Which System is Best: Xbox, Nintendo, or Playstation?

The world of gamers is a big one. There are numerous brands, devices, and enthusiasts with a single goal in mind — setting up the best gaming experience.

Outsiders may not appreciate the captivating adventures gamers enter to explore new worlds, conquer powerful enemies, and complete complex missions. Battles to win and prizes to uncover, the gaming world is filled with possibilities and adventures. Plus, if you and your friends combine forces, there is no telling what great things you can accomplish.

But, the gaming world has its challenges. There is no denying that there is disagreement between PC and console gamers. Even within console gamers, there’s an ongoing debate over what game console system is the best one.

Today there are three types of game consoles most widely known to consumers: Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox, and Nintendo’s Switch.

But which one of the three is actually the best?

Let’s find out.

Market share

Our first criterion is popularity. According to one study, Playstation 2 is the most popular gaming console around. Having sold approximately 158 million units, PlayStation stands tall at the front of the pack in popularity.

Behind PlayStation comes Nintendo Wii at number four. With just over 101 million units sold, Nintendo proudly ranks number four in the gaming console popularity charts.

But what about Microsoft’s Xbox models?  Xbox 360 comes in at number six with approximately 85 million units sold. Not as impressive as Playstation or Nintendo, but still a respectable number of units sold. 

In the list of popular gaming consoles, Playstation ranks as the most popular, with four models total ranking in the top ten. Nintendo comes in second, its most popular model ranking number four on the list plus three other models ranking in the top ten list. Lastly, Xbox’s most popular unit comes in at number six, with only one other unit making it in as the tenth most popular gaming console. 

Our winning gaming console by popularity: Sony’s Playstation. 

Which console is 2021’s favorite?

Every year, new consoles are released by the gaming world’s favorite manufacturers. But this year, we haven’t seen much from them.

But their releases from past years, such as Sony’s PlayStation 5 (2020), Microsoft’s Xbox Series X (2020), and Nintendo’s Switch (2017) proved to be gold. 

Much of the continuing popularity for these gaming consoles can be attributed to lockdowns that have kept people inside for months. Even adults, many of whom now work from home, find they have some extra time to enjoy some gaming time. Children and adults alike have enjoyed the extra gaming time they’ve been able to enjoy. 

GameSpot found that in the first half of 2021, the Nintendo Switch garnered the most sales. Following the Switch is Sony’s PlayStation 5, a highly-coveted console. 

If you were in the market for a PlayStation 5 this last year, you know how difficult it was to score a unit when it first came out because people were flocking to stores in an effort to secure one for themselves.

With the holiday season coming up, it’s hard to tell which console will be this year’s favorite. 

Once the holiday season and sales have ended, we’ll find out this year’s best-selling game console.

Specifications

In deciding which game console is truly the best, the average consumer may not look at the specs. As someone in the market for a game system, you know it’s the technical specifications you’re after and not just the best looking console.

So we’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons of the PlayStation 5, Switch, and Xbox Series X, the top three latest and most popular releases.

  • PlayStation 5

The first on our list is the PS5. It’s a powerful video game machine that looks sleek — much like its predecessors. Sony maintained the monochromatic game console designs seen in their previous releases.

The internet didn’t go crazy over the PS5 for no reason. This monster offers a next-gen gaming experience and a library of games exclusive to the PS Plus Collection. 

Aside from its design and platform exclusivity, the PS5 is praised for its DualSense controller, spatial 3D audio, and impressive SSD. You don’t have to wait a long time for your games to load, no matter how demanding they are.

Output-wise, the PS5 offers [email protected] and [email protected] gameplay. Both are clear enough to show you the shadows of your Uncharted character and water reflections!

Of course, it’s not perfect. Aside from it being hard to find when it first came out, it’s also a bit larger when compared to the old PlayStations.With today’s games taking bigger storage space, the 825GB SSD the PS5 comes with fills up pretty quick.

  • Nintendo Switch

Out of the three game consoles we’re comparing, the Switch stands out. First, it’s the only handheld device that doesn’t need to be plugged into an external display for you to play your games. Plus, it’s three years older than the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Though the Switch might be smaller compared to the other two consoles, it’s powerful enough to stand against them.

The Switch is a hybrid game console. It can be played handheld or connected to a display. Nintendo wants its throne back from Sony with this feature, and the public loves it!

The seamless transition from a portable console to a home console is definitely a huge success, but that amazing feature has its own drawback. It needs more battery juice to display on bigger screens.

When it comes to playing titles you can play on the PS5 and Xbox, you can’t really expect all the games you can play on the PS5 and Xbox to be played on the Switch. 

  • Xbox Series X

The PS5’s direct competitor is Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, which came out the same year.

With the Xbox Series X, Microsoft tried to address loading times, graphics, frames, and backward compatibility issues many gamers complained about.

They’ve geared this release up with a storage drive that significantly boosts loading times, even for demanding titles that are known to have long loading times.

Contrary to the PS5, the Xbox Series X has Dolby Vision and Atmos support. This means better display and audio for titles supported by Dolby.

For video playback, it can only produce up to [email protected] and [email protected], depending on the capabilities of your display.

When it comes to backward compatibility, the Xbox Series X fares better than the PS5 because of its wider coverage for old titles not released for its platform.

The downside of the Xbox Series X is that its library of exclusive games isn’t as big as the PS5’s and the user interface isn’t as optimized.

It can be a tad picky when it comes to display panels because it requires compatible displays for gamers to experience the new visual features it comes with.

Final thoughts

Picking the best console for you can be a tough choice, especially if it’s your first time buying one.

What you can do to make deciding a little lighter for yourself is break down your profile as a gamer. Do you like portability, high-quality video, or backward compatibility?

Remember that no game console has everything you want, so make sure you know what you’re looking for so you can find the best console to meet your needs.

