Trying your best to look after your smartphone can sometimes be easier said than done, especially when you spend time following rules that you don't really need to.
In light of this, we uncover the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the most common smartphone myths...
MYTH: More megapixels = better camera
Sometimes when purchasing a new phone, the camera specs are generally headlined by the number of megapixels on board. But a large megapixel count doesn't necessarily mean a higher quality camera overall.
More megapixels do mean a higher resolution image. However, unless you’re zoomed in, or want to print the image on a larger scale, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference between 8MP and 12MP. When selecting a camera, you're better off looking for a large aperture, optical image stabilisation, depth of field capabilities, and a wide angled lens.
MYTH: You should drain your battery completely before charging
If you had to wait for your battery to run out every time you charged it again, it would quickly become an annoyance. Luckily, this is far from the truth.
Most smartphones now come equipped with modern Lithium-ion batteries. This means that regarless of how much charge you have left, it’s completely up to you when it gets charged.
MYTH: 4G uses up more data than 3G
4G is much faster than 3G, but that doesn't mean it uses more data. Any webpage, app, or other download is the same size whichever network you're on. For example, a 3MB webpage will still use 3MB of data whether you view it on 3G or 4G.
However, you may feel that 4G eats up data in less time than 3G. This is because 4G allows users to browse more pages in less time, resulting in hitting your allowance sooner. Also, streaming services such as YouTube or Netflix are often available in different resolutions to match your connection. On a faster connection you may be tempted to watch more HD rather than SD content, which also uses up your data allowance quicker.
MYTH: Overcharging a phone damages the battery
Many smartphone users charge their smartphone back to 100% while they sleep. If this myth was true, it would disrupt your sleeping pattern in order to take your phone off charge as soon as it’s full.
Thankfully, you can rest at night without having to think about your phone charge, as once a smartphone is fully charged, the current stops - protecting from overcharging.
MYTH: Smartphones give off dangerous radiation
There are many rumours around smartphones being dangerous due to radiation emission. This leads to some people keeping them in their bag instead of their pocket, and opting to use hands-free accessories for all calls.
However, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation sets limits on a handset's SAR (Specific Absorption Rating). This means manufacturers must meet certification requirements, and not emit enough radiation to cause concern. If you'd like to look into your handsets SAR rating, they can generally be found on the manufacturer site. Here, for example, are the Samsung and Apple pages.
In short, keeping your smartphone in your pocket won't cause any harm.
MYTH: Apps running in the background use up battery
This is definitely a myth for anyone with an advanced smartphone. Recent handsets tend store apps on your smartphone’s RAM so that opening them back up is quicker. This means that apps that haven’t been fully closed down are not technically using up any notable power as they snooze in the background.
To sum up, apps that are ‘running’ in the background are not actually active and therefore are not using up your battery.
MYTH: You shouldn't keep your phone in the same pocket as a credit card.
It is often suggested that a credit card, loyalty card or similar is not working because of contact with a smartphone demagnetising the strip. The magnetic strip found on cards is comprised of millions of microscopic magnetic particles, which smartphones also carry, but in smaller quantities. Some folk claim this causes a clash and your credit card can come off worst.
While a strong magnet can ruin a card's strip, your smartphone doesn't give off enough power to do the job. However, it could be achieved from refrigerator magnets, magnetic clasps on wallets and handbags, or even direct magnetic stripe contact from other credit cards.
MYTH: A bigger battery means longer battery life
The bigger something is, the better it is, right? True for some things, but not for smartphone batteries. Battery life is more closely related to how much power a device consumes and how it can manage the tasks its asked to perform.
While a larger battery can certainly help to extend the length of a charge, it's also dependant on the efficiency and power of your processor, and the capabilities of your operating system. So if your working day is usually a long one, you're better off looking for a phone with a high-end processor and making sure your OS is kept up to date.
MYTH: A Hairdryer is the best option for a wet smartphone
Dropped your handset in the sink? Dunked it in the sea? You may be tempted to reach for the hairdryer, but this isn't the best course of action.
Yes, it will help in evaporating the moisture from the handset, however, there is a great possibility the smartphone will overheat, or the water will be blown further inside the device, and as a result the components will become damaged. Instead, try placing your phone in a box of dried rice and keeping your fingers crossed.
MYTH: You shouldn't use your phone while it’s charging
Whilst laying in bed or watching TV, quite often we will be charging our phones and using it at the same time. With some electronic devices, it can be unsafe to use them whilst plugged into the wall.
Smartphones, however, are perfectly safe and still work as efficiently when charging – the only exception is if you’re in the bath, then it’s obviously a big no-no!
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