A brand new phone, with the latest operating system all shiny and awesome that I wanted to show it off to my friends. Everyone opened their mouth in awe at the brightness of the screen and the way the operating system zipped through apps. And then I go and try and put it in my pant pockets, miss it completely and the phone tumbles and hits the hard concrete floor.
Being human, we tend to damage the phone before it has outlived its purpose. Considering the screen is the most visible and also largest area of the smartphone it is likely to crack or even break easily. While smartphones come with fancy terms and specifications like Gorilla Glass which are suppose to prevent cracks and scratches anything can happen.
The prices of smartphones are heading skywards and don’t seem to be coming down anytime soon. Most flagship phones are launched above the Rs 40,000 mark these days. While the initial payment is a huge amount, most people expect the phone to last at least a few years before they upgrade and replace their handsets.
You Are Not Alone
A recent study in the US, found that a quarter of iPhones have a broken screen. Considering the Indian conditions the phones see – back pockets of riders on two wheelers and the like – it can be taken as a fact that there are more smartphones with broken screens here!
The cost of replacing a damaged screen can be in the thousands and could cost up to one-third the original price of the phone. This makes it a costly proposition to replace and you should consider if it is worth the price.
Living with a cracked but working screen doesn’t make you a cheapskate or a freak – and it might even be considered cool!
Cases and Screen Protectors : Prevention is the best Cure
To protect your phone, even before it gets damaged, you will want to get a good case for it. Keep in mind that it has to primarily serve the function of protection and then enhance the looks of the phone if need be. There are hard plastics and rubber padding cases which can absorb the brunt of most impacts in the event you drop your phone. When looking for a screen look for one that protects the edges and the corners. A bad hit on the corner can develop a web of cracks.
Getting a screen protection cover is a really good idea, as it is most inexpensive and will protect against almost all scratches. It will also protect from other damage cause by daily wear and tear.
Keeping your phone well protected will also help in increasing the resale value just in case you decide to sell it someday.
Judging if you need to replace your screen
If you drop your phone or drag it across a surface, there are going to be varying degrees of damage depending on factors like distance from which it was dropped, speed at which it felt and also the nature of the surface it falls on.
Scratches: If there are just scratches, the phone is likely to work perfectly. At this point you are not going to want to consider replacing the screen. The phone should work perfectly. You can put a screen protector to prevent any further damage.
Cracks: When a smartphone screen cracks, it could be one of two cases the crack can be in a localized region and the phone will continue to work or the damage creates a spider web all over the screen and becomes unusable.
If the screen is cracked in just a small region and retains the touch functionality you will have to consider how old the phone is and the official cost of the replacement before you consider your further course of action. You might just want to slap a screen protector on and use the phone for a few months more. Do keep in mind that if this happens your phone will become more fragile and another drop is going to likely render the phone unusable.
If it is the latter case, and the screen becomes unusable, either that you cannot read anything on the screen or it loses its touch functionality, you are going to have to replace the screen or your phone.
Replacing and Fixing the Screen
Official Replacement: The best and most reliable way to get your phone up and running again would be to visit the official store or service center. But do keep in mind that this is likely to be a costly affair.
Other Service Centers: If the official service center is too costly for you, you can always approach a third party service center. Some of these might be unreliable and you might want to get a recommendation from someone who has used these places for some repair. Also the repairs you get here will not be covered by any warranty and there is no guarantee that the phone could stop working after a few days or months.
In the US, repair shops have sprung up to cash in on cracked smartphone screens and we can definitely see that trend replicating itself in India has the growth of smartphones skyrocket.
If you have an iPhone or iPad with a cracked screen in Bangalore you might want to check out iService.
DIY: If you are confident that you can repair the phone yourself, head over to ebay.com and search for your phone model’s screen. If you are lucky you might find one at a fraction of the cost. These replacements screens also come with the necessary tools needed to open up the phone. Do keep in mind that if you open up the phone yourself you will void the warranty. There are also a number of YouTube videos like this which will guide you through the process. Watch the video fully and only after you understand the whole process proceed.
Are you one of those people who can’t stand the sight of a broken phone or are you the kind who can manage with a cracked screen. For all you know there might be a fascinating tale and conversation starter behind the cracked spider webs on a screen.
Is your smartphone screen cracked? Share the story 🙂
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