The iPhone 13 is Here. Here's What it Can Do.

The iPhone 13 is Here. Here’s What it Can Do.

On September 14, 2021, Apple unveiled its new iPhone 13 line, along with the Apple Watch Series 7, new iPad mini, and iPad.

There are four models of the iPhone 13 :

  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max

The base model is the iPhone 13, coming in five colors: Product Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue, and Pink. All models come with Ceramic Shield fronts and glass back and aluminum design to protect the phone’s back components. If you’ve dropped your iPhone 8 in the past and see the backglass shatter, don’t expect the same from the new iPhone model. The iPhone 13 can take quite a beating before showing any signs of damage. 

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models come with Ceramic Shield front and textured matte glass back and stainless steel design, providing a smooth grip for iPhone users.

The base storage capacity starts at 128 gigabytes (GB) and the highest is 1 terabyte (TB) for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models.

Weight-wise, the iPhone 13 mini is the lightest, weighing 140g (just about the same weight as a baseball). The heaviest out of the four models is the 238g Pro Max, boasting the widest screen of the four.

Comparing the display, all models come with Super Retina XDR and OLED display.

Processing power

All models come with the A15 5-core CPU Bionic chip that includes a 5-core GPU (4-core for non-Pro) and a 16-core Neural Engine. That’s fast enough to run multiple applications optimized for today’s smartphones and should let you run mobile games with the settings maxed out without any issues.

Damage resistance

When it comes to splash, water, and dust resistance, the whole iPhone 13 line is rated IP68 under IEC standard 60529. Meaning, all models can be submerged at a maximum depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes without being rendered useless. So you can rest easy the next time you accidentally spill some water on your iPhone 13.

Camera

When talking about iPhones, we can’t forget the camera.

The 13 line comes with a Pro 12MP camera system that has wide and ultra-wide cameras. The Pro line has telephoto as an addition. For all models, video recording quality can be up to 4K at 60fps. Crystal clear, right? Pack that with beefy storage, and you’re good to go on your vlogging adventures!

Non-Pro models

Since Apple started releasing Pro models in addition to their iPhones’ base models, fans are quick to compare and find the best models. 

The non-Pros are considered entry-level, as they come with the latest features without the additional Pro features. They also cost less than their Pro counterparts.

  • iPhone 13 mini

The 13 mini model has the smallest viewing area with 2340×1080 resolution. Albeit small, it’s clear enough to display sharp images with excellent viewing angles. There’s only 5.4-inch to look at, but the small size allows you to fit the phone into small pockets and it’s easy to hold. 

When it comes to battery life, the 13 mini is the smallest battery. You can play up to 17 hours of non-live videos and 13 hours of streaming videos. When streaming audio, the mini’s battery can play up to 55 hours worth of audio.

  • iPhone 13

I can’t say this is the base model because it’s not the entry-priced one, but because it’s called the iPhone 13, we’ll call it the line’s base for reference.

It doesn’t differ much from the mini version, but it weighs 18g more and has a 6.1-inch display at 2532×1170 pixels. That’s a bigger display with clearer images. If Apple didn’t up the resolution on this model, we’d be looking at the mini with the smaller but clearer display. 

In terms of battery life, the 13 fares better than the mini. It has a battery beefy enough to stream 19 hours worth of non-streamed video and 15 hours of streamed video. When playing audio, you can trust the 13 to play for up to 75 hours.

Pro models

The Pro models carry features you can’t find in the non-Pros. Some people prefer pros for the size, storage, and camera.

But if you’re not looking for those, we suggest you look into the non-Pro to save a few hundred bucks. If you want a feature-packed smartphone, then here’s the breakdown of the 13 Pro models.

  • iPhone 13 Pro

Headlining the Pro line is the 13 Pro. It weighs 203g and has a 6.1-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2532×1170, much like the iPhone 13.

Battery-wise, the 13 Pro can play up to 22 hours of video and 20 hours of video streamed. Like playing audiobooks of music for long periods? You’ll have no issues with the 13 Pro’s 75-hour audio playback capacity.

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max

The 13 Pro Max is the heaviest, biggest, and most expensive model of the 13 line. It has a 6.7-inch display at 2778×1284. Talk about being big and clear, right?

While most of the features are similar to the 13 Pro, the difference lies in the battery capacity. The Pro Max can play up to 28 hours of non-streamed video non-stop and up to 25 hours of streamed video. 

For music and audiobook lovers out there, you won’t have issues with the 13 Pro Max because it can play up to 95 hours of audio. 

All in all

With how the iPhone 13 models are looking like and how the public received them, it’s safe to say they are very popular. Given the next-level features that come within even the entry models, you can’t go wrong with any iPhone 13 model.

When picking the right iPhone 13 model for yourself, the features should always be the first one you should look at.

Don’t know what features to start looking at? Start with the battery capacity and go from there.

5 Signs Your Smartphone Battery Is Dying

5 Signs Your Smartphone Battery Is Dying

There’s nothing more annoying than having a smartphone that’s designed for portability but needs to stay close to a wall socket.

You bought a feature-packed smartphone you can take anywhere with you but years — sometimes even months later, you notice that there are more times you keep it plugged in than not.

You look back and realize, “Are these smartphones really built to act like this?”

The answer is yes. Batteries aren’t supposed to last forever. They’re meant to decay in health due to use. And we also can’t deny that most of us are heavy users. We don’t even care if we’re using our phone while it’s plugged in, right?

But if you’re trying to look for explicit signs that’ll tell you about your smartphone battery’s decaying state, I compiled a list of signs you should be on the lookout for.

1. Your phone always dies on you

Imagine being outdoors with your friends and you want to play some music and take pictures. About 15 minutes later while the phone is connected to a Bluetooth speaker, the music stops.

You run to where your phone is. It’s dead. Again.

