7 Smartphone Repair Myths Debunked – MakeUseOf

Put it in rice and chia seeds and walk backwards around the room three times to dry your phone out. That works, right?
Smartphones have become an inseparable part of modern life. We use them every day and for all sorts of purposes like communication, entertainment, navigation, business, and more. It's a gadget we simply can't do without.
When you drop your phone and damage the screen, or your phone keeps dying, your first instinct is to Google a solution or do something your co-worker or neighbor said would work.
While taking advice and following viral hacks might not always hurt your device, there are a few you should stay away from. In this article, we debunk some of the popular smartphone repair myths.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of phone repairs don't need a data wipe. Some of the most common phone damages are broken and chipped off screens, non-functional batteries and buttons, and water-related malfunction. For the most part, these hardware-related damages don't affect your data.
Hence, you can get your phone repaired without the fear of losing data. If you're still unsure of this, you can enquire about it with your technician before handing in your device for a repair to avoid any miscommunication. However, if your phone suffers from a software-related issue, then your data might be at risk.
Related: How to Use a Phone With a Cracked Display and Recover Your Data
No, you don't always have to go to the company's authorized service center to get your phone repaired. When your phone is damaged, you have the choice to choose between third-party repair stores and authorized service centers.
While going to a service center might make you feel like you've handed your device to an experienced technician, your local repair store might offer the same level of expertise for a significantly cheaper price.
Moreover, your local technicians deal with simple issues like non-functional buttons or screen replacement daily. So they may have a better handle on such repairs.
However, if your warranty covers a particular type of damage, you should go to the manufacturer to claim it. That said, most companies offer a warranty for only manufacturing defects. In such cases, it's best to choose your local repair stores that provide the same quality and expertise for a better deal.
Water is a fatal enemy of phones, but luckily, you can save your phone after an accidental drop in the pool or at the beach. After you get it out of the water, the first thing you should do is turn it off.
If you don't turn off your phone, the water—being a conductor—might cause a short circuit and fry the components inside. Turning it off will stop all the processes, which helps prevent this from happening.
Next, remove your sim card and SD card, and dry the slots and the entire phone with a cloth or paper towel. Then take it to a repair store and get it checked, as most service providers can easily fix it. Thankfully, most flagship phones today come with an IP68 rating, so it's unlikely that this will be an issue for you.
A common trend we see is people putting their water-dunked phones in rice, oatmeal, chia seeds, alcohol, and silica to dry their phones. While these do have water-absorbing properties, they take a lot of time to work. Not to mention that their effectiveness is questionable.
By the time they start working, the water already reaches the delicate parts inside of the phone. Moreover, smaller particles such as chia seeds and rice can get stuck in the speaker or other cracks of your phone and affect various functionalities in the long run.
The trend of using alcohol to dry wet phones has emerged from the fact that isopropyl alcohol—with 70 percent alcohol—is used by experts to repair water-damaged phones.
But, simply submerging the entire phone in any alcohol or even isopropyl alcohol can damage the protective covering of your phone. Hence, in this case, your best bet is to leave the task up to an expert.
Before taking up the task of fixing your phone all by yourself, remember that a phone technician has years of real-time experience in the field. Even when you've watched a lot of tutorials, it can get challenging, and there is a high risk of causing further damage to the device.
However, if you're fairly knowledgeable and are confident that you can fix it, there's another problem. Companies like Apple use proprietary screws that require special tools to restrict people from cracking open the devices. So, it is better to get your damaged phone fixed by an expert than trying to replicate what you have seen in DIY videos.
Related: What Is Planned Obsolescence? How Brands Keep You Buying
Most times, repairs are cheaper than purchasing a new device. While companies might make you believe the opposite with their overpriced servicing charges, it is not entirely true. If you dropped your phone and the display stops working, you might immediately assume that your phone has become unresponsive.
But before you decide on buying a new phone, you should let an expert examine the degree of damage. If the damage is minor, you can avoid spending on a new phone and get the most use out of your old phone. To reduce costs, you might want to consider local or online repair services.
However, the repair costs depend on the type of damage. A simple screen, battery, or button replacement may not cost you a fortune, but if your phone is damaged to an irreparable extent, then you might have to get a new one.
Chances are many of us have done it; we kept using a phone with broken glass or chipped-off edges. If the cracks are small and are not deep, then there's nothing to worry about.
However, if the cracks are deep and affect how you use the screen or the shards are falling off, you should replace your screen. Leaving open a cracked screen can cause long-term issues like discoloration, dead spots, and dark spots in the display.
Related: Cracked Your Screen? Things to Do About a Broken Phone Screen
While it's understandable why you might want to take the job of repairing your phone to save on some costs, taking a chance with your damaged phone can often cause more harm than good. In some cases, it may even result in you further damaging your phone to the point of no return.
The above-discussed are some of the popular smartphone repair myths you'd find circling the internet. Make sure you don't fall prey to these misconceptions when your phone stops working the next time.
Your smartphone is a seriously high-tech bit of kit.
Ayush is a tech-enthusiast and has an academic background in marketing. He enjoys learning about the latest technologies that extend human potential and challenge the status quo. Besides his work life, he loves writing poetry, songs, and indulging in creative philosophies.
Join our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free ebooks, and exclusive deals!