Some common smartphone problems and how you could solve them

smartphone problems

We all  have used or at least know smartphones. With the glorious things you can do with them and how they can simplify your life from media to memory storage, journalling to keeping in touch on the social networks, to gaming and entertainment. There is no end to the app world realities with these phones. However on the pesky side of things, these phones are known for leaving your life almost unbearable when they start acting up or suddenly go missing. I share the same experience with a previous post on life without this tool. Inspired by the absence of mine, I decided to write about some common problems with these devices and how we can live with or fix them.

Battery wearing out

This is a common song sung about all models of smartphones, truth is with more features and processing power, you need more power. The battery is becoming more and more less sufficient to meet the ever increasing needs of these phones. According to fixya a study was done on some of the most common smartphones and battery life cut across all the phone models as the most popular problem. This report was done with 25 million users, 650000 experts and 15 million product problems and solutions. It includes some of the common problems popular smartphone models have and how they can be fixed.

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If your phone battery starts to need charge every 2-3 hours with regular usage, its time to buy another battery. If your battery works fine and you just need it to push through a typical work day or you want it to last you till you upgrade your phone,then here are some simple solutions you already know:

  • Turn down screen brightness

  • Closing all the apps you are not using

  • Turning off the extra things like wifi and bluetooth when not in use

  • If you need to listen to music whole day everyday, get an mp3 player

  • Not using your phone beyond certain battery percentage (15-20%)

Even with knowledge of these simple solutions we are still reluctant to follow through. Blame it on laziness or just the thought that if the app is closed you are missing out on something. This is something we need to consciously put into practice to maximize our time with these gadgets – a personal discipline.

Phone not charging

Now this is one problem i experienced with my galaxy nexus. You plugin as always, only this time both the charger and phone get really hot and the battery is not charging. A lot of people have had this problem with phones that charge with micro usb cables. If this happens to you and your phone is still on warranty, take it for repair but if you are interested in attempting to fix things like me( i must add daring too) troubleshooting is the way to go. Find out if its your battery, cable/plug in charger or if its the phone itself.

  • Try charging a different battery with your phone

  • Try a different charger with your phone

  • Try a different power outlet or use your computer

If this doesn’t work, you need to seek some technical help because its a phone problem. Either a software problem or internal hardware problem especially if the thunder bolt is showing on the battery icon but the battery settings say it is not charging. I took it a notch higher with my phone since all the troubleshooting above didn’t seem to work. One last attempt after reading some phone forums was to lift the female micro usb tongue(gently) such that it makes good contact with the male plug. This idea seemed to work for people with the same problem so i gave it a shot and it worked for a while. Lets just say that wasn’t the problem with my phone, at this point it was time for me to make use of my warranty, thank God for warranty.

Different companies offer product service and sometimes you can find a lot of help in the faq support or troubleshooting pages.

Freezing or hanging

The first time you use your smartphone, the speed switching between apps and tabs is amazing. After a couple of days or weeks when you have installed all the apps, some of which you barely use. Then the freezing starts, even a few micro seconds feel like forever. This calls for what i would name “app control”:

  • Before you install an app read its system requirements it may task your processor more than you expect

  • Delete any app you haven’t used in 2 weeks because honestly, you don’t need it

  • If an app is causing your phone to hung, update it or reinstall it

  • Expand your internal memory if your phone allows it

  • Those pictures you have had since you got the phone, once you have them backed up (which can be made automatic with dropbox, picasa, instagram etc) save your phone some memory and delete them. Basically free up as much space as you can.

Camera not working

This is really annoying just when you want to save that memory of a lifetime. Quick check for this is to make sure you still have enough memory for more pictures. Also make sure your operating system is updated. This simple solution works if you haven’t had any hardware damage to your camera. Else take it for repair.

These are just a few of the recurring problems with smartphones. We all love smartphones especially for their features and capabilities irrespective of these problems. The best thing to do is make the most of it and get over what you can’t fix.

Share with us some of the problems with your smartphone you wish you could fix?

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jemimah C. Akiror.  She is as a research assistant at Concordia university Canada where her research is mainly in energy efficiency and electrical machine design. She also takes interest in power systems, renewable energy technologies and power electronics.  You can follow her via @JemyConnie or on Linkedin.

  • Thanks Jemimah for this post.

    I personally have battery life issues with my phone so much that i’ve to carry a second feature phone to keep up afloat (

    But to still, to keep the phone juiced up, ontop of your suggestions, i;
    #1. Turn to EDGE from 3G when i don’t need much speed. This is a huge battery saver. On EDGE, my Lumia can go for 24 Hrs, while on 3G, only 6 hours.
    #2. Turn off some sensors and radios as you mentioned Wi-Fi, bluetooth, but i can add GPS(If not using maps), Gyroscope. Turn off vibrations.

    As for freezing and hanging-up, your suggestions are very valid, but painful. Uninstalling Apps that “you don’t use” is not easy, because there’s also that thought that “you’ll need it”. Anyway, You could run some Apps on your PC using some software like Bluestacks.

    • Jemimah

      Thanks for the comment.
      Yes EDGE really does push the battery for a longer time.
      Would like to give Bluestacks a try sometime.

      • Gitonga Wanjiku

        Its not a smart phone then 🙂 Its like comparing a guzzler (read American) and Japanese cars.

        • Jemimah

          Lol Wanjiku the smartness is in terms of processing ability, computing and connectivity among others. I think they should add battery management

          • Gitonga Wanjiku

            Battery management??? lol you and me know why the EV vehicle is still a dream….coz of the battery. If we would find a way of storing a lot of energy in a small volume with cost effective materials, then the world around us would change from transportation mobility to home appliances, as per now am waiting on the battery. Fuel Cells was a promising thing, especially Direct Methanol FCs for mobile applications, but you need to insulate the user from the 80-200 degs C temperatures….I don’t know where they have reached now….when they get a battery that can last 5days on a smart phone i will dump my mulika mwizi 🙂

          • Jemimah

            Lol, join us soon.
            Yeah we are waiting for that breakthrough in battery technology, you should my post on nano batteries.
            Battery management more on the use of the battery -optimizing and reducing the power drawn from the battery by the processors apps and features.

          • Gitonga Wanjiku

            am still analogue lol