You know you just fully charged the thing, but why did it die this early? Well, you’re definitely looking at a case of a decayed smartphone battery that needs replacement.

This is the number one sign that your phone’s battery needs to be switched up, or you might have to change the way you use your phone if you don’t want to get a smartphone battery replacement just yet.

You always have to carry around a power bank with you if you want to remain away from the wall socket most of the time.

If this situation persists, the best decision is to get your phone checked at a reliable cell phone repair store that will give you good estimates for quality battery replacement services.

2. Your smartphone is old

Another sign that your battery isn’t good anymore is when your phone is 5-10 years old. Say, you’re using a phone that came out 8 years ago and you’re wondering why its battery won’t last you more than an hour.

Even if you took care of your 8-year old phone like a baby, batteries don’t last forever. You might have kept it stored somewhere and didn’t use it for years, but it’ll still decay. It probably might not turn on again unless you get a new battery.

So yes, your phone’s age is a factor to consider when assessing its battery health. Just because a phone is free of scratches and you’re a careful user, doesn’t mean it’ll work as if it’s new.

Get a new one. It doesn’t have to be the iPhone 13, but you can check out other models that are still very useful based on today’s tech needs. Just make sure you’re transacting with reputable stores as you browse.

3. Your phone never gets 100% charged

I’ve gone through this myself, and I admit it’s very confusing and stressful. When charging your phone, you’d expect the battery percentage to go up as time passes. But when your battery is nearing its last days on earth, the percentage decreases even when it’s plugged in!

That’s pretty mind-boggling, especially when you see it for the first time.

This occurrence is a big “GET YOUR PHONE FIXED” sign to us users because our battery isn’t even acting the way it’s supposed to. Something must be really wrong with it, right?

There are also instances wherein phones get charged to 100% but once you unplug it and use it for 10 minutes, the battery goes down to 10%. Yikes.

So get it fixed before your battery bloats and explodes (yes, that happens).

You don’t even have to wait for this to happen. Most of today’s smartphones have a feature in the settings where you can check battery health. It should tell you when the health is dangerously low and you need a replacement.

4. Things get hot

Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that cause phones to heat up. It could be the weather, the app you’re running, your phone case, and sometimes, your battery.

This is a serious implication that your battery is dying. When you’re charging your phone, it shouldn’t run hot when the battery is healthy.

It also shouldn’t be hot when you’re only running your messages app, for example. Because they’re not very demanding on hardware, your phone shouldn’t be hot on your hands when you’re running just that.

It’s even worse if your phone gets hot while you’re not using it! But if you left it somewhere hot, like on top of your car that’s parked under the sun, it should be hot (please don’t do that).

If these things happen to you, it’s definitely time to get your smartphone battery checked out and replaced by a professional.

5. It looks deformed

Smartphone batteries get bloated due to many factors. Damage, overcharging, overuse, and many others are just one of the few. Fortunately, today’s smartphone batteries are built to withstand most things users overlook.

If the back or front of your phone rises up or takes a weird shape, your battery is bloated and you need to get it replaced as soon as possible. I even strongly advise you to stop using it until you get it repaired.

If not, you’ll risk damaging other components in your smartphone, or worse, your battery might explode. Whatever’s inside your smartphone battery is toxic, and manufacturers are always sure to include that in the battery and phone’s packaging to tell you.

Check if your phone has light leaking in weird places or if it feels weird in your hands. You’ll know it because you always have your phone in your hands. Put it flat on the table and spin it around. If it spins full circle, then something’s wrong. It should be flat and shouldn’t spin around.

All in all, if your phone looks AND feels different, you should 100% get it checked out by a professional. Since most diagnostics are free, you don’t have to worry about paying for a phone check-up.

But if something needs urgent fixing (like your battery), then it’s always a good measure to prepare for getting some cash out for service.

What should you do?

Aside from getting a new battery or a new smartphone, there’s nothing you can really do. You can’t save something that’s dying and is meant to go that way in the first place.

The only thing you can do that’s close to saving yourself from smartphone battery problems is to practice proper phone usage when it comes to charging.

Today’s phones are built to avoid overcharging, so you don’t have to worry about it. But they’re not built for using off-brand chargers that run hot and sometimes catch fire.

Since most batteries are made for extreme use, just make sure you’re using authentic charges that won’t endanger you or your phone.

I know there are a lot of attractive offers on smartphone chargers, but it wouldn’t hurt to get one from your phone’s manufacturer.

When the time comes that you need to get a new battery, just call up your trusted cell phone repair store and let them do the work for you!

Dropped Your Phone in Water? Here Are 8 Things You Should Do

Picture this — you wake up, scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and emails for way too long. You finally climb out of bed and get ready to take a bath because you really need to treat yourself. As you start thinking through your to-do list for the day, you start filling the bathtub with water.

As you queue a bath time playlist, your phone slipped out of your semi-wet hands and into the water-filled tub! As you pause for a second to take in what just happened, you notice your phone’s light still on, and a bit of relief washes over you. You pull out your phone and try to give it CPR, but it’s useless. So, what should you do to make sure your phone’s okay?

How bad is water in and on your phone?

After overcoming the shock of seeing your phone fall into the bathtub, you might have tried to wipe off all visible water and give it a few shakes to get the water out. But unfortunately, if your phone was fully submerged in water, shaking it won’t do the trick. 

You may be thinking “will my phone ever work again or will it explode in my face while I scroll through TikTok?” Let us answer that question for you. Yes and no.

Why? Today’s smartphones are built to withstand being dipped in water for a limited time. If you recover your phone immediately after dropping it in water, you may still be able to use it. But you should expect muffled speakers and a stuffy microphone. But if you leave it underwater for long enough, you’ll end up with a dead phone. But we also know you wouldn’t do that intentionally.

