Cellphone contracts have made us accustomed to replacing our mobile devices every two years, following the length of the average mobile contract – 24 months. But is it really necessary to spend exorbitant amounts on a new phone and contract when the one you’re currently using is still in good running order?
When it comes to a cellphone’s lifespan, the way it is used will dictate how long it can be used for.
In this regard, a few factors influence the longevity of a device:
How often and how it is used and maintained
Most of us use our smartphones daily, and while our devices are built to handle heavy usage, we don’t pay much attention to the way we take care of these gadgets, even if they are often crucial in our business and our personal lives.
Proper cellphone maintenance entails regularly cleaning it with a microfibre cloth and an alcohol-based cleaning fluid, made specifically for electronic devices. Take care not to use too much cleaning fluid, and refrain from pressing down too hard on the screen when cleaning it. Turn the phone off before cleaning and only turn it back on once the device is completely dry.
With regards to daily use, pay attention to how hard you press on the display, and avoid leaving or using the phone in extremely warm (like the car on a hot day) or cold environments, which can cause damage to the device and its battery.
How often the phone is charged
One of the biggest culprits affecting how long a cellphone can be used is its internal battery. Most mobile manufacturers state that the lithium-ion battery inside their phones has an average lifespan of between 300 and 500 charging cycles, or three years, after which the battery capacity will drop by approximately 20%. While a drop in capacity doesn’t mean that the phone will not be able to work anymore, it does mean that it will require more frequent charging, which can impede the way it is used daily.
In terms of charging your device to extend its battery life, it is advisable to unplug your phone once it reaches 80% to 100% of its charging capacity. Leaving the device on charge can lead to overheating and unnecessary wear and tear on the battery.
Reduce the number of charge cycles on your phone by turning down screen brightness, turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them, and preventing apps from running in the background unnecessarily, draining the battery.
Damage to the display and device
Smashed and cracked screens are among some of the most common ways in which a phone can be damaged, while water damage is another recurrent smartphone ailment.
Protecting your device with a high-quality cellphone case cushions it from everyday falls, while a tempered glass screen protector will prevent the screen from cracking or smashing upon impact. These measures won’t break the bank, but will certainly go a long way in ensuring that you can use the device for longer without having to fork out cash on repairs or replacements in case of an accidental drop.
Is it really necessary to replace your cellphone every two years? Proper device maintenance, battery management and protection will help to extend the lifespan of your mobile device.
If you feel like you’re spending too much on your cellphone contract, consider prepaid once your current contract comes to an end. Proper cellphone care and a prepaid solution mean you won’t just save the money you would have spent on a new device, but you’ll also be able to manage your mobile spending more efficiently as you go.