Packing your smartphone along with your beach towels, sunscreen, folding chair, and umbrella seems like an easy decision. Between reading books and magazines, catching up on gossip by text, and capturing and sharing all the fun moments on camera, you’ll want to keep it nearby. But beaches are terrible environments for smartphones. Between the heat, surf, and turf, there are too many opportunities for the phone to become ruined in a myriad of ways, whether that means scratches or water getting inside it. Here are some tips on how to protect your smartphone on the beach!
Keep It Covered
Your phone should already have a hard-shell case to protect it from tumbles, but if you’re bringing it out to the beach, then consider getting a waterproof case as well. It won’t just protect the phone if your drop it in the water, it’ll keep sand out of the buttons and ports. Many cases and pouches can protect your phone while still allowing access to your screen and apps; some even allow you to snap lovely underwater shots during a dive. Whatever you choose, put a layer of protection between your camera and the beach.
Beat the Heat
One of the more sneaky and insidious ways the beach can injure a phone is through the heat. If the temperature is soaring, keep your phone undercover and out of sight of the sun. While your phone has several protective features inside it that keep it running despite electric shocks and signal interference, the sun can fry its internal circuitry, overheat its battery, and crack or otherwise damage the screen. Don’t put your phone through the paces under a hot sun, and never leave it out in direct sunlight. Give it a rest occasionally and keep it shaded and cool by storing it away between uses.
Keep It Clean
Food, drinks, water, sand, sunscreen, tanning lotion—the number of substances your phone encounters on the beach is startling. While a case can protect it from most of these things, it’s still a smart idea to keep the phone as far away from material that can coat or infiltrate its inner workings. Make sure your hands are clean when you’re using your phone and never leave it where spills and drips can touch it. Keep your phone separate from the bag carrying your food, drinks, and lotions to avoid the heartbreaking of finding it drenched with liquid from a bottle that was accidentally left open.
Back It Up
Here’s one final tip on how to protect your smartphone on the beach. Make sure your phone’s contents are automatically backed up if—heaven forbid—the beach kills it with sand, sun, or surf. Activate the backup feature in your settings so all your apps, photos, notes, and other things are saved to the cloud or a service like Dropbox. Even if you lose your phone, you won’t lose all the memories and data you’ve been saving up.