About your phone exploding question, it probably won’t happen. Generally phones explode when you use faulty chargers and batteries, or buy phones that are faulty from the factory, like Samsung’s Note 7 in 2016, which saw users posting combusted units they just bought. Although the Korean tech giant recovered from this combustion issue, it’s hard to forget an exploding phone. 

What should you do after you save your phone from drowning?

After you get out of what should have been a relaxing bath, you’re ready to find out how badly damaged your phone is. Will it need expensive repairs? Has the liquid damage rendered your phone completely useless? Don’t worry, we’re here to tell you what to do after your phone falls in the water:

1. Switch it off

Whether you’d like to admit it or not, turning your phone off when it runs into issues is always your go to option. We’re not going to disagree with you because you’re right! Anyone who’s been around electronics knows that running currents through any wet electronic circuit will result in problems that can sometimes be fatal.

Modern phones automatically shut off when submerged long enough, but that doesn’t mean you should turn it back on after recovering your phone. In another case, if your phone remains on after you save it, we highly recommend that you switch it off to avoid further damage or risking harm to yourself.

2. Use a damp cloth

If your phone fell into a tub that’s filled with liquid other than water, we suggest you wipe it down with a damp cloth. Moisten a lint-free, soft cloth and wipe it all over your smartphone until you’re sure no liquid remains.

After clearing all the liquid, wipe it again with a dry cloth.

3. Take out removable components

The first thing you should remove is your phone’s case! Obviously, you won’t be able to wipe the unit off properly with it on. After getting rid of your already-soaked case, take out your SIM card and tray, memory card, and, if possible remove your phone’s battery/

Basically, take any part that’s removable out and let it dry.

4. Pick the right towel

What towel or cloth should you use to wipe your phone off with? You’ll want to look for the softest cloth you can find. If you don’t, you may end up with a scratched and liquid-damaged phone.

To make sure you’re not ruining your phone by using the wrong towel, get a lint-free and soft cloth, similar to one you would use to clean glasses. When in doubt, look for the softest cloth to avoid scratches.

With your soft cloth, wipe the phone, along with the removable parts you took out.

5. Let it dry

If your phone turned off by itself after being submerged, you’re probably itching to turn it on to check if it still works. We have to stop you right there — your phone’s components are probably wet and any current will damage it further.

After you wipe off the liquid residue that’s visible to you, put your phone and its parts in an absorbent towel and leave it in a cool, dry place. This is a painful part because you’re left to wait until everything has dried to know if your next stop will be to a phone repair store for professional help.

6. Switch it on

It’s time! This is the day you’ll find out if you need to run to your trusted smartphone repair store, get a new phone, or revive one that survived a swim in the bathtub. After you’re sure your phone’s dry — which is probably one to two days after the incident — switch it on.

If it turns on and works normally, lucky for you! But if it doesn’t, we don’t recommend plugging it in to charge because it may still have water inside.

7. Monitor for issues

If your luck continues, you’re probably elated that your phone’s still working after that fiasco. Now, it’s time to monitor your phone for issues that follow liquid damage. You might notice issues while blasting your music, using your camera, or just by looking at your screen for weird colors and lines.

8. Reach out to a phone repair shop

Even if you don’t notice any issue and your phone is working normally, it won’t hurt to visit a smartphone repair shop and get your cell phone checked. Some problems might not appear early, and you might deal with them much later after the problems have worsened.

That’s why we recommend you reach out to a reputable cell phone repair store near you to get a liquid damage diagnostic check. Some shops offer them without a fee, and it’ll benefit you and your phone if you grab these offers!

Takeaways

Phones falling in liquid is a relatively common occurrence. That’s why professionals are trained to fix these problems! There are thousands of reputable repair stores out there that will be more than happy to help you with your liquid-damaged phone. But if you can’t go to them as soon as you get your phone out of the water, follow our recommendations above for the best chance of saving your phone from irreversible damage.

Benefits of a Battery Replacement

Benefits of a Battery Replacement

You’ve probably noticed that your phone battery begins to drain more quickly as your phone ages. When you first purchase the phone, you hardly ever have to hook it up to its charger. But the more you use it and the older it gets, the shorter its battery lifespan becomes. As soon as this happens, many people choose to purchase a new phone without considering other options like phone battery replacement. At the right local cell phone repair shop, replacing the phone’s battery is a much cheaper solution than dumping your old phone and buying a new one. Stay tuned to learn why!

Fortunately, if you’re noticing any issues with your phone battery, we can quickly and affordably replace it for you here at SmartphonesPLUS. Our technicians will have your phone running optimally again in no time!

Here are a few reasons you should consider phone battery replacement:

  1. Cost Efficiency

Smartphones are more expensive than ever, and as tempting as it is to simply purchase a new phone when your old phone’s battery is giving out, it will likely be a far more expensive purchase than a basic battery replacement. Plus, your phone’s battery life may start to give out before the performance of the phone itself slows down. This means everything except your battery is functioning perfectly, and it would be a bit of a waste to throw out a phone that is only experiencing one particular problem.

  1. Time Efficiency

Another benefit to getting your phone battery replaced (especially at a local repair shop like ours) is the fact that it will save you a significant amount of time. Most local cell phone repair shops can replace your phone battery the same day you bring it in, or they can even replace the battery within the hour. So getting your phone battery replaced is both cheaper and faster than buying a new phone!

  1. Security

Most cell phone repair shops offer some kind of warranty on their work as well. This means that if they replace your battery and it fails only weeks or months later, you’ll be covered. No time or money wasted!

