Getting the Most from Your Gadgets:

Tips for Promoting Device Longevity

It’s no secret that technology is continually changing and challenging the ways we live, work and even think, with access to all the world quite literally at our fingertips.

Today’s business leaders and working professionals are no longer bound to the office for connectivity and productivity. Instead, the workplace has become a fluid concept as devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops allow for constant accessibility to information and each other, both in and out of the office.

Some companies issue devices for employee use; others require employees to bring their own. But one thing is certain: technology has become an integral part of how we do business, and it is essential that our devices serve us well, for as long as possible. The rub? Devices inevitably break. Whether you rely on technology for personal or professional use, you’re bound to face a shattered screen, waterlogged phone or unexplained software crash at some point or another. What you choose to do next can affect your device and your wallet in a big way.

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Devices Break — It’s Inevitable

Amidst an extremely competitive landscape, manufacturers are under constant pressure to design devices that are slimmer and sleeker, often with larger screens, thinner framework and more exposed glass. Historically, device upgrades tend to sacrifice durability for the sake of aesthetics, causing consumers and businesses to spend more money on increasingly vulnerable products.

Only recently have manufacturers started reinvesting in durability alongside appearance, introducing water- and shatter-resistant models. In doing so, however, manufacturers inadvertently encourage users to take greater risks with their devices, bringing them into more threatening environments than before.

It is important to remember that water-resistant is not the same as waterproof, much to many users’ chagrin. That being said, all devices are subject to break—it’s just a matter of when. In too many cases, a broken device means more money in the manufacturer’s pocket as users pay to replace; however, savvy consumers know that repair is typically a more cost-effective alternative.

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At uBreakiFix, a leading device repair franchise across the U.S., the majority of repairs performed on mobile devices costs less than 25 percent of the total price to replace the device. A well-maintained device should serve three to four years of good usage before it truly necessitates replacement. What’s more, every wireless carrier requires customers to pay off any remaining installments on the existing device before allowing an upgrade. This buyout can add as much as hundreds of dollars on top of the cost of a new device. Whether you’re a business preparing to go paperless, or an individual eyeing a new smartphone, it’s important to understand your device’s potential in order to make the most of your investment.

Dispelling the Myths

In the last five to 10 years, the DIY trend has become increasingly popular, particularly among millennials. Today’s tech-savvy, independent and budget-conscious consumers often turn to online resources for quick fixes to many day-to-day problems; however, when it comes to tech-related issues, DIY can often do more harm than good.

One of the biggest tech repair myths is the old “rice trick”––a method for drying out a waterlogged device by submerging it in uncooked rice. Contrary to popular belief, the rice trick never works to resolve water damage. Rice is ineffectual at absorbing water vapor, meaning the device will eventually succumb to corrosion and stop working. What’s worse? The damage will worsen the longer you wait to seek professional repair. Any water-damaged device needs to be completely disassembled by a professional service in order to properly clean and dry each individual component. This is the only proven chance of revival for a water-damaged device. Next time, ditch the rice and get your phone to a professional as soon as possible.

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Another tech repair myth? Shattered screens—they’re often dismissed as a mere cosmetic issue, but a shattered screen can actually pose a major threat to your phone’s internal functionality. The screen protects several important components of the phone directly beneath it. Without the screen intact, dirt, oils, moisture and debris can work their way into the cracks and damage components like the camera and the LCD display, resulting in a more difficult and expensive repair the longer you wait.

Invest in Prevention

The best way to save money down the road is to invest upfront in quality accessories.

For starters, pair a shockproof case with a tempered glass screen to protect against daily wear and tear; however, if your devices face regular exposure to the elements, consider a more rugged, waterproof option. There is a wide range of cases on the market to suit any style or budget. Additionally, it’s important to purchase quality charging accessories. Inexpensive cables often use a lower amperage (current) and can damage a phone’s battery over time. When in doubt, consult a professional to find the right accessories to fit your device and needs.

Get More for Your Money

Looking to get even more bang for your buck? Consider a long-term B2B partnership with a trusted repair professional for access to on-call, convenient tech repair and consultation. Corporate partnerships are especially beneficial for hospitals, schools and other businesses that require regular care and maintenance for a large volume of devices. Repair partners can help with repairs, installations, upgrades and more to keep devices healthy and productivity high.

Devices break—it’s what they do. The next time your device takes a trip or a dip, think twice about your options before paying hand over fist for a replacement.

Mike Melito owns uBreakiFix tech repair retail centers in Metairie and Uptown New Orleans, with plans to open six additional locations in the metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets. Melito joined uBreakiFix in 2016, after more than 25 years of experience in the technology sphere.


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