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Dhaka Tribune

Bored with your phone? Do these before buying a new one

Is it necessary to buy a new smartphone every two to three years? We don't think so

Update : 29 Mar 2023, 05:56 PM

Let's face it, smartphones are an integral part of daily life now. We spend most of our time staying connected to our loved ones or just scrolling through our social media feeds. 

All this screen time also means sooner or later you start to notice a lag and start thinking we need to upgrade our phones. 

Smartphones however are really expensive and also contribute to a lot of e-waste. Here are some things you can do to jazz up your phone and keep it lasting longer.

Apply a skin

For a new look, get a skin to transform your phone entirely. Get a transparent cover on top of that and you'll get a whole new looking phone for a fraction of the price. 

Skins will usually cost between Tk100 to Tk500, depending on the quality and where you live, and these are available for every smartphone that made its way into the Bangladeshi market. That's because instead of getting stickers for each model separately, they use a machine where they put the model number of your smartphone and the machine cuts the skin perfectly. 

Check your battery

A smartphone can easily last five years if you take good care of it. The first thing to look after is its battery. That's because lithium-ion batteries have a specific amount of charging cycles (one charge cycle is a complete charge and discharge). 

If you charge your phone once a day, it will retain at least 80% of its battery backup for the next two years. Sometimes, it can be low due to many external issues. Maybe you used your phone in an environment which is too cold or too hot. Maybe there were some accidents involved or something.

If you have any sort of battery issues, it is always better to go to your nearby mobile repair shop, preferably a renowned one, and just grab a new battery. 

It is not possible to name a price for batteries since there are one's available at Tk2,000 and some (Apple, obviously) above Tk8,000. 

A friendly piece of advice for all iPhone users, you may need to consider getting your phone to an Apple-authorized repair shop to replace your battery. You will continuously get annoying errors otherwise. 

Grab a new launcher

Something that Android users can do to get a new look out of their smartphones is installing a new launcher. There are hundreds of them available in Google Play Store. 

After using the most popular Nova Launcher for a few years, I decided to go for a minimalistic launcher named Ratio, and the experience was really nice. It helped me reduce my smartphone usage to almost half. 

If you are using an iPhone, you can try to customize your home skin as much as you can. Maybe use some widgets instead of direct app logos. No matter which operating system you are on, you always have options to make your smartphone look different. 

Stay updated

Whenever a new update rolls out, let it be an app or your entire OS, make sure to get that update. 

Apart from major bugs and security fixes, these updates also tend to make the app or the OS more stable and perform better. 

You can definitely wait for a couple of days when it comes to major updates, like an update from iOS 15 to 16 or Android 13 to 14. But all the other updates should be done as soon as possible. 

For Android devices that will no longer receive updates, you can grab a custom ROM to get a whole new look and experience. But since it requires you to unlock your bootloader and do some pretty risky things to your phone, please don't attempt doing any of this unless you have a clear idea about what you are doing. 

Repair parts

One day, you may notice that your microphone isn't working or maybe the speaker is making some funny noise while playing music. Just take it to a mechanic and you will be able to fix these issues by spending only a couple of bucks. 

Don't always assume that something wrong means you have to replace the entire phone. Your smartphone is made of many small parts that are replaceable and repairable. And many of them don't cost much. 

Besides battery issues, many people end up breaking their charging port. So the phone doesn't charge properly. You need to spend only Tk1,000, maybe Tk2,000 to fix such an issue in most mid-range Android smartphones that cost Tk20,000 to Tk25,000. 

Delete unnecessary apps, keep your memory clean

As you keep using a smartphone, you keep capturing lots of photos, keeping media files and installing apps. If you leave them, you will eventually run out of storage and your phone will become slow. 

Every two to three months, go through your phone and see if you need that app your friend recommended to you some three months ago during a party. If you don't need it, just delete it. 

Many smartphones come with unnecessary pre-installed apps. Delete them as soon as you get the phone. Some apps will automatically install other apps. You will have to delete those as well. 

For all your photos and videos, you can opt-in for any cloud storage like Google One. That way, you will have all your precious memories backed up on the cloud, and they won't occupy your smartphone storage anymore. 

Delay getting a new phone as long as you can

Modern smartphones come with incredibly powerful software and hardware and, with proper care, can easily last five years. 

You don't actually need to purchase a new phone unless it has become completely useless, or the money required to repair it is too much.

You can extend the life of your device by just replacing a few parts, regularly deleting trash, cleaning the body and purchasing new accessories. 

Besides, new smartphones get released each year with even more powerful specifications. If you can avoid buying a phone for a year, you will get an even better deal the year after. 


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