  1. Safety

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Hey, I can replace my battery myself and save even more money!” Although you might be a smartphone expert and capable of replacing the battery on your own, we highly recommend taking it to a professional. It’s the safest, easiest, and most reliable way to replace your phone’s battery. Here are a few things that could go wrong with DIY phone battery replacement:

    • There’s a strong possibility that you will break your phone. Opening your phone requires specific tools and specific skills like knowing how much pressure to use when opening up the phone.
  • You will have to purchase expensive tools and know how to use them. Most modern smartphones have embedded batteries, which means replacing them isn’t as simple as opening your phone and pulling out the battery. Removing the battery can entail heating, prying, and removing screws so you can access the internal components of the phone, all of which are time consuming and difficult tasks.
  • An exposed battery can release dangerous chemicals into the air if it’s broken or ruptured, meaning it could also start to swell and explode.

Your smartphone will be in good hands with the help of a local cell phone repair shop technician.Perhaps the greatest benefit of having your phone battery replaced by a professional repair shop is the comforting knowledge that it will be replaced with a battery of the highest quality, and it will be installed efficiently and correctly. So count on us for all of your smartphone or iPhone battery repair and replacement needs!

5 Tips on Making Your Phone Faster

5 Tips on Making Your Phone Faster

The adage “nothing lasts forever” applies to many things, especially to today’s smartphones. 

Drops in performance are typically direct results of how you’re using and maintaining your phone. While we all know it’s completely natural for our smartphones’ battery health to degrade over time, we’re still pretty much puzzled about performance drops — especially dramatic ones.

What makes a phone “slow”?

While the answers to what makes a phone slow are subjective based on the user experiencing the phone’s performance, we all have a few answers that resonate with us all. From animation delays to app launching, here are the things that scream your phone’s performance level is going down:

Animation delays

Without being a smartphone expert, you’ll notice delays in visual movements and seconds of waiting time before one movement, such as swiping to the next page of apps.

Time delays in opening apps

We all know this — we bought our phones and were very impressed by how it opens and closes different applications. Months or years after, we’re starting to get annoyed by the seconds we have to wait just to open our Instagram app.

In the ideal world, launching any type of application should take you less than a second. If you still have the time to get a bag of chips after tapping on your Netflix app and turning back to your phone while it struggles to load stuff up, you’re bound to give it a good reset or get a new one.

You’re starting to get storage warnings

One of the main culprits of decreasing smartphone performance is storage. Many users tend to unknowingly fill their phones up with storage-hogging files, such as high-quality videos and photos, big applications, and many others.

You don’t have to be a tech expert to know that when your phone’s storage is full, your phone slows down and you won’t be able to miss the performance drop. Some users are probably used to the wait, but for ones who aren’t these signs can be annoying.

How do I make a smartphone faster?

Some people would say the solution is to drop that slow phone and buy a new one, but not everyone can do that at a moment’s notice. That’s why we compiled a list of useful tips that’ll help you improve your phone’s performance. Yes, this applies to both Android and iOS phones.

  1. Restart

In almost every gadget out there, the first order of business when things aren’t going right is to restart. This applies to your phone as well. If you’re experiencing performance issues such as lagging or getting stuck somewhere, restart your phone. This should fix temporary performance issues.

  1. Update

Some people might say you shouldn’t download and install updates right away when they come out, but that should be taken with a grain of salt. Updates come with bug fixes and security enhancements that keep your phone running and your information protected.

If you go through update notes like no one ever does, you’ll find fixes to issues reported by users. These fixes could mend the performance drop you’re experiencing. Take it from us and keep your smartphone updated.

  1. Uninstall apps you don’t need

Applications take storage space and take a chunk off your memory — giving your phone less juice to work with. Less juice means it’ll struggle to perform other tasks. Remember that when an app isn’t useful to you, get rid of it. Completely. Do this to all apps you don’t use anymore and you’ll be surprised by how much it helps your phone’s speed.

  1. Reduce animations

Remember when we said delays in animation mean your phone is slow? We’ve got a direct solution for that. In most smartphones, users are given the option to reduce animations. The reduction will result in less than pleasing movements on your screen, but you get a little performance boost in return. You can find this under the “settings” option.

  1. Factory Reset

Factory resetting your phone is a great way to clear everything and boot your phone up as if it were brand new. Different phones have different factory reset options. Some allow you to select what you want to reset — which beats the purpose — while some only let you do a 100 percent reset. Meaning everything goes.

A factory reset can make all the changes you need or not at all. This should be your last resort, especially when you’re at risk of losing important data you don’t have backups for.

What if I need help?

If you are experiencing a slow phone and none of the above tips are helping, give us a call. There could be another issue that a professional can diagnose and fix at a fraction of the cost of buying a new phone. We will give you a free quote, so don’t hesitate to give us a call, visit us directly, or fill out an instant quote form by clicking here.

Top 3 Tips to Enjoy Working Outside

Top 3 Tips to Enjoy Working Outside

We’ve been working within the confines of our humble abodes for over a year now. Even if you don’t notice or admit it, it’s kind of draining when the line between personal and work time gets blurry. With an identical place for both work and play, getting a break can be quite a task. A year into working from home isn’t enough to adjust to, coming from years with a dedicated place, such as office buildings for work.

As we teach ourselves to work outside our homes again, it’s essential to take things one step at a time. You can start working on your porch, garden, or any other part of your home that isn’t indoors. But how can you make sure you enjoy and get things done while working outdoors?

We’ve got you covered with three tips:

1. Optimize Your Laptop’s Battery Life

With a portable computer coming hand in hand with working from home or outside of it, you know how essential it is to keep your laptop charged all the time. But the traditional way we all go is staying plugged into a wall socket. You can’t just find wall sockets anywhere you go, right? A short laptop battery life will keep you indoors.

That’s why you must know the necessary system tweaks that will make your laptop’s battery last longer when you’re headed outside for a change of scenery. 

Turn On Battery Saving Mode

Laptops powered by macOS and Windows come with their battery saver modes. You can hover over the battery icon in the taskbar and just turn on battery saver mode. There might be a slight performance loss, but it’s worth it considering the extended battery juice.

