Upgrading your phone every year or two can get expensive, plus with today’s great technology, your slightly older model may still work just great for you. If you’re the type of person who wants to get every last drop of value from your smartphone before moving on, here are 5 key tips to keep your phone in great working order.

Get A Good Case. Covering your phone in a protective case is the quickest and easiest way to extend its life. We all know that accidents—especially drops—happen. Protect yourself from the inevitable to avoid having to deal with—or make a costly repair—to a cracked screen.

Keep It Clean. Clearing debris from the phone’s ports, and keeping the screen wiped clean, offer the best of both worlds: the phone not only performs better, it also looks great. Take a few minutes and use a toothpick to clean out any lint or dirt in the charging port, microphone area, speaker grille and headphone jack. Use cleaning wipes to remove smudges and fingerprints from the screen (and keep it germ free).

Don’t Skip Updates. To keep your phone running as fast and trouble-free as possible, it’s important to update the operating system and third-party apps. It doesn’t take long, and the benefits can be huge: updates fix bugs, resolving security issues, and install new features that improve overall performance. You can even set your phone to perform updates while using Wi-Fi instead of using your cellular data.

Android and iPhone both offer automatic app updates, which should be enabled by default. You can check on an Android phone by opening the Play Store, sliding out the menu from the left side of the screen, tapping on Settings and making sure the Auto-update apps option is selected. If you have an iPhone, go to Settings > iTunes & App Store and make sure the App Updates option is in the On position. 

Manage Your Apps. Phones have a fixed amount of storage and memory. By removing apps you don’t use regularly, you preserve space and also and prevent apps from running in the background, which can make your phone feel slower and closer to the end of its life than it really is. 

Deleting apps on an iPhone is easy—just long-press on the app icon until it starts to wiggle, then tap the X to remove it. Android smartphones offer a few more options but can follow a similar process—long-press, select the “i” that shows up for App Info and then choose Uninstall. And don’t worry; if you decide later that you really want the app back, you can always reinstall it from the App Store or Google Play.

Maintain Your Battery. Battery performance will inevitably decrease as your phone gets older, but you can still take steps to improve its performance. For one, don’t let your battery routinely drain to zero. It has to work that much harder to charge back up, shortening its lifespan. Also avoid putting your device in situations where the battery could overheat, like leaving it out in direct sunlight. While the day will come that replacing it simply can’t be avoided—there are network upgrades and other technological changes that leave every phone outdated at a certain point—these few simple steps could save you hundreds of dollars by making your old phone last just that much longer.


  1. Betty Rayford says

    My Android gives me lots of problems

    reply to Betty

  2. Mary Anne Beckman says

    Checking into switching providers and who can give me the best rate

    reply to Mary

    • Hi Mary Anne, thanks for your interest! If you’d like to take a look at our plan options and their pricing, go online to our website here. Just let us know if you have any questions about them.

      reply to Jacob

    • Wanda D. King says

      Dear Mary, I have been with Consumer Cellular for a couple of years now and I HIGHLY recommend them. I pay much less than my friends who have other providers, but get the same, or a better, plan. They are SUPER flexible and convenient. If you are unsure which plan you want, as I was, you can sign up for the lowest priced plan with no worries. If you go over your plan limits, the plan is automatically bumped to the next one with no interruption in service. There are easy to read bar charts which show what you are using, allowing you to adjust your usage if you wish. Some months I use more, so my plan goes up (usually only $5), but then I can go back to my previous plan afterwards with ease. The customer service team is super great too. I get great service almost anywhere I go, very very few dead spots. My phone works when my friends’ phone don’t lol. You can buy or bring your phone or buy one on their site and make payments (If you want a pricey one). AND if you belong to AARP you get a discount on your phone bill. I really love Consumer Cellular, it would be hard for another company to get me to switch (they’d basically have to give me free phone service to do that). There is no contract, so you can give them a try and cancel if you don’t like them (that’s what I did and I am still here, lol).

      reply to Wanda

      • John says

        Hi, Wanda: I totally agree with you. I have searched for better pricing and recommendations from friends and Consumer Cellular beats all others trying to compete. Plus, they do not make you pay for the sim card when you sign up. I have no reason to go elsewhere, unless the new owners try to tweak it and actually mess up a good thing. Then I will go somewhere else and pay more, for less!

