of course, a larger screen means a bulkier phone you’ll have to carry around.

When it comes to resolution, full HD is as far as you’re going to get at this price range. This means a picture 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high, also known as Full HD. If it’s any consolation, lower resolutions aren’t too noticeable in smaller screens. The difference between 4K and FHD on a 55’’ TV would be huge, whereas on a phone screen it might require closer inspection to even notice.

The biggest difference between these phones is the technology used for the screen. Broadly speaking, the two different options are AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) and IPS LCD (In-Plane Switching Liquid Crystal Display). Without going into technical detail, LCD’s present a sharper image, brighter colors and a wider viewing angle. On the flip side, it uses more power, and its components require more space, which means thicker phones. AMOLED shows darker blacks and higher contrast and requires no backlighting, which means less energy consumption. However, AMOLED’s have a shorter lifespan than LCD’s, are generally more expensive, and aren’t environment-friendly.

There is no consensus on which is better, so you’ll need to look at each kind of display for yourself the next time you’re out shopping.

Camera

One would usually think that a higher megapixel count is all that matters, but you must also take into consideration that a lower resolution camera might still have better sensors, shutters and focus speeds than their higher resolution counterparts. This translates into better pictures in different conditions, such as low light and moving objects. For example, the A5 has a higher megapixel count than the Huawei P9, both on the frontal and the selfie camera, but the P9 boasts a Leica dual lens setup that allows for more professional pictures. That said, larger megapixel counts are required to take higher resolution video, like 2K.

CPU and RAM

These two components determine how fast your phone works and how many tasks it can handle at a given time. Although bigger numbers are usually better, you may not see too much difference between a phone with 3 GB of RAM and one with 4 GB.

On the CPU side, more cores (quad-core, hexa-core, octa-core) with larger clock speeds (gigahertz, or GHz) mean a better phone. The apps in your phone don’t use all of the CPU’s cores at the same time, though, and a phone with four decent cores (> 2.0 GHz) and four smaller ones might be enough for your needs. For example, the Motorola G5 Plus has eight 2 GHz cores, while the HTC U Play has only four at that speed, the remaining four being clocked at 1.1 GHz. A regular user might not even tax the phone’s resources enough see a difference in performance.

Storage

Most of these phones come with 32 GB of storage, except for the Oppo R9s, which comes with 64 GB. You can expand this storage space by purchasing a microSD card, to add up to 256 GB extra space. Whether or not you want to do this depends on how you plan to use your phone. If you prefer to download all of your music, movies and TV shows, you’ll definitely need the additional card. On the other hand, if you usually stream this content using services like Spotify or Netflix, then you might get by with just the base storage space.

Battery

Battery capacity is expressed in miliamperes hour (mAh), and the higher the better. It means how much energy the battery can output in an hour. Non-replaceable lithium-ion batteries have become the norm, and the one aspect you should look out for is if it allows for fast charging. All of the phones have 3000 mAh batteries, except for the HTC U Play, which comes up short at 2500 mAh.

SIM Cards

All of these devices allow you to use two different SIM cards. This card holds your phone line data, such as your carrier and your phone number. Some people prefer to have separate numbers, one for personal use and one for their business. Having them on the same phone is obviously practical. The HTC U Play and the Oppo R9s cut some corners and only let you do one of two things: you can either expand the storage space with a microSD card, or you can use a second SIM card. Since they use the same slot, you’ll have to pick one.

In the end, you must choose the phone and phone plan that feels right for you. Most stores will have a display where you can examine each device and test out the camera, display, speeds, etc. You might find that a feature that many people prefer is actually not for you, as might be the case with the different kinds of displays. Hopefully, the information provided here will help you get the phone that best suits your needs.

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Why You Should Repair Rather Than Replace Your Smartphone

Why You Should Repair Rather Than Replace Your Smartphone

Gadgets don’t last forever, smartphones included. Whether you spill a liquid on it or accidentally drop it from your hand, your smartphone will finally succumb to damage at some point in time. The big question is, “will you choose to fix or replace your gadget when its day of reckoning comes?” Yes, the smartphone world is growing bigger by day due to technological advancement, and if you have seen the sexy and sleek curves of the latest handsets, then you probably understand what this means. But you don’t have to purchase every new device that comes on the market no matter how appealing it may be. Certainly, you have other needs to meet, and saving your cash may just be “smart.”

