What’s Your Smartphone Made Out Of? (The Answer Will Shock You!)
What are phones made out of? Is your phone safe and environmental-friendly? Read on to learn everything you need to know here.
With smartphones becoming part of people’s daily lives, it is easy for us to ignore the things that make these gadgets great. It is easy for us to gaze in amazement at the latest features like powerful cameras.
Apple and Samsung smartphone shipments took a dip in 2019. However, the overall sales of smartphones in the United States still exceeded the 77 billion-dollar mark.
But despite these impressive numbers, did you ever wonder what are phones made out of? Do you know the key phone materials that make up the smartphone you are holding?
Continue reading below as we learn about the raw materials used to make cell phones.
That Crystal Clear Glass
What are phones made out of? It’s best to start with the most obvious parts. In this case, it is the glass, which makes up most of the exterior. But this glass that you see and feel is not just any ordinary glass.
For a device that tends to slip and fall to the ground, a smartphone must feature a durable type of glass. This particular glass features aluminum oxide and silicon dioxide as its main components.
To further beef up the glass’s strength, the manufacturers use an ultra-thin layer of indium tin oxide. This gives the glass additional protection whenever you touch it.
Meanwhile, some phone makers like Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia use Gorilla Glass. This is a toughened glass that is lightweight and thin.
In 2016, Apple used pure sapphire to reinforce the camera lens of the iPhone 7. Sapphire is a material that comes from aluminum oxide. Interestingly, sapphire is three times harder than Gorilla Glass.
What Are Phones Made Out Of?
Aside from the glass, your smartphone also features different kinds of metals. The most common of which is the aluminum alloys. These alloys are lightweight.
You will generally find them in your smartphone’s case.
When you go deeper inside your device, you will see other kinds of metals playing important roles. When it comes to your phone’s wirings, the most common elements are gold, silver, and copper.
Moving to the circuitry, tungsten and platinum are staples. As you shift to the battery, it comes with carbon graphite and lithium cobalt oxide.
Furthermore, your smartphone carries some rare metals. You will find these metals as part of your phone’s glass. Manufacturers use rare metals like praseodymium, neodymium-iron-boron alloys, and dysprosium to reinforce the glass.
Additionally, your phone’s motors, magnets, and speakers also feature these rare metals.
When it comes to incorporating these metals into smartphones, manufacturers use different techniques. One of the most economical options is metal 3D printing.
Lower to mid-tier smartphones often use plastic instead of metal as casing. Though plastic does not look as elegant as metal or glass, it still lives up in terms of durability. The good thing about plastic is that it is more resistant to damage.
Plastic can withstand most drops. It can also protect your phone from dents and scratches. But perhaps the best quality of plastic is that it can survive extreme temperature fluctuations.
One of the most important elements is silicon. Apart from reinforcing your phone’s screen, a silicon chip is something that helps your device run smoothly.
Another is indium tin oxide or ITO. This substance is the key to allowing your fingers to interact with the screen.
When you move to your phone’s microphone, you will find nickel. Additionally, your phone uses silica, graphite, alumina, manganese, and tantalum. It also carries magnesium, bromine, lead, and tin.
Are They Environment-Friendly?
In today’s age where climate change is a hot topic, it is a must that we ask if the materials that form our smartphones are environment-friendly. It is a sad fact, however, that our mobile phones contribute to harmful electronic waste.
Researchers even note that smartphones create the most damage to the environment across all tech devices. The damage begins as early as the production stage. When phone makers produce the phone’s motherboard and chip, they require the most amount of energy.
Furthermore, smartphones have a relatively short shelf life. Compared to mobile phones from 15 to 20 years ago, today’s smartphones last around four years on average.
Some consumers even replace their mobile phones every two years.
Nevertheless, you can still choose devices that leave less carbon footprint. For example, there are Android devices that are modular and recoverable, making them easy to repair.
Some phones use mostly recyclable materials. This allows the manufacturers to cut costs while reducing energy consumption during production.
And if you’re not too picky, you can also go for a pre-owned or refurbished unit.
Extending the Life of Your Smartphone
As a bonus tip, you should also learn some cool tips that will help extend the shelf life of your mobile devices. First, invest in a tempered glass screen protector. This will keep your screen from breaking in case you accidentally drop the phone.
Moreover, you should get a sturdy case. This will protect your phone’s body from scratches and breaking. It will also reduce the impact that may cause internal problems in your device.
Another helpful tip is to power down your phone at least once a week. Turn off your smartphone for a few minutes and let it rest for a bit.
You also want to practice proper battery care. Don’t wait for the battery to go down to serious levels. Charge it before it reaches the 25% mark. This will help extend the battery life and increase the charge cycles.
Last but not least, be mindful of the sites that you visit. The same thing goes for the items that you download using your phone. Keep in mind that malware and viruses come from dubious sites and attachments.
Maximize Your Device
What are phones made out of? We hope this guide explained their composition well enough.
Now you have a better appreciation for your device. But appreciating your phone is not enough. You must learn how to maximize it too.
Keep on reading our other articles and blog posts. We provide tips and tricks that will help you unleash the full potential of your devices.
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