In case you've missed it, the summer is here and it's been making us hot and sweaty for quite some time now. Being one of the most anticipated seasons, the summer is the time of the year when most people take a lengthy vacation or go on a pleasant trip. It's more than natural that most of these somehow comprise going to the beach and sunbathing, arguably among the most satisfying and pleasurable summer activities.
However, it's the age of smartphones now, and instead of books or drinks, most people usually hold a smartphone in their hands while absorbing the beneficial solar rays. However, as common sense suggests, smartphones and beaches usually don't go well together. Even more, any mixing between these two should be prevented at all costs – undoubtedly, many a smartphone have lost the uneven battle with nature's harsh elements.
We've made a brief guide on how to keep your digital companion intact while having joyous fun on the beach or near the pool and prevent such a calamity from happening in the first place.
Of smartphones and beaches
Of smartphones and beaches
1. Use your common sense
First of all, do you need your smartphone on the beach at all? Why don't you leave it home? Okay, that might be a pretty drastic measure for some. Then again, if you need to take it with you, it comes pretty close to mind that you'll need to take extreme care of it. Consider taking a water- and dust-resistant case for your smartphone. Some of 2014's flagships, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5
, come with such capabilities, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right?
It's advisable to minimize any usage of said device so as to avoid either sand or water from creeping inside its internals. Nevertheless, if you have to use your phone, make absolutely sure that your hands are relatively dry and you have got no sand stuck on your fingers. Sometimes even the slightest drop of salinated water or a miniature grain of sand might cause irreparable damage to your smartphone.
2. You like to tan, your phone doesn't
While you are not using your device, make sure to put it in your bag, backpack, or whatever you've come at the beach with. This will not only prevent beach thieves from snatching your electronic pride and glory, but will also prevent your smartphone from overheating. The CPU and the other hardware insides don't fancy high temperatures. Additionally, overheating does not only affect your battery in a pretty negative way (it might drastically shorten its overall capacity), it might also "damage" the color reproduction of the display, as well as its brightness.
3. Preserve that Gorilla Glass display
Most of the more popular nowadays' smartphones come with Gorilla Glass displays, which are pretty sturdy and scratch-resistant. Its absolute hardness is roughly 7 as per Mohs' scale (with diamond being at the top with a hardness of 10) - that's pretty much on par with quartz, a rather durable mineral. This means that Gorilla Glass might be resistant to everyday objects, such as keys, knives, and whatnot, but its archenemy's usual whereabouts are nowhere else than your regular beach - wave "Hello!" to sand.
There are a lot of varieties of sand. All of them have a thing in common, though - their absolute hardness is usually either on par or a tad higher than the one of Gorilla Glass, leaving the latter susceptible to scratching even from the tiniest grain of sand. Usually, such a catastrophe happens when you grind your phone's display towards something else and some wrongdoing sand grains have made their way between the two surfaces. That's a recipe for disaster.
Sapphire glass, which currently protects the camera sensors of the latest iPhones and will most probably grace the display of the upcoming iPhone
, scores an absolute hardness of about 9 as per Mohs' scale, which will probably make it almost resistant to sand.
4. Still waters run deep
For each smartphone with "water-bending" capabilities, there are nine others that are vulnerable to H20 and all of its derivatives. But from all types of water, seawater one is probably the most dangerous for your electronic gadget. Usually, when clean tap water gets inside your smartphone, you can still revive it by following several important steps. However, saline water usually leaves a lot of mineral residues after it dries out. These speed up corrosion and usually cause a lot of damage to the silicon inside your device. To sum all up - if water is bad for your phone, seawater is probably ten times as bad.
5. Protect what's yours
Bear with us as we explain the following situation: you are lying on the beach, the sun is pumping vitamin D into your skin, and nothing can disrupt your deep state of relaxation. Well, that beach pickpocket that just snatched your phone might. You might not even notice the robbery until you decide to take a selfie for Instagram. This would surely ruin your vacation, wouldn't it? There are a few things you can do to protect your stuff from being taken from you - hide it when you are not using it, and hide it good! Your beach bag might not be the ultimate hiding spot, but at least the thief will attract a lot of unwanted attention they try to poke around in your stuff. Even better, you might want to leave someone to watch your things while you are in the water.
So, we've covered the basics, but what happens when you (accidentally, of course) fail to protect your device? Your device fell on the sand and some of it entered the USB port? Your kids just came out of the water and quickly grabbed your phone with their soaking wet hands for a quick Angry Birds session? Well, it's not the end of the world, but you should act quickly if you want to prevent it from untimely death.
If we are dealing with water, then you can do a few things to prevent things
from getting ugly. If, however, your device has had contact with sand and you suspect that some of the sand grains might have settled comfortably inside your device, then you should proceed with caution. First of all, take a toothbrush (or another soft-bristle brush) and gently wipe away the larger visible sand grains that have nestled in the crevices. Once again, be extremely careful around the display - you remember what we told you about sand and Gorilla Glass, don't you?
After you've cleared the larger sand particles, it's time to take care of the smaller grains. Gently tapping the device several times will probably force some of the sand outside (don't tap to hard, though). If you suspect that you still have sand inside your device, you might want to give it the compressed air-treatment. We are talking about gas dusters here, also known as canned air. A gentle spray or two inside the USB port would probably suffice.
That being said, have a great summer and take care of your smartphone while on the beach!