Unless your phone is due for an upgrade, it’s more advantageous to repair than replace it. The advantages of a smartphone repair include the following:

1. It Is Cheaper to Repair Than Replace

Consider this scenario: you just bought a smartphone that you have been admiring for many years. The handset accidentally falls down after only three months of use. You pick it up, but the screen has sustained a crack. You examine the phone and realize that other features are intact. Yes, the gadget does not appeal to you anymore, but do you have to ditch it and acquire a new one? You don’t have to. Typically, it will cost you more to replace your damaged handset than repair it. The truth of the matter is that no one wants to spend money unless it is necessary. Some smartphone damages are so minor that you don’t have to spend your cash buying a new handset. For instance, a cracked screen can easily be replaced without compromising the quality of your phone.

2. Data Preservation

Your smartphone is as good the data contained in it. Remember, you just don’t want to lose the video that was taken on your wedding day. If you took a photo with Leo Messi, one of the most talented, if not the most talented soccer player to ever kick the ball, you probably understand that some events happen once in a lifetime. Losing such a photo may mean more than you can imagine. And yes, many people may argue that phone data is something that can be recovered, but let us get real here- the recovery is possible if you have the data backup. If you don’t have the backup, then losing your gadget means losing your data. Even if you have a backup, you will still need to spend the better part of your time transferring the data to your new gadget if you chose replacement over repair. But is the transfer worth the time? Time is a scarce resource that should be utilized wisely. It is never recovered once it passes.

3. You Don’t Have to Learn Using Your Repaired Gadget

If you decide to replace your damaged handset with a new one, chances are that you may purchase a different handset. Remember, phone technology is so dynamic that new phones with more improved and admirable features are coming up every day. From a psychological point of view, an unknown stimulus object raises the curiosity of a human being more than a known one, and this is the nature of the human mind. However, a completely new handset comes with some responsibilities. It is not the phone you are used to. Probably, the phone has new features that you have never seen or used before. You will need time to study, understand, and use such features. It is a different story when it comes to repairing your phone. The repair does not come with any new features or functions, meaning that you will continue using your phone as you have always done.

4. Choosing a Good Smartphone Repair Service Provider

Repairing your smartphone can be the best choice for fixing your gadget problems if it is done right. Remember, repairing your handset means entrusting someone else with the gadget that means a lot to you. You just don’t want your phone to spoil any further. But how do you choose the right service provider that suits your needs? To answer this question, there are several qualities you need to look for in a good smartphone repair service provider. They include:

5. Reputation of the Service Provider

When choosing a suitable repair service provider, go to a credible provider with a good reputation. You can establish if the service provider has a good reputation by looking at the comments that people make about his service. If the service provider had a forum where clients post comments, be sure to access such forums. If you know of any person who has had his phone repaired by the service provider you are just about to hire, be sure to ask that person about the service provider.

6. Convenience

Do you have to travel 100 miles just to have your phone repaired? If your smartphone has a problem, you probably need it fixed within the shortest time possible. Go to a repair service provider who is near you. However, you don’t have to compromise the quality of the service because of distance.

7. Price

This is probably the most important factor to consider. Why not purchase a new smartphone if the cost of repair is almost equal to the cost of a new gadget? Some service providers may take advantage of your ignorance and charge you more than it is necessary. You need to be careful here. Compare repair prices from various service providers to ensure you end up with a fair price.

8. Bottom Line

Making a decision to replace or repair your smartphone is understandably not easy. In fact, it is a discussion that seems never to end any time soon. Most smartphones are made of delicate glass fronts. Glass is the preferred material for obvious reasons: it allows for a thinner front assembly and precise use of a touchscreen. These fronts can easily be replaced when they crack. Also, other common smartphone problems, including water damages, can easily be fixed without replacing your entire handset.

 

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