As Android phones age, the electronic components inside go through an intense amount of workload, which may cause some unwanted effects. But before trying to troubleshoot any phone, we recommend going through a basic diagnosis. Our own Servify app has a diagnosis feature, which has a ‘Full’ and ‘Custom’ diagnosis feature to check the full health of a phone or certain components only.
If an issue is detected at the hardware level, the best course of action is to visit a service center. Some other common issues can be handled by knowing what is causing the issue.
Here are the most common ones with effective solutions:
1. Battery drain and/or overheating
As smartphone batteries age, they tend to discharge quicker. Hence, faster battery drain is noticed more in older phones. The gradual trend of faster battery drain might get worrisome when the drain is sudden, e.g.: battery charge drops from 10% to 0% within a minute. Android’s next update, Android 9.0 Pie, will look to tackle some of these with the Adaptive Battery feature.
For older Android OS’, here are some solutions. Begin with turning auto brightness off. You can go to the Settings menu and then inside Display toggle the Auto Brightness option off. Also, try and limit the number of apps you install. Some social media apps are found to drain the battery more than others. A good workaround is to use the ‘Lite’ version of these apps and/or uninstall them completely and simply use a browser to check your feed.
Battery drainage also tends to be higher when you play intensive games and/or stream a lot of movies. If you can cut down these, you can curtail both – quicker drain and overheating.
2. Apps freeze or system unresponsive
Does installing too many apps on your phone cause the OS to become unresponsive? That is a complex issue which we won’t get into here. The simple solution, though, is to clear app cache and look at third-party apps to clear system caches. If a newly installed app is causing issues, it’s best to re-install the app or search for an alternative, if the issue still persists.
If no new apps were installed and you suspect it’s the bloatware that came with the custom version of Android OS, then it’s a good idea to try out a launcher. Not only will they help in changing the animations but also help with better RAM management.
3. Lack of storage space
More apps, more photos and videos shot by the camera in full resolution and a plethora of ‘Good morning’ messages on WhatsApp are the primary reasons why storage fills up quickly on smartphones. We have already covered this issue in some detail in the past and it is worth reading again to get around the issue.
4. Connectivity issues
Most connectivity issues pertaining to call drops and the like can be attributed to poor network. This can further be investigated by using third-party apps like Network Cell Info Lite. There is also a ‘Map view’ in this app which can potentially tell you where you can find better network if you’re unable to find good signal strength anywhere close.
For Wi-Fi issues, it’s best to check how much your speed improves if you are close to the router. If it’s still bad, then there is an issue with your connection. If it’s better then you will have to eliminate any obstructions or check for other devices (like cordless phones) which might be using the same channel (i.e. 2.4GHz) for itself. This interference may cause issues with your Wi-Fi signal, changing to the 5GHz channel will remedy the situation.
5. Unable to play/open a downloaded file
If you have a file that doesn’t seem to work or open, it could simply be a file association issue. Some file formats will open only if certain apps are preinstalled on your phone. For e.g.: a pdf file opens with Adobe Acrobat Reader, or related apps. If no such app is installed, there might be an issue.
A good solution is to install a universal file viewer app. A good bet is the File Viewer for Android app, which claims to open more than 100 file types. If it’s a video file which refuses to work with your default player, try and install VLC for Android, which supports a wide range of codecs and usually is a safe bet to play media files.
6. Too many contacts or duplicate contacts
Most Android phones have an inbuilt option to take care of duplicates. Open the Contacts app and then tap the 3-button menu on the top-right corner. Here, select Link (or Join) to see available duplicate contacts. You can then merge all possible duplicates and get rid of them.
If your phone’s Android version doesn’t show you any such option, then don’t despair. Simply login to contacts.google.com from any browser with your primary Google account. Now, on the left panel, click Duplicates to see all possible duplicate entries and then select Merge. Problem solved!
7. Virus or malware in phone
While viruses and malware are getting harder to detect, there are apps built with the sole intention of detecting and stopping them. The one we would like to recommend is Malware Bytes, which not only detects intrusions but can also get rid of existing ones.
Some more help?
If you’re facing issues other than the ones highlighted above, drop us an email describing your worry with screenshots on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help out!