Smartphones are a part of every day life; in fact, they are now so common and so familiar that we take them for granted. However, they remain electronics that malfunction at one point or another and when that happens, you need to be prepared. Until smartphones become the incontestable kings of the gadget arena, desktop computers were the electronics of choice and every person who has ever used an operating system (especially Windows 98) knows its infamous error: the blue screen. There are no blue screens in the case of smartphones, but they have bricking. Soft brick and hard brick are two problems that occur as a result of software and hardware issues. While sometimes they occur independently from the user, there are cases when they are caused by user error. For example, there are many people who try to unlock HTC use the wrong software and end up bricking their phones. But what does this mean? [Not a valid template] The term “brick” means that your phone can no longer perform its electronic functions and you can only use it as a brick or paperweight. Soft brick is the least severe problem and occurs when there is an error during operating system updates or ROM flashing. The error can occur on its own, but it’s more common for it to happen when you try to unlock or jailbreak your phone or when you want to root it. The good news about this type of bricking is that you can recover your data and fix the device in most cases, without taking your phone to a service. The main sign of soft brick is a bootloop. More specifically, when you try to restart your phone, you see the boot screen and/or hear the boot sound, but the phone doesn’t turn on. You can get into Download Mode, but not into Recovery Mode. To fix the problem, you can use specialized software or get a stable OS version or custom ROM, but if you don’t feel at ease using these and you want to avoid hard bricking the device, take it to an expert instead. If you cannot see the boot animation and phone logo or you cannot hear the boot sound, nor get into Download Mode, it means your phone is suffered a hard brick. This occurs as a result of kernel malfunction and it usually happens when users try to install custom ROMs that aren’t made for their devices. Basically, the software cannot interact with the hardware and the phone doesn’t turn on. Unfortunately, hard brick cannot be solved without professional help and you will have to take the phone to a service shop and you will have to pay for the repairs, because bricking caused by the user is not covered by warranties. To avoid soft bricking or hard bricking your phone, use custom ROMs and unlocking codes and apps only from developers you trust.