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12 smartphone myths that are not quite true

10. October 2023 Published by Raphael Doerr

The term “myth” comes from the ancient Greek and means something like “word, speech, narration of events”. This usually refers to stories about gods, heroes and people. However, when we speak of a “myth” in everyday life, we often mean something invented or false. Today we would probably call it fake news. What does this have to do with smartphones? Quite a lot, because smartphones have been around in Germany since 1994, almost 30 years. Enough time for a lot of smartphone myths. In some cases, there is a kernel of truth behind them that applied to older models. But the smartphone world is changing rapidly: many things that were true yesterday are no longer true today. That’s why in this article we want to check the 12 most persistent smartphone myths, in order to avoid mistakes and prevent fake news.

  1. updates disadvantageous? Not necessarily! Even if sometimes the speed of older models can be affected, they eliminate dangerous security gaps.
  2. close apps in the background! It used to make sense, but is no longer necessary. Neither iOS nor Android requires apps to be closed manually in the background. Modern operating systems regulate this efficiently themselves.
  3. Bluetooth and WiFi drain the battery even if there is no active connection! Modern smartphones only consume power when they are actively used. Otherwise they are not battery guzzlers.
  4. smartphones on the plane? No danger of crashing here! The radiation does not affect modern aircraft systems.
  5. leave the charger plugged in? The cost is 25 cents a year. Yet the wasted electricity adds up for millions of smartphones so it’s better to unplug.
  6. really waterproof? Beware of mishaps! Smartphones are protected against clear water, but not against salt water or other liquids. And the protection can diminish over time.
  7. let the battery run down? Outdated! Modern lithium-ion batteries do not suffer from the memory effect. The battery level should not drop below 20%, otherwise the service life may be reduced.
  8. dangerous cold? No doubt about it, cold temperatures affect the screen and battery performance. It’s better to carry your smartphone close to your body and use a headset in sub-zero temperatures to avoid damage.
  9. many pixels, good photos? The number of pixels is important, but not decisive. More important is the size of the sensors, the quality of the lenses and camera software.
  10. restart your smartphone regularly? Not necessarily! Modern operating systems rarely need reboots. But in case of problems, a restart is often helpful. At least once a week would be ideal.
  11. making a phone call at the petrol station? Hardly a risk these days! Modern batteries are safer and permanently installed. The danger at the petrol station is therefore less from the smartphone than from the battery. If the mobile phone falls to the ground and the battery falls out of the phone, sparks could fly.
  12. smartphones makes you stupid? Perhaps indirectly! Even though studies show that the mere presence of the smartphone can reduce mental performance. So it’s better to put the smartphone in another room during important tasks.

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