Lower Your Brightness

Your display brightness is one of your laptop’s biggest battery drainers. The bigger and brighter your screen is, the heavier work it puts on your battery, making it last for less than the ideal time.

Turn Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth When Not Needed

If you’re just typing down a few things without online reference, help your battery by turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You’ll be surprised by how much battery life you’ll save by making this a habit.

2. Get A Portable Laptop Charger

When system tweaks don’t make the cut because your laptop’s battery isn’t as good as it used to be, you’re left with one choice. That’s to get yourself a portable laptop charger. They aren’t as handy as the power banks we use for our phones, but they function the same way.

You can charge your smartphone and other work devices along with your laptop! Since you won’t always have a wall socket near you, it’s good to have one of these portable chargers handy.

Such chargers are powerful and pack a lot of juice. They can be heavy, so prepare to carry them to your new outdoor working spot. Here’s a list of portable laptop chargers you should check out.

3. Avoid Crowds

Certain places  just aren’t made for productivity. The beach, a restaurant, and the likes are places where you should expect flower productivity due to the number of people and commotion. Moreover, these places are designed for recreational activities, not preparing for your next managerial meeting.

Your home’s outdoor areas are good examples of productive spaces. If you live alone, you might more easily find new outdoor working spaces for getting things done. And if your laptop or phone does drop on the cement or get splashed by a sprinkler, don’t hesitate to call us! We’ll have you back to typing speed in no time.

How to Sell Used Electronics in 2021 - A Short Guide

How to Sell Used Electronics in 2021 – A Short Guide

Advancement of technology has had many boons over the years. It has enabled us to create an culture of learning, helped us stay in contact with our loved ones in far off lands and has helped science progress in innumerable measures. But everything comes with a price.

Due to this advancement we have been able to see an endless range of technological marvels. This also means that our lives and our pockets have become completely stuffed with all sorts of gadgets and devices. The rapid succession in technology has led us to become jaded with our devices faster than ever. We tend to buy new phones the month they drop and shove them in the deepest darkest corners of our closet once its successor arrives.

In order to declutter our homes and stop the environment from drowning in gadgets, it’s important that we cultivate a habit of recycling the devices that are no longer functional and selling the ones that we no longer intend to use.

But before selling your old electronics there are few things you must bear in mind that will help you in the long run. They are as follows:

1. Present your Device Beautifully

How to Sell Used Electronics in 2021 - A Short Guide

When it comes to making a sale, presentation goes a long way. Whether you’re selling your device online through a list of marketplaces that we’re going to discuss below, or in person, make sure your device is clean and presentable to someone who is willing to spend their hard earned money on it.

If your device looks dirty, full of dust around the button or has a cracked screen chances are it going to put off your potential buyer. This sort of appearance creates the impression that the device wasn’t cared for and will most like not function properly. If a buy gets such ideas he will not hesitate to call off the deal and look elsewhere. So make sure your phone, tablet or device looks neat and clean.

If you’re putting up an online listing then make sure the pictures that you upload bring out the best in your devices. Keep a few things in mind – make sure the background is contrasting to the device, pictures must be high quality and include all angles including charging port and removable parts if possible and all specifications are mentioned clearly. This will not only help you find the right buyers but will also solidify your chances of making the sale.

2. Include All Accessories

How to Sell Used Electronics in 2021 - A Short Guide

 

When a buyer looks to buy a device he expects it to include all peripheral accessories such as the original packaging, the charger and other accessories that were originally promised with the device buy the seller company.
You may or may not be able to charge a few extra bucks if you include all the essentials but you will most definitely lose money if you don’t, even if the deal goes through. If possible, keep necessary documents such as the warranty card and sale receipt handy. This will add to the validity of your product and help the buyer buy the device off your hard with peace of mind.

3. Be Transparent

If you are dishonest about the product you’re selling – be it date of purchase, reason for cosmetic damage or technical specifications – chances are you will never be able to make another sale, especially if your product is listed online. Before buying any product, as a consumer yourself, you will read online reviews to see if the product is worth buying or not. When you are on the other side of the table, make sure you don’t do anything that will earn you a bad review. There are many people trying to sell used phones online so a potential customer will just move on the next listing and you’ll be one incurring the loss.

Now, that our selling guidelines are out of the way let’s talk about where you can sell your used electronics.

 

1. SellCell

SellCell makes selling your electronics easy and hassle-free. All you have to do is enter the item you want to sell and they compile a list of top buyers for you. Not only does SellCell let you sell smartphones but they undertake sale of Tablets, gaming devices, Smart home tech such as Alexa and Echo, GoPros and DSLRs and other smart wearables. It is also a great place to sell your apple watch and other iPhone accessories. SellCell typically pays out via PayPal, check or Amazon e-gift card.

2. Declutter

Declutter is an easy-to-use site that lets you get rid of your electronics, video games, tablets, cell phones, CDs and DVDs. If you use the app, it has a bar-code scanner, which makes listing your items even easier and more accurate. Simply select the product you want to sell to, input specific model information, condition, included accessories, and you’ll get a quote on the spot. The best part is there are no shipping costs to send your items in to Declutter and you’ll be paid via PayPal the next day after your items are received.

 

3. Facebook Marketplace

For selling your electronic items, the Facebook marketplace can be a new thing for you. Comparatively, a newer website to sell stuff online but the goal here is to create a more secure location where people can buy and sell locally. It serves more as a listing portal. The best part is that you don’t pay a single penny as a listing fee to sell your used electronics – no middleman. Neighborhood sellers will use terms like PPU (Porch Pick Up) to help transactions go smoother. Simply put your item out on the porch, schedule the pick-up and transfer the money via Zelle, Venmo, PayPal or whatever medium both parties agree on.

 

4. Buy Back World

Buy Back World is very similar to another renowned e-marketplace called Gazelle. You enter the details about your electronic item, they give you an instant quote, and if you accept it they send you a box for shipping. Quick and simple. Right?

