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So, the new iPhone 14 is the most repairable smartphone since the iPhone 7, according to the experts over at iFixit. This makes sense, since not only has Apple been working to make it easier for owners to repair their devices, but it also helps Apple technicians when they are repairing iPhones.
What's strange is that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max lines aren't as easy to repair. Perhaps Apple has decided it prudent to test the new design for durability before rolling it out across the board.
There are two things that you need to be able to carry out successful repairs: Know-how and the right tools.
And iFixit has both.
For know-how, visit the company's extensive repair guides. Simply the best information available, and all free.
But what about tools?
Let's take a look at some of the tools I use. Not all of these are specific to the iPhone, but these are the things that I use the most when diagnosing or repairing faulty gadgets.
Review: iPhone 14 Pro wins with substance over sizzle this year
My toolkit of choice for a number of years now is the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit. Pretty much everything I need, all stored in one place and in a convenient carry case. I've owned -- and have been using -- my set for many years, and it's still going strong.
If I had to describe the new iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit in one word, it would be "perfect."
Here's a detailed listing of all the bits in the driver kit:
USB power testers have become a staple of my testing equipment. A good tester can test if USB ports are outputting the right amount of power, check the power draw of devices, measure how much capacity a battery has, check what loads USB-C cables can carry, and much more.
This is one of the easier to use USB testers out there. It comes with quite good instructions, and there aren't too many buttons and controls to get all confusing.
In addition to the display this tool can save data to a PC logger, which means that you can carry out longer tests.
This one tool does so much that it's indispensable!
Also: This USB-C tester will tell you if your Apple chargers are genuine
My eyes aren't what they used to be. Well, to be honest, my eyes were never that good, but I managed. Since I was finding tasks involving small things to be a bit problematic, it was time to do something about it.
Enter this cheap magnifier, which not only features magnification lenses, but also comes complete with LED lights.
I've used mine now for well over a year now, and I have no complaints. I really love the pan and tilt LEDs, as this allows me to get the light exactly on what I'm doing.
When the diagnostics are done, it's time to start repairing things. And while most components these days are disposable, it's nice when I come across something that's repairable.
Maybe it's a cable that's come loose, or a component that needs replacing.
This is when a soldering iron comes in super handy. I use a butane-powered iron because that gives me flexibility to repair things when away from a power supply.
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My favorite Android smartphone is the Ulefone Armor 9. It's rugged. It's chunky! It's tough. And it has a built-in FLIR Lepton thermal camera!
I used to think that thermal cameras were a cool toy for people with more money than sense. But having used one for a few years now, I'm finding it invaluable to have the "superpower" to be able to see in infrared.
Because when it comes to electrical repairs, excess heat means that there's something wrong, and this camera allows me to see this overloading directly.
I've been using the thermal camera in the Ulefone Armor 9 to spot bad connections and overheating components, and it's a great tool for spotting heat buildup in PCs. It's also great around the home for a myriad of things, from spotting heat escape points to finding airlocks in the heating system.