7 Common Ways to Break Your Phone and How to Avoid Them

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated December 13, 2021

As much as they're convenient and useful, smartphones are prone to accidents such as sudden drops and water splashes.

When yours get damaged, that dream gadget could turn into a nightmare real quick. Dealing with a damaged phone can be a huge hassle. Unless you have phone insurance, your money would go down the drain for repair or replacement of the broken unit.

Smartphones are fragile and sensitive little devices, but most types of accidents can be avoided. All it takes is knowing the common causes of phone damage and breaking bad habits that could break your phone.

1. Dropping on the Ground

Damaged Phone Causes - Dropping on the Ground

There are various ways to drop a phone accidentally. It could fall out of your pocket, get knocked off a table, or slide off your lap when you stand up. Or it could just randomly slip out of your hand.

Whatever causes a phone to drop, the resulting damage is far from pretty—a cracked screen and, in extreme cases, a bent and broken body. A damaged phone due to an accidental drop can lead to problems more serious than just an unsightly appearance, including finger cuts from touching the broken screen, issues with touchscreen responses, and exposure to moisture.

Gadget Protection Tips to Avoid Accidental Drops

  • Use your phone with both hands, especially when taking pictures, typing a message, or playing a mobile game.
  • When not in use, keep your phone in a secure place, like a bag, purse, or padded pouch.
  • Never put the phone on your lap when sitting down.
  • Stick a phone ring holder to the back of your device to improve its grip.
  • Protect your phone against the impact of a fall with a durable case and screen protector.

2. Letting Kids Use the Phone

Damaged Phone Causes - Letting Kids Use the Phone

Some parents let children use a phone to stop their tantrums or keep them from being unruly—unmindful of the risks. Kids could throw the phone as if it's a frisbee or dunk it into a pail of water as if it needs some rinsing. Aside from a damaged phone, allowing children to use a smartphone can have harmful effects on their health and development[1].

Pets aren't safe smartphone companions, either. Cats are likely to knock a phone off a table, and dogs can make it their new chew toy.

Gadget Protection Tips to Avoid Phone Damage Caused by Kids and Pets

Never let a child use the phone without adult supervision. Also, keep your mobile device out of children's and pets' reach.

3. Sitting on the Phone

Damaged Phone Causes - Sitting on the Phone

There are things people do absent-mindedly, like sitting down without realizing the phone is in their back pocket. Or putting the phone on the chair or bed and then sitting on it. More often than not, these scenarios result in deep scratches and cracks on the screen, as well as damage to internal parts.

Gadget Protection Tips to Prevent a Damaged Phone When Sitting Down

Before you plop down, take out the phone from your pocket. If you're the forgetful type, never put your phone in your pocket.

4. Spilling Liquid

Water is a smartphone's number one enemy. Once liquid reaches internal components through the small openings around the phone, it can cause a short circuit and corrosion. Water damage is also a tricky type of phone damage to fix.

Gadget Protection Tips to Avoid Liquid Damage

Spilling drinks is one of the common ways a phone gets damaged by waters. So never place your smartphone near a cup of coffee, a glass of water, soda, and any beverage that could spill on it.

5. Getting Submerged in Water

Damaged Phone Causes - Getting Submerged in Water

It could be downright gross and embarrassing, but a phone falling into the toilet does happen when you forget that it's still in your pocket. Or it slips from your hand while flushing the toilet.

Some people take a dip or get pushed into the pool without realizing their phone is in their pocket. Others get their phone fall into the fountain or any body of water while taking selfies.

Gadget Protection Tips to Avoid Liquid Damage

Avoid bringing your phone in the bathroom, kitchen, or any place where it's likely to get wet.

When going for a swim, put your phone in a waterproof case or dry bag. Never put it in your pocket.

6. Getting Scratched by Keys and Coins

Damaged Phone Causes - Getting Scratched by Keys and Coins

Do you always put your phone in your pocket or bag along with keys and coins? Don't be surprised why the front and back of your mobile device has a lot of scratches.

Gadget Protection Tips to Avoid Scratches on Your Phone

Store your phone in a separate pouch or purse—away from keys, coins, pens, and other objects that can scratch it.

7. Overheating

Damaged Phone Causes - Overheating

Excessive heat is another no-no for smartphones, as it can drain the battery quickly and impair the touchscreen's function. In worst-case scenarios, overheating can cause a phone to explode.

Usually, an overheating phone is caused by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and gaming or streaming videos for long periods. Phones get warm under normal use, but you can tell if your device is starting to overheat when it's already uncomfortable to hold.

Gadget Protection Tips to Avoid Overheating

  • Don't leave your phone sitting outside in the sun.
  • Never leave your phone in the car, especially when it's parked in the sun.
  • Avoid charging your phone in direct sunlight or under the pillow or blanket.
  • Reduce the load on your phone's processor by dimming the screen brightness, closing unnecessary apps, and turning off Wi-Fi, mobile data, GPS, and Bluetooth when not in use.
  • Keep your apps updated to ensure bug fixes that minimize the chance of overheating.
  • When your phone is too hot, let it cool down. Stop gaming, streaming, using processor-intensive apps, or making phone calls in the meantime.
  • If you use your phone a lot, consider getting a second unit to keep your other phone from being overworked.

Final Thoughts

Protecting your smartphone begins with awareness of the possible causes of phone damage and doing your best to avoid them. Boost your financial and gadget protection by insuring your precious investment. Phone insurance is worth the added cost for any instance when you have to deal with a damaged phone.

If, unfortunately, your smartphone breaks, have it repaired or replaced immediately.

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Venus has almost 20 years of combined experience in content marketing, SEO, corporate communications, and public relations. Most of her career was spent creating informative articles on personal finance and digital marketing. She also invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Venus graduated cum laude with a Journalism degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. A hardcore Hallyu Tita, she loves bingeing Korean shows on Netflix while bonding with her cats. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.


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