Got a new gadget? Before you take it out on the road, read these tips first to ensure that your investment will last for a long time.
Get a durable case.
The first line of defense against physical damage to your gadget is the right protective or carrying case. And this rings true whether you have a smartphone, laptop, or camera.
This is doubly important if you’re fond of going outdoors or if you’re an extreme sports enthusiast. A tough smartphone case like the ones produced by Otterbox or Lifeproof can resist strong impacts and dirt when you’re trekking or hiking. It can also help prevent your smartphone from getting bent.
And while your GoPro is waterproof when inside its case while shooting, it’s a different story when in transit. That’s where the SANDMARC Active Case comes in, as it’s designed to transport the popular pocket-sized action camera without any hassle.
Don’t leave gadgets on your dashboard, especially on hot summer days.
For starters, you should not leave your valuable gadgets inside your car. This practice can attract thieves who may end up breaking into your vehicle to steal your smartphone.
However, that’s not the only reason to bring your phone with you or keep it safe and secure in the glovebox. If left on a hot dashboard, your smartphone may actually end up overheating. This can damage the battery and throttle the CPU chip of your smartphone, leading to poor performance.
Have a regular maintenance and cleanup schedule, both inside and out.
Maintenance—both in the virtual and physical sense—is a must to keep your gadgets working properly. It starts with the virtual side of things, such as removing old files and defragmenting your laptop. The same applies to smartphones—deleting apps that you don’t use will help speed up your phone.
After the digital cleanup, it’s time to get physical. You can use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust in the inner crevices of your laptop, as any dust buildup can cause your computer to overheat. A microfiber rag is also handy for removing dirt off the screen of your laptop or smartphone.
Removing dirt is also important for cameras, as specs of dust can infiltrate the lens—which, unfortunately, you can’t just wipe off. For these cases, you’d need to bring your camera to a professional for cleaning.
Charge before your battery hits 0%.
Sure, charging is as simple as attaching one end of the charger cable to your gadget and plugging the other end to a wall socket. But you can extend the life of your gadget’s battery if you don’t let battery power levels fall down to 0% before charging.
As PCAdvisor.com notes, emptying the battery is only advised for older nickel-based batteries, whose capacities shrink when charged without being drained. However, today’s gadgets are powered by Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries; doing a full recharge every time will actually shorten its lifespan.
Only use accessories from reputable manufacturers.
Let’s face it—some third-party manufacturers cut corners when it comes to producing accessories. Hence, instead of improving your smartphone, camera, or laptop, that accessory may even end up damaging it. As this article from The Guardian notes, a Google engineer who was testing USB-C cables had his laptop fried by a defective model.
That’s why it’s important to stick to those from same brand as your smartphone or those from reputable manufacturers. While they may often be more expensive, it’s the price for peace of mind and an intact gadget. (Thankfully, we have a good range of original accessories available.)
Another good example of an accessory you shouldn’t skimp on is a charger. Cheap chargers like the ones sold on the streets may not only damage your equipment. They can be also unsafe—faulty chargers were responsible for a fire back in December 2015, which claimed the lives of 4 people. So if you really want to stay on the safe side, original is the way to go.