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external siteexternal site Few people have greater insight into the follies and foibles of humans than smartphone repair technicians.(Image: Sure, Shakespeare is the master when it comes to cutting observations on human nature, but the people who repair our phones see us at our most vulnerable—mangled hardware in palms, usually with some embarrassing and revelatory mistake to confess. The world is filled with potential tech treachery, so it’s best to act preemptively and wrap your phone in a protective case. Laxmi Agrawal of Cupertino iPhone Repair and Sam Shoman of SF Smart Wireless have seen it all. A client who dropped his phone in the snow and found it two months later in a puddle of snowmelt. A client whose phone was run over by a truck and brought it in with tire chain marks crushed onto the screen.

(Image: experience shows that even if you’ve vowed to be careful, the world is filled with potential tech treachery, so it’s best to act preemptively and wrap your phone in a protective case. We talked to these two experts who have witnessed the most harrowing smartphone horror stories, and they offered some advice you can use to avoid witnessing your own.(Image: The most common problem that Agrawal says brings customers to repair shops is shattered glass screens. Screens are particularly vulnerable to shattering if the point of impact is at a corner of the phone, where force exerted on the glass is more concentrated.

For a baseline level of protection, choose a case made of a shock-absorbent material (like silicone or rubber) that covers your phone’s vulnerable corners. Shoman advises smartphone owners against plastic cases, which do not effectively absorb shock and are likelier to translate the impact onto the device itself. Beyond that, what you buy depends on how and where you use your phone. A slim case may be all you need if you’re confident you’ll only subject your phone to everyday bumps and minor drops. Try a translucent slim case like Peel’s cases for iPhones, Google Pixel handsets, and Samsung Galaxy devices to show off your phone’s design. Cases with thick, bulky shells add more weight and absorb greater shock.

Agrawal recommends these cases for younger phone users. “Teenagers are very much prone to break their phones,” she says, noting stories of younger customers dropping or stepping on their phones. For teens (or let’s face it, grown adults) who prefer heavy-duty protection, Agrawal recommends OtterBox brand cases. OtterBox offers cases for iPhone and a wide variety of Android phones.(Image: The hallmark of the OtterBox brand is the “Defender” series cases, which undergo a rigorous series of tests for durability. The Defender Series Case for the iPhone 8/7, for example, is a full-coverage case that offers a durable polycarbonate shell, flaps that shield charging ports, touchscreen protection, and a holster. The case weighs in at 4.6 ounces, and it gives your phone the hardy air of a miniature Transformer.

In Agrawal’s experience, water damage is less common than screen damage, though she notes that aquatic accidents tend to co-occur with long weekends and summers, when swimmers mistakenly take their phones along for a dip. If you can’t resist the call of the sea, Pelican’s Marine cases for iPhone and Android offer waterproof, drop-tested cases that withstand surprise dunks. If you’re constantly stretching the limits of your phone’s battery, Mophie offers cases that double as chargers. For non-iPhone users, specialized phone cases can be more difficult to find. Shoman, an Android user himself, observes that many phone case companies design products solely for iPhones.

For people who don’t use iPhones and have specialized needs, Shoman recommends consulting with a local phone repair shop to have a customized case built. Should You Use a Screen Protector? Phone accessory retailers often carry screen protectors, which adhere directly to the phone’s touchscreen surface.(Image: Our experts recommend investing in tempered glass screen protectors, which deflect scratches more effectively than plastic screen protectors. Shoman recommends his clients look for screen protectors with a 9H hardness rating. “It’s the perfect thickness, and you still get that high-definition clarity in the screen,” he says. But Agrawal and Shoman warn that screen protectors’ level of defense again damaging impacts is limited. While adhesive screen protectors effectively shield phones from direct force on the touch-screen, they don’t hold up as well when the phone is impacted from the sides or corners.

A tempered glass screen protector should be used in conjunction with a case. The experiences that our smartphones allow us to have (receiving the latest information, taking pictures we cherish, staying in touch with loved ones) are well worth protecting. But as phones become increasingly portable, we expose them to greater risks, from the elements to good ol’ human error. Agrawal and Shoman emphasize that while cases are the best way to preemptively protect your phone, no case is 100 percent foolproof. Shoman’s no-nonsense advice for smartphone owners: “Honestly just be on it less. Keep it in your pocket. When you buy something using the retail links in our buying guides, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read more about how this works. Want Facebook to censor speech?

It also has a faster OS and a much higher resolution and is one of the most powerful phones on the market. However as well as these boons it also features a niggling gripe - that being that it can't receive any signal when held for texting. This means that many people might opt for iPhone 3g repair rather than upgrading to iPhone four. There are other differences between iPhones too, and specifically this relates to the amount of memory they can store. Unlike most phones, iPhones have no expandable memory meaning you're stuck with what you've got which will normally be an 8 or 16 gigabyte hard drive.

Rarely is tech advice this cut and dried: If you bought an iPhone in 2016 or earlier, make an appointment at a Genius Bar as soon as possible. An Apple store or repair shop will pop the hood of your iPhone 6, 6s, SE or 7 and swap out the battery. Like a jalopy after a Jiffy Lube, a three-year-old iPhone with a fresh battery will not only run longer, chances are it will also run faster. Just hurry up and do it. When I showed up with an appointment at my closest Apple store on Jan. 3, there were so many others also trying to replace their batteries that I had to join a weeks-long waiting list. Your local shop might have more supply, but battling hordes for repair (rather than a sexy new phone) is an unusual experience at an Apple store. What’s the big deal?

50 off its standard battery fee in an extraordinary — but limited-time — effort to get back in our good graces. It got caught in December slowing iPhones with worn-out batteries — a move, it says, that keeps the phones from unexpectedly shutting down. If you always suspected your old iPhone was getting slower, you were right. But now there’s a fix. [Could Apple’s battery program encourage people to upgrade less often? This is going to cost Apple a lot more than just overtime at the Genius Bar. Once your phone get a fresh battery and the processor kicks back to 100 percent, there’s a chance you might not feel the need to upgrade your iPhone for a while. One analyst, Mark Moskowitz of Barclays, expects the battery offer could cause Apple to sell 16 million fewer new iPhones.

Still, inexpensive battery replacement is the right thing for Apple to do. A good reputation is its best selling point in an era where smartphone features are reaching parity. Battery life is most people’s No. 1 complaint about their phones, and maintenance is a long-overdue part to smartphone ownership. When Apple makes repairing phones as easy as buying new ones, it saves us money and it’s better for the environment. How do you know if you’d benefit from a new battery? Apple has promised a software update soon that gives us more visibility into battery health. For now, though, if your phone is really bad off there might be a warning message when you dig into the settings menu.

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