What to do about your Essential Phone (PH-1) that won’t charge [Troubleshooting Guide]

Charging issues could be as minor as a glitch but could also be a serious one especially if the problem is rooted in the hardware. And what makes them really hard to troubleshoot is the fact that you will only know your phone no longer charges when the battery is almost drained or has already turned off for lack of power. As you know, there’s only so much you can do about a phone that doesn’t turn on.

In this post, I will tell you a few things you should do if your Essential Phone (PH-1) no longer charges when you plug it in. I understand it’s still new and you shouldn’t be dealing with problems like this but these things happen without any warning. We just have to see if we can fix the phone without any help from a tech to save you from going the shop and waiting in line. If we can’t then you should bring it back to the store and instead of having it fixed, I suggest you negotiate for a replacement.

Now, before we actually do some procedures here, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, then try to visit our Essential PH-1 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most commonly reported issues. Try to find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

How to troubleshoot your Essential phone that won’t charge

Don’t worry, none of the steps I suggested here can damage your phone. We simply have to see if there are external factors that may have contributed to the problem because if not, then the issue should be with the hardware and you need a technician to address it.

Step 1: Check your phone’s charging port

You need to make sure first that this problem isn’t due to water damage. Unlike the most of the flagships this year, your Essential Phone doesn’t have any water-resistant rating so it would take a few seconds for the water to actually get into it and mess up its settings. The main entry point of water is the charging port so you should check it for some moist or droplets of liquid. If it seems wet, get a piece of dry tissue and insert it into the port. This will absorb the moist faster than when you’re using a swab.

Aside from moist, also check for for debris, lint, dirt and corrosion that may have prevented proper contact between connectors. If something that doesn’t belong is in there, try to get it out or blow into the charging port. If you have a can of compressed air, that would be better because just a single blast will send the debris or dirt flying out of the port. If there’s a pin that’s bent and touching the other, that might also be the reason why your phone isn’t charging. I know the pins aren’t brittle but I suggest you bring the phone to the shop and let the tech fix it just to make sure you won’t damage or break it.

Step 2: Check the charger and the USB cable

After checking your phone’s charging port and you can’t see anything in there, then it’s time to check the charger as well as the USB cable. The port on the charger is much larger than with your phone so it would be a lot easier to clean or fish out foreign objects that might be preventing the charging process.

As to the cable, you have to check both ends for water, debris, dirt and corrosion. You can actually use a toothbrush dipped in alcohol to clean the connectors on both ends but brush gently so as not to bent or dislocate the connectors.

Now, assuming you’ve already checked the charger and USB cable or cleaned them, it’s time to charge your phone. But this time, make sure you’re plugging your charger into the wall outlet that works. If the phone still won’t charge, try the next step.

Step 3: Connect your phone to a computer using the original cable

This will tell us immediately if the problem is with the charger, cable or the phone. If the phone charges or, at least, responds when you connect it to the computer, then there’s a possibility that the problem is with the charger. Allow the phone to charge but if you have a spare charger that has the same power output as with the original, try using it to see if it works. If it does, then you should buy a new charger for your phone.

However, if the phone doesn’t respond when connected to the computer, try using a different USB cable if possible. If it works with a different cable, then you still need to buy a new charger just to make sure you’re using original accessories.

Lastly, if your phone still won’t respond even with a different cable and charger, then it’s possible the problem is its hardware and at this point, there’s not much you can do about it except bring it back to the store and have it replaced.

There you go! That’s how you rule the possibilities out one by one to arrive at a conclusion that the problem could be with your phone. Again, do not settle for the fix, instead negotiate for a replacement because it’s very much possible the problem is in the manufacturing. You don’t have to deal with this kind of problem over and over. I hope this helps.

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Harold has been in the tech industry since 2008 when he started out as a tech support for companies like Time Warner, Comcast and Tracfone. He’s been troubleshooting phones when the smartphone industry started booming. During his tenure as a tech support, he’s already been writing for various tech blogs and doing some freelance SEO. In 2012, he joined a small team of bloggers to write for The Droid Guy, and he has been with the company ever since. Today, he doesn’t only write tutorials and troubleshooting pieces but also shoots and edits videos for The Droid Guy channel while trading stocks on the side.

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