How to solve four common problems with your new smartphone

For all their smarts, smartphones can be complicated animals. Or at least frustrating ones, especially if you run into some of the problems that tend to crop up among new smartphone owners.

(Note that I’m referring to both new smartphone-owners and new-smartphone owners. Hyphenation matters, people!)

Thankfully, most of these issues are easily resolved — or if not resolved, easily worked around. Let’s dive right in.

(Credit: Apple)

1. Battery life is disappointing.
It always is. Smartphones suck up a lot of juice, what with all that Facebook updating, e-mail fetching, and candy crushing — to the point where most users are lucky to get through a full day without needing an immediate trip to the charger.

In fact, I’ve found that Android phones are particularly poor at power management, though that’s a topic for another day. The good news is that you can tweak some settings and/or install some apps that will give your battery a much-needed boost. Check out these helpful posts:

Personally, I’ve found that if you drop screen brightness to around 50 percent and turn off “push” e-mail, you’ll see huge improvements in battery life.

The other “fix,” of course, is to pack a mobile charger, thus extending your runtime when the juice runs low. For a wallet/purse-friendly shot of emergency power, check out Kickstarter project Jumper Card. I’m also very partial to Anker’s mobile chargers, like the compact but long-lasting Astro.

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