You may be able to avoid buying a new phone

Fixing a Broken Smart Phone

by Ben Allen

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When cell phones were first being produced, they were built to last. Some phones, like the Nokia 3310, still work today, even after nearly two decades of abuse and use.

Now, though, smartphones are fragile. All it takes is a single unlucky drop and the screen could shatter, making the phone unpleasant to use or even useless. That's not the only thing that could ruin a smartphone. Viruses, worn out batteries, updates using up your phone's memory, and just general wear and tear are all things that could transform your phone into a very expensive paper weight. Here are some common problems smartphones have and possible solutions for each.

The Broken Screen Dilemma

Cracked and broken screens have gone hand in hand with smartphones since day one. Even the best screen protectors and phone cases fail, so repairing a broken screen is something everybody should know how to do.

The first step to getting a damaged screen fixed is checking any warranties you have with the phone. If you have purchased an extra warranty for your phone to cover physical damage, it's as simple as sending your phone in to get it fixed. However, before you do this, backup any important information or precious photos so they don't get lost. This can be done on a computer, or there are many ways to back up your files online for free.

If you didn't buy that warranty, then you will have to pay a bit to get your phone fixed. A replacement screen is typically around $100 to $200, and if you want to do it yourself, you will need some specialized tools. There are tons of DIY resources online for fixing a phone with step-by-step guides to help.

Yo can always take a broken screen to a repair shop if you are afraid of DIY. There are small repair shops in every town, but you can also send phones to an online shop. The differences often come in price and how long you go without your phone. A local shop is typically more expensive, but you can get your phone back in a few days or even a few hours, while an online shop can take up to a week to finish.

Fixing a Broken Smart Phone

Phone Is Working Slowly

Over time, a phone's performance goes downhill. This includes apps taking longer to open, the phone acting sluggish, and maybe even the phone not turning on. A little bit of slowdown is expected over the lifetime of a phone, but if it ever gets to the point where it's annoying or makes the phone impossible to use, something is clearly wrong.

First, check the storage and memory on your phone. If your phone's storage is full, delete some unwanted files and photos and move the rest to a computer or a cloud drive. If that doesn't work, check the memory of your phone.

Memory is different from storage, as it is what runs and operates applications. That includes your phone's operating system, apps, and performing any other functions. If your phone is running out of memory, you'll need to delete apps that use up excess memory, or try to close unused apps more often.

A last resort solution is to hard reset your phone. This will wipe everything from your phone's memory and make it how it was when you first bought it. Doing this gives you a fresh chance with your phone.

To reset an iPhone, follow the steps below:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on General
  • Select Reset
  • Choose "Erase all content and settings"

Resetting an Android phone differs among brands and phone types, but here is the general way to do it:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on Backup and Reset
  • Click on Factory Reset
  • Confirm that you want to reset your phone

Have you decided to hire a pro? Try Amazon Home Services.

When to Throw in the Towel

In some instances, there is no saving a smartphone. Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and get a new phone or get it repaired by a professional. But this shouldn't be the first step taken. There is a lot that can be done to help make your phone last longer and perform better. That includes protecting your screen and replacing it when it cracks, only having apps you use on a consistent basis installed, and upload files off of your phone to free up storage.

If you do have to get a new phone, find out if you can trade in your old phone to help offset the cost. When jumping to a new carrier, they will sometimes buy out your old contract and let you start fresh, which could be very nice if you are still paying off your old phone.

Take the Next Step:

  • Decide if your phone can be repaired. Repair it as necessary.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

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