Health

Phone Health: How to Check and Maintain Your Smartphone’s Performance and Safety

Smartphones are an essential part of our daily lives, but they can also pose some health risks if not used properly or maintained well. In this article, we will explore some of the common concerns and questions about phone health, such as:

  • How to run diagnostics on your phone to check its hardware and software functionality
  • How to protect yourself from the potential effects of radiation emitted by your phone
  • How to avoid accidents and injuries caused by using your phone while driving or walking
  • How to extend your phone’s battery life and prevent overheating
  • How to keep your phone clean and free from germs and viruses

How to Run Diagnostics on Your Phone

Diagnostics are tests that can help you determine if your phone is working properly or if there are any issues that need to be fixed. Some phones have built-in diagnostics tools that you can access from the settings or the keypad, while others require you to download third-party apps from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Some of the common tests that you can run on your phone include:

  • Memory test: This test checks how much storage space is available on your phone and how fast it can access data.
  • CPU test: This test measures how well your phone’s processor can handle multiple tasks and applications.
  • Speaker test: This test plays different sounds to check the quality and volume of your phone’s speaker.
  • Microphone test: This test records your voice and plays it back to check the clarity and sensitivity of your phone’s microphone.
  • Wi-Fi test: This test checks the speed and strength of your phone’s Wi-Fi connection.
  • Bluetooth test: This test checks the compatibility and functionality of your phone’s Bluetooth feature with other devices.
  • GPS test: This test checks the accuracy and reliability of your phone’s GPS feature for navigation and location services.
  • Touch screen test: This test checks the responsiveness and calibration of your phone’s touch screen display.
  • Camera test: This test checks the quality and resolution of your phone’s camera for taking photos and videos.
  • Charging test: This test checks the status and capacity of your phone’s battery and how fast it can charge.

Some examples of apps that can help you run diagnostics on your phone are Phone Doctor Plus, Phone Diagnostics  Phone Check and Test, Zinny, and iDiagnosis. You can also refer to your phone’s manual or website for more information on how to access its built-in diagnostics tool.

How to Protect Yourself from Radiation

Radiation is a form of energy that travels through space in waves. Some types of radiation, such as x-rays and gamma rays, are ionizing, which means they can damage the cells in our body and cause cancer. Other types of radiation, such as radio waves and microwaves, are non-ionizing, which means they do not have enough energy to break the bonds between molecules in our body.

Mobile phones use radiofrequency (RF) radiation, which is a type of non-ionizing radiation, to communicate with base stations. The amount of RF radiation emitted by mobile phones is measured in watts per kilogram (W/kg) or specific absorption rate (SAR). The SAR value indicates how much RF radiation is absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no conclusive or convincing evidence that mobile phones cause cancer or other health problems. However, in 2011, the WHO classified RF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic for humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a type of brain cancer”. Therefore, some people may prefer to take a precautionary approach to mobile phone use.

Some of the ways that you can reduce your exposure to RF radiation from mobile phones are:

  • Use a hands-free device, such as a headset or speakerphone, when making or receiving calls
  • Keep your phone away from your head and body when not in use, such as in a bag or a holster
  • Avoid using your phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or a train, as this may increase the power output of your phone
  • Limit the duration and frequency of your calls
  • Choose a phone with a low SAR value

You can find the SAR value of your phone in its manual or on its website. You can also check the SAR database maintained by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for phones sold in the United States or by the European Commission for phones sold in Europe.

How to Avoid Accidents and Injuries

Using a mobile phone while driving or walking can be dangerous, as it can distract you from paying attention to your surroundings and increase your risk of accidents and injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, 3,142 people were killed and an estimated 424,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States. Similarly, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 2019, 6,590 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 137,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in the United States.

Some of the ways that you can prevent accidents and injuries caused by using your phone while driving or walking are:

  • Do not use your phone while driving, unless it is an emergency or you have a hands-free device
  • Do not text, browse, or play games on your phone while driving or walking
  • Do not wear headphones or earbuds while driving or walking
  • Pull over to a safe place if you need to make or receive a call or check your phone
  • Be aware of the traffic laws and regulations regarding mobile phone use in your area
  • Be alert and attentive to the road and the pedestrians around you

Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal in all states and territories of Australia. You can face fines, demerit points, or even suspension of your license if you are caught using your phone while driving. You can also be held liable for any damages or injuries that you cause to yourself or others as a result of using your phone while driving.

How to Extend Your Battery Life and Prevent Overheating

Your phone’s battery life depends on several factors, such as the type of battery, the usage patterns, the settings, and the environmental conditions. Over time, your phone’s battery may lose its capacity and performance due to aging, wear and tear, and improper charging. Overheating can also damage your phone’s battery and other components, as well as pose a fire hazard.

Some of the ways that you can extend your phone’s battery life and prevent overheating are:

  • Use a charger that is compatible with your phone and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging
  • Avoid overcharging or undercharging your phone
  • Turn off or reduce the brightness of your screen when not in use
  • Turn off or limit the use of features that consume a lot of power, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and background apps
  • Adjust the power-saving mode or battery optimization settings on your phone
  • Keep your phone away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures
  • Remove any cases or covers that may trap heat around your phone
  • Do not use your phone while it is charging

You can check your phone’s battery status and usage on its settings or by using apps such as Battery Doctor, AccuBattery, or Battery Life. You can also replace your phone’s battery if it is removable or take it to a service center if it is not.

How to Keep Your Phone Clean and Free from Germs and Viruses

Your phone can harbor a lot of germs and viruses that can cause infections and diseases. According to a study by the University of Arizona, mobile phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. Some of the common germs and viruses that can be found on mobile phones include E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Influenza A, Coronavirus, and Norovirus.

Some of the ways that you can keep your phone clean and free from germs and viruses are:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer before and after using your phone
  • Avoid sharing your phone with others or use a disposable cover if you have to
  • Avoid using your phone in places where there is a high risk of contamination, such as bathrooms, kitchens, hospitals, or public transport
  • Wipe your phone regularly with a soft cloth dampened with water or a mild soap solution
  • Use a disinfectant wipe or spray that is suitable for electronic devices and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning
  • Do not use harsh chemicals, abrasives, or solvents that may damage your phone’s surface or screen
  • Do not immerse your phone in water or any liquid unless it is waterproof

You can also use products such as PhoneSoap, UV Phone Sanitizer, or Clean Phone Wand that claim to kill germs and viruses on your phone using ultraviolet (UV) light. However, these products may not be effective against all types of germs and viruses and may not reach all parts of your phone. Therefore, they should not replace regular cleaning with wipes or sprays.

Conclusion

Phone health is an important aspect of maintaining your smartphone’s performance and safety. By following some simple tips and practices, you can ensure that your phone is functioning properly, protect yourself from potential health risks, avoid accidents and injuries, extend your battery life, prevent overheating, and keep your phone clean and free from germs

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