        reply to John

  3. Donald Wright says

    We did the sim card update last night and our home screen is still displaying 3G, is this normal since you are upgrading to 4G and 5G with this update?

    reply to Donald

  4. Mary Danis says

    IAdded a new line to my account last week and was told that my new phone would be received by Friday it is now Saturday I still have not received the new phone what’s going on?

    reply to Mary

  5. Sharon Shelton says

    I need the puk code for my Iphone

    reply to Sharon

  6. Rickey Rigoni says

    I’m very pleased with my new iPhone 8 Plus. Performs just like a new flagship phone of 2020. Had it two months and enjoy it very much. Thank you CC for wonderful phones and service. Rick R.

    reply to Rickey

  7. Fernando Antonio Haro Estrada says

    Very good help Thanks

    reply to Fernando

  8. DOREEN says

    Where can I get a battery for Doro- Battery model is DBE-900A?

    reply to DOREEN

    • Hi Doreen, thanks for your question. We are not partnered with anyone to sell replacement batteries so we would not be able to recommend somewhere to purchase one. You can look around at third party options though, otherwise, if the phone is within its 1-year warranty I would recommend contacting us to troubleshoot and process a warranty for the phone. For assistance with that process, give us a call at 888-548-6490 or chat with us here.

      reply to Jacob

  9. Tracy Barnwell says

    I see you can keep your phone? I worked for ATT for 23 years and left last month and I no longer get my concession. I have a Galaxy s10 E. Would I need my phone unlocked so it accepts your SIM card? I’m thinking of getting a phone with CC to see how well it works and if it’s comparable to what I have now, I want to switch everything over to my Galaxy.

    reply to Tracy

    • Hi Tracy, thanks for your interest! The phone would need to be unlocked from AT&T, and be GSM-compatible to be considered as an option to use with our service. We can’t guarantee compatibility for all models, but we’ve had success in the past with phones coming form AT&T as long as the mentioned criteria is met.

      reply to Jacob

  10. Sandra Clites says

    Recently received a new phone and phone case. The phone case is not what I wanted. How do I go about returning it. There’s no paperwork with it.

    reply to Sandra

    • Hi Sandra, thanks for your post! I do see that you were able to speak with one of our agents about wanting to send back the combo pack with the case and car charger. Keep in mind, this would need to be unopened in order to process a refund for it and it would need to be sent back with your own return label. If you have any questions, just give us a call at 800-686-4460 or you can also chat with us here.

      reply to Jacob

  11. John Martin says

    I want to know about hotspot service. Cost and monthly price.

    reply to John

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi John, hotspot usage would come from your Connect plan, so there isn’t any additional cost for this to be enabled. If your phone has the hotspot feature built-in, we can enable it if you give us a call at 888-345-5509 or chat with us here.

      reply to Nicole

  12. dorrie says

    I would like to know if there are any apps I can use with CC voicemail, so I CAN see and choose which voicemail I want to respond to. Att does this automatically. Why doesn’t CC?

    reply to dorrie

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Dorrie, that’s something that we can enable on your iPhone. If you give us a call at 888-345-5509 or chat with us here, our customer service team would b happy to get that enabled for you.

      reply to Nicole

  13. Robert Alfred says

    Is the iPhone 8plus still available. Thanks Bob

    reply to Robert

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Bob, we’re not sure if we’ll continue to offer the Apple iPhone 8 Plus. If we receive more in-stock, then our website will be updated immediately. Otherwise, all of our current iPhones can be found here.

      reply to Nicole

  14. Elizabeth Shenise says

    Re:Dorrie’ question, I would also like to see my voicemail number so I know who left it. Is it possible on my Android Galaxy J 7? I receive many questionable calls which I block. Thank you for your great service.

    reply to Elizabeth

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Elizabeth, if you want visual voicemail on an Android smartphone, you’ll need to use a third-party app. You can check the Play Store for visual voicemail apps and see if one will work with your phone. Alternatively, if you miss a call it should show up in your Call Log in the Phone app.

      reply to Nicole

  15. Janet says

    I have a Huawei phone and I want to know if I can do a video with doctor. My phone says video not connected to speaker.

    reply to Janet

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Janet, that would depend on the third-party app that you’re using to do the video calling. If apps like Zoom or Skype aren’t working for video calling, I recommend reaching out to the app developer.

      reply to Nicole

  16. Patricia J. Murphy says

    Do I get charged for calls that I don’t answer???

