“All in a day’s work, mate?”
It’s the iconic sign-off to TikTok sensation Max Hawker’s clips, which show him bring back from the dead just about every type of mobile device you can think of. Every problem from smashed screens, destroyed chipsets or even phones left soaking in a glass of soda, Max has fixed it.
Based in the glorious Whitsundays in Northern Queensland, Max’s gadget repair videos have amassed tens of millions of views, with his account now having over 400k followers.
He wasn’t necessarily always into fixing gadgets, and despite his immense knowledge in the space, didn’t formally study electrical engineering, but his knack for learning new things and caring about doing things right has set him apart.
“I always wanted to start my own business,” Max tells us.
“I was a D and E grade student at school though, I absolutely sucked, and going to uni for 3 or 4 years wasn’t something on my radar anyway.”
So, Max started looking into ways to work for himself, and eventually worked out that he was “a bit of a nerd” and knew enough to fill in the demand of gadget repair work around where he lives to make a living from it.
“It was just serendipity that I stumbled across it and was nerdy enough to be able to wing it at first while learning the rest,” he said.
These days, Max reckons most of the work is now second nature to him, but despite that, his deep care for his work and his business is what makes him stand out from your standard shopping mall repair joint.
If you flick through his TikTok channel, it’s not hard to see that passion in every video he posts, either.
Your phone can probably be fixed
Well over 90% of devices that come to Max’s desk are fixable, he says. Issues that a lot of us think have killed a device, like water damage, a phone being stuck in a boot loop or one that simply won’t turn on can usually be repaired and for much less than it would cost you to get a brand-new phone to replace it with.
Often, especially if your phone won’t turn on or charge, it can be just one small part inside the device that’s broken and can be easily fixed.
We asked Max about some of the most common fixes that comes across his desk. Here are his picks:
Smashed Screens – Might seem obvious, but a smashed screen is definitely not a death sentence, and can be dropped off and fixed by someone who knows what they’re doing in under an hour.
Data Recovery on a broken device – Firstly, make sure you’re always backing up your important data. You might have already bought a new device because your old one won’t turn on or is broken in some way and think all is lost. But that’s not always the case, Max does a lot of work restoring data on devices that people thought were dead. And hey, if you haven’t already bought a replacement, you might not need to at all.
Phones not booting – It’s pretty scary when your phone suddenly won’t turn on. But more often than not, it’s due to an easily fixable issue like a short circuit which will stop the electricity getting to the places it needs to boot. For someone like Max, this is an easy fix and will have your phone back and going in no time.
Water Damage – Similar to your phone just randomly not booting, your phone not working from being exposed to liquid is usually due to a short circuit as well. These parts can usually be replaced or fixed fairly easily and for much less than buying a new phone.
Random parts stop working – Whether it’s a camera, speaker, battery or charging ports, all of these things can be fixed or replaced fairly reasonably. To avoid having charging port or battery life issues, Max recommends always using an original manufacturer or authorised charging cable as cheap ones can cause damage to your phone over the long term.
However, while almost all issues that might pop up on your phone can be fixed, you still might be the extremely unlucky one that needs to replace your device. In these cases, make sure you recycle your device properly. We partner with Mobile Muster who takes all your old or broken electronics and responsibly recycles them for you – you can find their bins in your local Telstra store where you can drop your old devices in to be recycled for free.