There are a lot of components that go into making a functioning smartphone, and if one of those isn’t working properly, it can throw off your whole experience.
But how do you pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with your device? Maybe the accelerometer seems a bit off when you play racing games, or maybe browsing the web on mobile data or Wi-Fi doesn’t feel as fast as it should.
Whatever your problem is, there are apps that can help you figure out what is wrong and how to solve it. Even if you’re not having a specific problem, it might be good just to run through a little check-up on your phone to ensure everything’s running smoothly.
Google Device Assist
Your first stop should be the Google Device Assist app. It’s available from the Play Store, but unless you have a Nexus or Moto device, you’ll need to download the APK and install it manually.
This app does a lot more than just check for issues. If you’re a beginner, it will give you tips and advice on how to better take advantage of your Android device (though we have some of our own advice for beginners too).
When you boot up the app, it asks if you want Basic, Intermediate, or Advanced mode. Don’t worry, this can always be changed in the settings later.
What you choose will change what kind of tips you’re shown. Beginners will be told how to turn Wi-Fi on or off, or create folders on their homescreen (above), whereas advanced users will learn about more obscure features like finding or remote locking your device (below).
Navigation is simple, just scroll through the list of cards that Google displays for you. At any time, you can search for a particular issue in the top right, or tap the three-dot icon to see previous actions you’ve taken, change your settings, or view a range of information about your device.
You can even check your Wi-Fi or data speeds, and Google will tell you the results in plain English so that you actually understand the results.
Since the app is a part of Google’s services, it provides hints for other Google apps too, like little tricks for Google Maps. All the tips are explained in easy-to-understand instructions and visual explanations in GIF form if necessary.
For a simple, understandable solution, look no further than Device Assist.
Any guess what this app does? If you guessed that it tests your Android device, you’re right!
Beneath the attractive colorful interface lies a powerful app that allows you to test everything from your screen’s multitouch capabilities to your built-in compass.
You can also slide over to the information tab to see information about your device, much like in Google’s Device Assist app. If you’re trying to live a life without Google, this could be a solid alternative.
A small advery can be seen at the bottom of the app while you use it, but it’s easily ignored.
As the name suggest, this app functions as a doctor for your phone. It allows you to run through all sorts of “check-ups” to ensure that everything is working properly.
As you complete the various tests, the progress bars along the top will fill up. The date on which you tested each part of your phone is noted, so you’ll always have a record of when different aspects were working or not.
And, as expected, you can check on the health and status of various aspects like your CPU or battery. In fact, we have some good tips on how to keep your battery healthy in the first place.
This isn’t the prettiest app in the world, but it sure is functional. It uses big 3D skeuomorphic icons with tiny text beneath them — it’s a design trainwreck.
However, it does give you very specific and detailed information about everything from your accelerometer to GPS coordinates. It will put a big green checkmark over sensors and features that your phone does have, and a big red X through any that your phone is lacking.
Banner adverts run along the bottom of the screen, and you’re sometimes interrupted by full-screen adverts. But if you need the kind of detailed information this app can supply, those might be worth putting up with.
Several of the above apps will help you detect if you have a dead or defective pixel, but they don’t do anything to fix it. If you find that your screen has a stuck pixel (or several) there actually might be a way to revive it.
Some stuck pixels are hardware defects, and those can’t be fixed by any app, but others just need to cycle through their three options (red, green, and blue) enough times to refresh them.
To solve this, the best solution I found actually isn’t an app but a website: JScreenFix. It works on Android or any other device with an LCD panel. It displays a pure black screen so that you can identify the stuck pixel, then it offers a little square that you can place over the area that quickly shuffles through colors. Developers suggest leaving it running for about 10 minutes.
If you really want to try the app route, though, you could use the Dead Pixel Detector & Fixer. This app gives you different color backgrounds to identify dead pixels, then shuffles the whole screen rapidly through colors to refresh any affected areas. Best of all there are no adverts and no permission requirements!
There’s a flurry of apps available on the Play Store for checking on the health of your Android device, but these were the best that we found. Personally, I find Google Device Assist to be the best option for most people, but others will need the detailed readouts that apps like Z – Device Test can provide.
Were there any amazing apps that we missed? What do you use? Let us know in the comments!