When the product arrives, they inspect it and pay as promised if the condition is as stated, or send you a counteroffer if it’s not. You have thirty days to accept the offer after it’s given following which you’ll need to resubmit for a new offer price. This is one of the most trusted websites as it allows users to complete a transaction when both parties are satisfied.

 

5. SellBroke

SellBroke takes electronic devices for trade-in even if they aren’t in proper working order which makes it a top pick for sellers looking to sell older devices that are no longer in production. They take in a variety of different electronic items such as Laptops, MacBooks, Smart phones – both iPhones and Android, iPads, Desktops, Tablets, GoPros and other cameras, 3D printers, Drones, Smartwatches, gaming consoles and a lot more.

To be frank, selling my MacBook Pro was the smoothest online selling experience with SellBroke. upon accepting their offer, they send you a free pre-paid shipping label. Put the label on a box, properly pack your items and send them in. Getting your money is also simply, they provide payouts either via PayPal or check.

How to Sell Used Electronics in 2021 - A Short Guide

 

There you have it. These are out top picks on marketplaces to sell your electronics online. A few honourable mentions are Gadget Salvation, SellShark, GizMogul, Craigslist, GoGizmo, uSell, EcoATM, eBay, Amazon Marketplace and Swappa.

However, we do recommend you try your hand with us at SmartphonesPLUS.com first before researching other websites since we provide some of the best deals and have had successful track record in the past.

Letting your devices rot in drawers is a waste of equity, so make sure you cash in on them as quick as possible!

Recycling Old Phones and Electronics - How It Can Save the Environment

Recycling Old Phones and Electronics – How It Can Save the Environment

Ever wonder what happens to all your old electronics when you dump them in the garbage? How many electronics do you think one household generates in a year; probably not a lot right? I mean how much harm could a phone or a tablet really do?

According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2020 report, we have collectively generated over 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste in 2019 with numbers almost doubling the following year. We have been witnessing upward trends since the last 5 years and worst part is very little of all the e-waste generated is ever recycled. In fact, only a mere 17.3% of all this waste were recycled.

Now, we know that a lot of precious metals are used in the manufacturing of phones and other electronics. Which means that an estimated $60 billion (yes, that Billion with a “B”) worth of gold, silver, copper, platinum and other high-value, recoverable materials used as components were mostly dumped or burned rather than being collected for treatment and reuse in new electronics or as spare parts and repair materials for old ones.

At this point, E-waste generation leading to global warming should be the least of our worries. When e-waste isn’t treated properly and put into recycle plants, they tend to pollute water bodies along with all the marine and aquatic life in it. People consume all kinds of foods that come from these water bodies which ultimately leads to a plethora of health problems including mercury positing and other non-reversible health issues.

Adding to the already larger than life air pollution problems in major cities across the world, a whopping 98 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents were released into the atmosphere as a result of inadequate recycling in 2020.

 

Recycling Old Phones and Electronics - How It Can Save the Environment

 

Waste management systems are so ineffective but who is to be blamed for it; the consumers, the recycling authorities, the consumers? When you see piles of old monitor screens, desktop computers, broken landline telephones, mobile handsets, televisions, voltage stabilizers, air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, vacuum cleaners and washing machines outside repair stores and feel helpless, remember that we all had a hand to play in them ending up there.

So, what can we do as consumers to lessen the devastating impact of e-waste generation?

Here are a few things that can save the planet little by little if conscious effort is put into it:

1. Consider Refurbished Cell Phones

The cell phone market is teeming with all kinds of fancy gadgets that overcrowd the shelves all year round. As consumers we have TONS and TONS of options to skim through when buying a new phone. So, what the problem, right? When there are so many options made available to the population at affordable prices, people tend to turn a blind eye to the “cheaper” alternatives. There’s a notion in the consumerist market that the more expensive an item is the better the quality. This cannot be farther from the truth.

In today’s electronics market you will find fleets of options in refurbished cell phones that not only look and feel new but also work just as well as new phones. Many start-ups that come up with an initiative to save the planet and in doing so provide high quality refurbished cell phones that one can take his pick from. They’re most of high-quality and render superb services.

Of course, it is the duty of the consumer to conduct through research before buying a refurbished electronic item since there are quite a few people out there taking advantage of this newly formed market, scamming people for their selfish endeavours.

If you’re looking to buy used phones or even put up your old phones for sale, SmartphonesPLUS is the perfect solution for you. We undertake all kinds of buying and selling of old phones so make sure to start your research with our page at SmartphonesPLUS.com.

2. Each Component Plays a Part

Did you know that a single recycled cell phone can save enough energy to power a laptop for almost two days? Now, going by above estimates of how much waste is actually generated, we can harness enough power from just recycled cell phones alone to provide electricity to a million homes for 5 to 6 whole years as per current usage trends.
But hold on, it doesn’t end there. We all know by now that mobile phones are composed of different important elements such as gold, silver, palladium, mercury, etc. which can be recovered if they are properly recycled. The elements are highly functional and cost a lot, reusing means there is less need to mine for these components which will end up saving the environment and also brining down production costs which means more money can be directed towards the lower income groups helping them live better lives.

Ignoring all these factors would mean deliberately green-lighting the onslaught of a global catastrophe.

3. Declutter Your Mind and Your Homes

Recycling Old Phones and Electronics - How It Can Save the Environment

Recycling is such an important part of future societies, it CANNOT be stressed enough. Knowing that you are doing your part in saving the planet (no matter how small your actions might feel) has got to be one of the most relieving feelings ever. De-cluttering your home by taking out all used, non-functioning electronics that have been laying in your dresser for months has got to come with a sigh of relief.

