How to protect the environment and extend the life of your smartphone
Electronics requires rare earth, very polluting to extract and politically sensitive. As for metals such as cobalt or tantalum, they have too often emerged from the ground under deplorable conditions. The vast majority of the CO² emitted by a smartphone during its lifetime comes from its manufacture.
Our advice is to keep your device as long as possible and only change it when you need it. Here are all our tips to make sure your smartphone has a long life.
Choosing the right phone
A new and recent device deserves to spend at least 150 to 250 euros, but some raise this figure to 400 euros, which corresponds to the mid-range. No matter how much you choose to spend, since you will keep the phone longer.
For environmental considerations, it may be an excellent option to buy a used or refurbished smartphone. For all owners combined, their lives will have been much longer. Refurbished phones are half recycled, half new versions of the devices.
When you want to change your phone, if it still works properly, you can sell it on the second-hand market or give it to someone. An appliance that is permanently out of service must finally be recycled or reconditioned. Recycling is a last resort.
Protect the smartphone from the elements
To protect the screen, which is often the first element to break in a smartphone, stick a good quality protective film on it. If the screen still cracks, it should be repaired as soon as possible, either by yourself or through a repairer. Dust can seep into the breaches and damage the underlying elements.
It’s essential to keep your smartphone clean. They are best cleaned with a microfiber cloth, as with eyeglasses, and do not like contact with cleaning products or damp wipes. Dust tends to accumulate in speakers and connectors, which can cause them to malfunction. All this must be blown out with a compressed air bomb, available from electronics retailers.
In everyday life, it is better to keep the phone safe from extreme conditions. In addition to not dropping it into the water, it must also be kept away from moisture, being careful in the rain, for example. The sand is abrasive and can damage the connectors. Finally, very cold or hot temperatures can damage the battery, and leaving your smartphone in the sun is not suitable for the screen.
Taking care of the battery
You can let the battery drop to a few percent charges, although it’s good to keep a little more margin. Leaving the smartphone connected 100% for a long time, at night, usually is not a problem (even if it is useless): the charging stops automatically when the battery is full.
Limiting the energy consumed is also an effective strategy, although a little constraining daily, and is very useful when the battery ages. Energy management applications exist, although there is no consensus on their effectiveness. Effective measures include manually reducing brightness, avoiding vibrating mode, or disabling GPS and other mobile connections when not in use.
When the battery is dead, it must be replaced. The procedure is more or less easy to do at home, and it is a cheap option if the smartphone is no longer under warranty. Otherwise, all repairers offer this kind of service.