We Risked Our Phones to Try These 13 Ultimate Phone Hacks So You Don’t Have To

We decided to test 13 popular tricks for your gadgets. All you need are common items and some sleight of hand.

Note: The items are ranked by usefulness, with the coolest ones at the end. So read on!

Let’s go!

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13. Use a battery instead of a stylus.

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Our experience: A battery is an excellent alternative to a stylus. We also found that for this to work, you need to touch the screen with the negative side of the battery.

12. Make a phone stand from a paperclip.

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Our experience: The smartphone fits on the unfolded paperclip perfectly. Now we can watch videos without worrying that the phone will fall.

11. Wrap some aluminum foil on your finger.

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Our experience: This can be done if you’re wearing gloves and the screen doesn’t respond. The life hack works, so you can save on special touch gloves for smartphones. And you don’t need to take the gloves off to answer a call or write a text.

10. Use a syringe to clean ports of dirt and dust.

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Our experience: We blew air into the port but did not notice any difference between before and after. Our verdict: this does not help make your smartphone cleaner.

9. Make a smartphone case from a balloon.

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First, inflate the balloon (not too much, to just about half the max volume), and then squeeze the phone into it: the balloon will cling to your smartphone like a glove.

Our experience: This works. So if you do not have a case close at hand (and happen to have a balloon), use this trick.

8. Get rid of screen scratches with toothpaste.

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Our experience: Rubbing toothpaste onto the phone screen did not help us get rid of scratches. It actually made them more noticeable. This very popular Internet hack was useless.

7. Make a “tripod” from tape and rubber bands.

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Take a roll of wide Scotch tape, place the phone in it, and secure it with rubber bands. Stick the structure to the place you want to take a picture from.

Our experience: Yup, this works! If you want to take a group photo and are bored of selfies, try this out.

6. Put a bottle of water on a flashlight to make a nightlight.

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Our experience: This works. Reading in such light is not advisable, but getting to your bed without trouble would work great.

5. Use a condom for underwater photography.

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Our experience: The condom doesn’t let water through for sure, but the screen sensor stops working. In the end, we didn’t manage to take any “underwater” photos.

4. Take a picture using the earphones button.

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Plug the earphones in, turn on the camera, and press the button on the wire. It will work like a trigger.

Our experience: Works like a charm.

3. Make a magnifying glass from a drop of water.

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Carefully place a drop of water on the phone’s camera, wait a minute, then look at a page with small text through the camera.

Our experience: This works, but the drop trembles tremendously and can fall at any moment. Unfortunately, it will be extremely inconvenient to read in this way, but you could use the hack to take macro photos.

2. Save a soaked phone with rice.

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We actually soaked a phone for this!

First you need to wipe the phone with a paper towel, take out the battery, and remove the SIM card. Then blow out the remaining water with a vacuum cleaner. Each part must be dried for 20 minutes. Finish by putting the phone in a rice bag overnight so that the rice absorbs any moisture residue.

Our experience: We managed to save the “victim,” but the screen colors faded significantly, and the screen began to flash. The life hack worked only to some extent and did not return the smartphone to its previous state. Perhaps in such cases it is better to contact customer service, where your phone will get professional assistance.

1. Make an awesome mini-lamp from eggshell.

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Break an egg and glue part of the shell to the smartphone flashlight.

Our experience: This original lamp will create pleasant lighting. It will also help you orient yourself in the dark.

Bonus: Super App

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Screen Lock — Time Password is an app for Android that makes your phone’s current time (or other options related to time) the lock screen password. As it changes all the time, you don’t have to worry if someone might have seen your password as you unlocked your phone.

For iPhones, there is a different yet awesome hack: you can hide your number for one certain call by typing #31# right before the number you’re calling.