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Smartphones & gadgets

5 signs your smartphone is about to bite the dust

Though we are well into the digital age, many electronics are still large investments, extending beyond their price tags. From phones to tablets to computers, you spend time and money making your device yours. It has your stuff on it, and it’s set up to your liking.

Whether you use it for work, school, entertainment or any combination of these, a dying laptop is never a good thing. Before you break out your wallet and get a new one, check out our tips on diagnosing and possibly repairing your portable computer.

Your smartphone goes everywhere with you. It holds so much personal information and is capable of nearly anything. You picked the model, color and specs and now the poor thing is acting up. While not all symptoms indicate a phone needs to be replaced, here are five pretty bad signs.

1. Apps or phone constantly crashes

If you have a faulty app, check if it has an available update. If this doesn’t solve the problem, consider deleting it. You don’t need to delete an associated account, but this is the easiest and simplest fix. Try writing the developer and asking about it. Once the app is patched, you can download it again.

If your phone itself keeps crashing, it could mean a number of things. Tap or click here if your Android phone keeps restarting.

2. Damage to the display (not the glass)

While it’s easy to tell when the glass layer of your screen is broken (it looks like any other broken glass), damage to the screen itself is not always so obvious at first glance.

The screen could look fine, but you notice that the touch feature is faulty or not working at all. You may notice small black spots, blurring or discoloration. These are signs that the screen itself is damaged and needs to be replaced. You can do this yourself, but be warned that this could void your warranty or cause compatibility issues.

You can take it to an authorized repair center outside your manufacturer. If it’s an older phone, shop around for the best price, but it may be worth it to replace the entire phone. Replacing the screen costs more than just swapping in new glass.

3. Water or other internal damage

Most newer phones have some water resistance, but it can still seep inside. The first thing you need to do is turn your phone off to avoid shorts. Then wipe down the phone and tap it to shake the water out of any ports. Put the phone in front of a fan or place it in a bowl with silica gel packets to absorb moisture. Don’t use a hairdryer or rice.

After some time, try turning on your phone. It may work but still have problems. If you feel it’s fully dried and is still behaving strangely, you may have to get a new one.

When it comes to internal damage not related to the screen, there isn’t much you can do. Look for a refurbished replacement phone if you don’t want to shell out for a new one.

4. Overheating/bulging battery

If your phone is seriously overheating, shut down all apps and turn off Bluetooth, location services, Wi-Fi and background app refresh. You want to stop as many processes as you can to give the processor a break.

If this isn’t enough, unplug the phone from any charger or other device and remove the case if you have one. Put the phone in a cool, dry place and give it time to chill out. Do not stick it in the refrigerator.

If you have a swollen battery, that is more serious. You want to let the charge run down as far as possible before trying to remove the battery. If you feel resistance when trying to remove it, leave it alone and take the phone to a service center. Tap or click here to check out the apps that drain your battery the fastest.

5. Bricked

If your phone won’t turn on no matter what you do, it’s probably bricked. This might have happened if your phone was interrupted during a firmware update. A truly bricked phone is no easy fix, and the best option is to take it to a repair center. Be prepared to get the news that it needs to be replaced.

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