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Fixing Your Flip Phone's Flip

Flip phones, or clamshell phones as they're sometimes known, have a lot of advantages. They might not be the top of the range super stylish phones like the ones that are currently on the market, but they do have some things going for them.

For a start, their battery life tends to be much longer. Because the screen on a flip phone is turned off when the phone is closed, and the screen is the big battery drainer on a phone, the battery on a clamshell lasts longer. Then they're compact, a flip phone is designed to fold to half its real size, making it easy to carry around. And they're notoriously robust.

Because the screen and keyboard of a clamshell are protected when the phone is closed, it makes them a great choice for people who are often outdoors or who work in dangerous places such as on construction sites.

However, one of the disadvantages of a clamshell is that after a year or so of being in use, the hinge on the flip can get a little loose. This means that the phone opens too easily. It's a common problem with the clamshell design, but fortunately it's something that's very easy to fix yourself, and should only take a couple of minutes to get your phone back into perfect working order.

Things You'll Need:

You'll need a Torx screwdriver (readily available from any DIY shop) and a flathead screwdriver. You'll also need either a towel or a big piece of newspaper. This is to put under the phone to make sure that you don't lose any pieces.

What to Do:

Firstly, put the towel or newspaper onto a surface, flip open your clamshell phone and lay it on the towel so that the screen is facing upwards. Look around the keypad of the phone and find the small screws that keep the face plate in place. Using the Torx screwdriver, remove these screws and put them somewhere safe so that they don't get lost.

Pull the face plate of the phone from one corner and gently remove it, putting it to one side. Now do the same thing again on the opposite side of the phone, removing the screws and taking off the face plate. It's best to keep each face plate with its own screws. The screws should be interchangeable, but they're not always.

The hinge at the bottom of the lid should now be exposed. There's a screw on each side of the hinge, remove them, and pull the hinge itself gently out of the phone.

Hold the left side of the hinge down with one hand, and get the flat head screwdriver with your other hand. Still holding the hinge down, put the end of the flathead screwdriver against the spring on the right side of the hinge. Push down on the spring with the screwdriver so that it's fully compressed. Hold it in this position for two minutes.

Put the hinge back into the phone, and reattach the two screws, one on each side. Put the face plate back onto the lid and screw it down. Then put the face plate back on the keyboard and screw it down. Close the lid of your phone.

Your phone should now flip open and closed perfectly. You can do this as many times as you need to, whenever you feel that the hinge is getting sloppy again.

Ask Phil Turner how to extend the life of your clamshell mobile phone. A few easy steps and you’re good to go a few more years. It’s a breeze.

Photo Credit: masochismtango cc

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