Phone Repairs: When to DIY and When to Use Services

It’s not an exaggeration to say that many people can’t live without their phones. If you’re among the 81% of adults who own a cell phone, you probably can’t imagine life without using your phone to call, send messages, do work, shop online, pay bills, or even date if you’re single. But what do you do if your phone gets damaged or has software issues? You have two options: fix the problem yourself, or bring it to a cell phone repair shop. Here are common issues your phone may have, how you can fix them, and which issues need an expert to repair.

  1. Battery Drains Quickly

Short battery life is a persistent problem that seems to be synonymous with iPhones. Apple itself published an article about how to maximize your iPhone’s battery life. Tips like keeping it away from high temperatures, don’t use “suffocating” cases when charging, and updating the software to the latest version are sound advice.

But one reason Apple won’t say why your iPhone loses charge quickly is because of its apps. Onboard apps like the location services and push email services can really drain your iPhone battery. To address this issue, you can change the settings so your device doesn’t constantly broadcast your location or collect emails when the device is “idle.” If your iPhone is over two years old, it could also be that the battery itself needs replacing—this is best fixed at a repair shop. As for Android phones, you can similarly change the settings like auto-brightness to “off,” turning off unnecessary notifications, shorten the screen timeout, and closing unused apps.

  1. Cracked Screen

If you dropped your iPhone or Android phone on the floor and its screen was cracked, you can attempt to replace the damaged screen yourself. Do note that this can void your phone’s warranty if it still has one, and it can be a very delicate and extremely complex procedure.

Apart from getting the right tools, you’ll need to know the exact procedure to carefully remove the broken screen and install the new one. Our advice? Don’t try this yourself, and get your phone to a repair shop. And if you think you can manage with a cracked touchscreen and continue using the phone, don’t. The broken shards of the touchscreen will eventually break off and cut your fingers or fall into the insides of the phone and cause more damage.

  1. Poor Signal

Poor reception for Wi-Fi or phone signal isn’t an issue with your phone; it’s usually due to the limitations of your service provider. You could be in a notorious dead spot where really no one can get a signal, or your Wi-Fi has too many devices already connected to it, and your bandwidth is bottle-necked. For Wi-Fi bottlenecks, you can disconnect other devices that aren’t used to free up some bandwidth for your phone. Should problems with the Wi-Fi and/or cell signal persist, contact your carrier or ISP. They will likely know the root of the problem and be aware of specific issues with your phone model or service.

You can also do a quick web search for people who have had the same issues and likely find the solution. But if after your research you find that your phone is really at fault, do a quick reboot. If the reboot still doesn’t solve the issue, try updating the software on your phone; your OS may be outdated. Should the issues persist, your phone or SIM card may be damaged, or the network itself has issues. Consult a technician if problems remain even after doing these measures.

  1. Constant Bugs or Erratic Performance

Should your phone exhibit strange behavior like the screen freezing up or apps shutting down suddenly, these can be due to various hardware and/or software issues that may be hard to pin down. Funny as it sounds, these are problems that can be fixed by turning off the device and then turning it on again. What this does is wipe your phone’s temporary memory cache of data; if apps are what’s causing your phone to act strange, the on-off-on measure frees up your phone’s memory for normal functions to use.

If your phone freezes up and you can’t get it to power down, do a hard factory reset. Should the same issues persist, it could be that the battery is too old and needs replacing or the charger is defective. The storage space on your phone could also be full, so transfer or delete files on your phone’s onboard memory.

You can fix most issues that have to do with your phone’s software by updating its operating system, closing memory-hogging apps, rebooting the device, or doing a hard factory reset. Most physical damage is best left to an expert technician at a qualified repair shop.

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