Summer is here near, and it's bringing dreams of solo pool parties, socially distanced hikes, and quarantine queso and margs on the back porch (at least for us). No matter what your summer plans are, they probably involve water and heat — which could spell disaster for your electronics.
How much do cell phone repairs cost?
Repairing gadgets can be costly when you pay for them out of pocket. Consumer Reports created the following graphic to show price ranges for common smartphone repairs:
Costs will vary based on your phone type and where you get it repaired. A cracked screen will set you back the most, up to $277. Unless you’re a savings maven, chances are you haven’t planned for expenses like that.
And that’s just for phones. Damage to laptops, digital cameras, tablets, and more could set you back even further.
How can I keep my devices safe from damage this summer?
1. Avoid leaving your electronics in extreme heat.
A melting electronic device sounds like the final scene of a bad sci-fi movie, but it’s a real possibility in the summertime. iPhones and Androids are built to withstand temperatures from 32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposing your phone — or any other device — to temperatures that are hotter for an extended period could cause damage to your battery and hardware.
If you have to bring your phone, digital camera, or laptop outside in the heat, be sure to cover it with a towel or keep it in a shady place.
2. Don't charge your phone under cushions.
It starts out innocently enough: you’re charging your phone next to you on the couch while you binge watch “The Office.” Pretty soon, you’re snoring away, Netflix is asking if you’d like to continue watching, and your phone is trapped under a cushion — and close to overheating.
Without proper ventilation, a charging phone might as well be in the Arizona desert. To give your phone enough ventilation and avoid causing damage, charge it on a table or other flat, cool surface.
3. Keep your devices out of direct sunlight in the car.
Taking a road trip this summer? A warm vehicle with the sun beating in can wreak havoc on all kinds of electronics.
When driving, make sure wherever you have your phone or other device, it’s not in direct sunlight. The glovebox, cup holder, or any other shady place should work fine. And remember that when you’re not in the car, your gadgets shouldn’t be either. Following this rule will protect them from heatstroke and theft.
4. Get cases for all your devices.
Mom always said not to run by the pool. Definitely don’t do it while carrying any electronics. Cell phone damage like a cracked screen is pretty common (and costly, as we saw above!) thanks to clumsiness — and can be preventable with the right equipment.
Getting hard cases for your smartphone, tablet, and other devices is a good way to keep them protected from slips, drops, and falls.
5. Use a dry bag when going on watery treks.
You can’t miss snapping a pic of that majestic lagoon on your kayaking trip. But those “waterproof” devices? Not as waterproof as you might think. Many can only handle a few droplets and will succumb to the same fate as their regular water-averse counterparts if fully submerged.
Dry bags are completely waterproof and are inexpensive. Toss your camera or phone in, seal tightly, and head out on your adventure. A sandwich bag can work in a pinch, but beware that it may not seal as well.
6. Leave the sand at the beach.
Sand always seems to find its way into every nook and cranny after a day at the beach. If it’s annoying for you, imagine how your electronics feel. Sand can wedge its way into speakers, jacks, and power chord plugs and cause damage to the internal hardware of your device.
A dry bag or sandwich bag can help keep sand out too. If any does make its way into your gadgets, try gently blowing to dislodge the sand. Canned air, like the kind you’d use to blow dust out of a keyboard, can work also. Just make sure it doesn’t have any cleaning products in it.
7. Get insurance for your device.
No matter how careful you are with your valuables, accidents are bound to happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer, spring, winter, or fall — opting for a device protection plan to insure your electronics is a good idea anytime.
Is smartphone and other device insurance worth the cost?
Device protection is insurance for your valuable electronics. So just like any other kind of insurance, its value comes in how much you actually use it (although you can’t put a price on peace of mind). You can get plans through your device’s manufacturer, cell phone carrier network, or a third party.
Buying a protection plan from your manufacturer is an option, but there are some drawbacks:
Claims for smartphones are limited to two or three times a year.
You’ll still have to pay a deductible, anywhere from $25-$225.
You only have a limited time to purchase insurance after you buy your device.
Loss and theft are not always included.
Cell phone carriers also offer insurance that includes damage, loss, theft, and malfunctions. They do this through a third-party company called Asurion, so no matter your carrier, you’ll likely be working with Asurion if you file a claim for your phone. Deductibles can be anywhere from $50-$299.
Third parties can offer all types of electronic device protection. Digital camera protection, tablet insurance, and more are available through Kasasa Care™, an online marketplace for lifestyle products and services. The plans are offered through CYA (Cover Your Assets) and cost as low as $1.25 per month, depending on the device you’d like to cover. You can also bundle devices to save even more.
Protection plans available through Kasasa Care™
Keeping your electronics safe isn’t difficult (even when you’re having fun in the sun). Just follow these tips and remember that insurance is always an option for the accident-prone adventurous.
Have some of your own device protection tips? Tweet us @Kasasa!