    reply to Patricia

  17. Rick M. says

    When I worked at the photo department at Walgreens, people would sit there and struggle to connect their misbehaving smartphone to the kiosk. I would ask if they had restarted their phone within the last few days and they would just give me a blank look. Then, after I’d strongly suggest it a few more times, they would reluctantly restart their phone, and like magic, problems gone.
    Moral: restart your phone weekly at least. It will run so much smoother. There may be an option to automatically restart it on a schedule while you are asleep late at night.

    reply to Rick

  18. Alan says

    I just switched to Consumer Cellular from straight talk because my phone was not compatible with their new update and I did not want to have to buy a new phone when my phone is not that old so I went to Consumer Cellular they’ve been great the service is great I’ve had no problems just only had it a few days but it works great if not better than Straight Talk I would highly recommend Consumer Cellular straight talk just want you to buy one of their phones is what it boils down to don’t bother with them I’ll never go back I’m staying with Consumer Cellular great job guys Consumer Cellular very very excellent service on setting up my phone and everything absolutely love it glad I changed

    reply to Alan

  19. Bev Manifold says

    My husband and I have been with CC for about a year, and we’ve been delighted. Outstanding customer service and that’s saying a lot since my husband is disabled, always has lots of questions, has speech problems, and we’re both very senior citizens. We both got very good Motorola phones for a fraction of the cost of more popular brands. Thanks very much and keep up the great work!

    reply to Bev

  20. Mackie Travis says

    I just recently upgraded to a Samsung 10e, and now I get an email that says my new phone will not work with the new 5g. I still owe 400.00. Is there going to be an app that upgrades 3g to 5g or do I quit paying for an obsolete new phone

    reply to Mackie

  21. Barbara Tripp says

    I don’t see iPhone 7s offered as well as 8. Why is your iPhone inventory shrinking?

    reply to Barbara

    • Hi Barbara, thanks for your post. All stock is completely based on what Apple sends us to sell. As they begin to phase out phones, some of them may not come back into stock while others, we are just waiting for them to send us more of. At this time, we are currently waiting on Apple to send us more for those models, but we don’t know if or when we will be receiving them. We would recommend checking back on the website often while waiting as this is where they will be posted first when we do get them in.

      reply to Jacob

  22. Michelle Angelini says

    I’ve had this Android Motorola cell phone for quite a number of years and it still works great. It appears that this phone isn’t even made anymore. I just learned some new tips from this blog for maintaining my phone. I’ve gone through several of the “free” phones and they don’t work worth a hoot. This is the best cell phone I’ve ever had and just added texting and internet to it – which I wasn’t sure if I liked, but found I do. Also I have to say that Consumer Cellular is a great company. I dumped one of the other big companies and decided I wanted to not go with any of the other ones. Thank you Consumer Cellular for a wonderful phone and customer service.

    reply to Michelle

  23. KK says

    I received an email from CC advising me that I need to replace my iPhone 5s due to upgrades to your network. Does your upgrade affect only iPhones or do other GSM/AT&T phones also require replacement. I read “bring your own phone” and “5 tips to keep your older smartphone working great” and do not see any critical information posted regarding obsolete phones. Also, will I be able to use my iPhone 5s with wifi and/or data as there is nothing wrong with the instrument itself. Please advise. Thank you.

    reply to KK

    • Hi KK, thanks for your question! The phones that are being phased out are ones that are not VoLTE capable, which includes the iPhone 5s as one of the many models. It’s not just iPhones, it’s all phones that don’t have this capacity due to the age of the model.

      reply to Jacob

      • KK says

        Thanks Jacob. Is VoLTE primarily used for phone or data too? Will my obsolete iphone still work with wifi connection even if it won’t work for phone service? Thank you.

        reply to KK

        • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

          Hi KK, VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE and is what would allow the phone to make voice calls after 3G service is phase-out. If your phone isn’t VoLTE-capable, then it won’t be able to make voice calls, including Wi-Fi Calling.

          reply to Nicole

  24. Mike Silver says

    My phones used to show caller ID on my TV. Since iv joined you the only show wireless caller. I named my phones thinking that would do it. still shows wireless caller. Was with ATT and Cox TV . Still with COX TV.

    reply to Mike

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Mike. The Caller ID on our service will show “Wireless Caller” as we cannot customize the name that is displayed. If your caller ID shows as “Wireless Caller”, then it is working as intended.

      reply to Nicole

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.