As consumers, we not only have the power to raise issues on a public front regarding efficient waste management but we can also do our part in making sure all the e-waste generated doesn’t end up in landfills and ocean floors. There are many non-profits and unorganized groups that do active work to make sure all the e-waste actually ends up in recycling plants.

When it comes to saving the planet, every little effort can go a long way.

Recycling not only helps the planet but also helps the less privileged earn their daily bread and butter who put in hours scouring through waste for old discarded electronics. In fact, even if your phone is not refurbish-able, many charities will recycle the components and precious metals within your phone and use the money to support people in need or the environment.

In this fight against global e-waste generation we must all come together in unison to win this war so future generations have something to look forward to. Here’s to a better, greener future!

Benefits of Installing Updates to Mobile Phones

Benefits of Installing Updates to Mobile Phones

When was the last time you updated your device? Was it a voluntary update or an automatic update? What changes did it bring about in your phone? System and application updates always seem to pop up at regular intervals, usually at times when you use your phone the most, and truth be told most of us postpone them without giving it a second thought for days, weeks or even months.

Updating your device is crucial to the health of your phone and is something that goes unnoticed. It isn’t just about updates UI that gives you the feeling for a new toy, bringing back nostalgic feelings from childhood. Every new gadget has the ability to stir those feelings. But a software update is more than just that.

With the passage of time every device tends to lose its initial lustre and the excitement tends to fade. But all of this is just on the surface. When your device begins to get outdated you will see a ton of problems cropping up. Some common issues faced by users appear in the form of poor battery life, appearance of strange never-seen-before characters on the screen, or the inability to connect to Wi-Fi or bluetooth devices.

The common solution to all such problems is usually a software patch. Installing an updated software patch is sometimes all you need to get your phone back to running in optimal condition.

What Are The Risks Of Running Your Device On An Outdated OS?

Let’s put it this way. No code in perfect. Often times, developers will find a ton of bugs and loopholes in an OS’s security patch and will issue an update after having fixed those issues. Such security holes are very common and companies issue complete statements on why they felt the need to conduct an update & why you must install said update on your phone.

There is always a chance that your device or any device with an outdated OS is being targeted by cybercriminals with malicious intents. Such cybercriminals are always on the lookout for loopholes in software security and application vulnerabilities and once companies announce software updates they switch their efforts into high gear and actively look for outdated devices to exploit.

Such criminals are quick to move and will leave no stones unturned in conducting complete system takeovers in which your personal and sensitive data can be stolen such as your social media and other page login credentials, bank details, social security number and more. All of these data can help criminals carry out identity theft and commit a range of financial and other types of frauds without you even realising it.

Upon doing so, smartphone companies will not be held responsible since they had already done their part in fixing the security issues and informing users of the same. At the end of the day, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that your devices and the information therein are safe and secure.

What Are The Major Kinds Of Updates?

Benefits of Installing Updates to Mobile Phones

Essentially there are 2 kinds of software updates that you will receive on your phone.

1. Security Update – As the name suggests, Security updates are only concerned with updating the security features on your phone. They are also known as security patches and work to fix bugs in your current OS. This is done to prevent any sort of cyber attacks and secure your phone’s data. Included in this are smaller updates that usually come in packs and work to fix and particular issue. Such updates are no major in nature and only work to address particular bug fixes outside of security concerns. They are called Incremental updates.

2. Operating System Update – OS updates are heavier in terms of file size, update run time and brand value for the companies. Such updates are usually released annually and bring major changes to the operating systems in the form of UI changes, new apps, settings, and more.

Currently Android is running Android 11 with 12 in the works to be released in September and Apple is running iOS 14.5.

Steps to take before and after updating your OS

Before you start an OS update, follow these steps to help avoid problems:

Charge your Phone – Avoid having your phone power down during an update by making sure the device has at least a 70% charge. This will ensure your phone doesn’t die put mid update since updates can suck up a lot of battery.

Back-up Files – OS upgrades and updates should not affect the data stored on your smartphone, but as a safe measure back up all your files just in case.

Ensure Compatibility – A new OS may not be designed for all older devices so before you go running an update make sure your device is compatible with the new OS because otherwise you will end up with issues you can’t fix yourself.

Delete Redundant Data – A new OS may use up a significant amount of storage on your device’s memory. In order to help it run smoothly clear out any and all apps that are just taking up space and you know you haven’t used them in the longest time. This will not only ensure your phone pairs well with the new updates but will also prevent the OS from lagging.

After You Update Your OS

Sometimes the new OS will have different pre-installed settings than the ones you have chosen, and will default to the new settings over your old ones. After you install the new OS, check these settings to ensure your phone is not running functions or sharing data in ways you may not want.

Wi-Fi Settings – Most smartphones include a function that automatically switches to your data plan when Wi-Fi connectivity is weak. If left on, this may cause data usage when you do not expect it. Decide if you want that function switched on or off and change it accordingly.

Check For Automatic App Updates – If you turn this function off, apps can only be updated using a Wi-Fi connection. This can help prevent excess data drainage, particularly for apps that you do not use often or ever.

Privacy Settings and Network Connections – Make sure your location services, Bluetooth sharing, ad tracking and social media settings are set to the preferences you want. Most updates tend to change these settings to enable data sharing in order to provide you customized content on your phone.

Check for OS compatibility for your most important apps – A new OS sometimes may be incompatible with one or more of your existing apps until a new patch is issued. Check for upgrades for any apps that aren’t functioning properly or uninstall them completely otherwise they may interfere with the way your UI functions.

There are times when even upon updating your OS you may not be satisfied with the way your phone looks and feels. In such cases you may want to dispose of it and get a new phone altogether. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered.

You can get a really lucrative deal here at SmartphonesPLUS and we undertake all kinds of smartphone repair. Whether Android or Apple, SmartphonesPLUS can help you with all your smartphone needs. We provide professional iPhone repair service and you can also seamlessly sell and buy high-quality refurbished cell phones here.