If you’ve ever cracked your smartphone screen, you know how costly it can be to get fixed. It can seem strange that a seemingly simple phone screen costs so much to repair. But if you think about it, you’re replacing a touch screen on what is essentially a pocket-sized computer. So, let’s find out a bit more about phone screen technology and look at some tips for saving money on screen replacements.
The phone screen facts
Your average smartphone is a sophisticated piece of technology, and the screen is no exception. Phone screens vary in quality, but the big brand names, like Apple and Samsung, will typically use higher quality screens. These screens are made of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED). You may also see them called AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diodes). OLED screens have improved pixel control, which results in a clearer picture and brighter colours.
What this means for consumers is a better phone experience. You will be able to more easily see what is on your screen and it will look more accurate and impressive.
Unfortunately, this better experience comes at a higher price. High-quality OLED screens are more expensive to manufacture than some other options, like LCD (liquid crystal display) screens. This higher cost is then passed onto you the consumer.
Additionally, many screens come ‘preassembled’ for repair work. This is a good thing as it makes repairs easier, as well as reducing the potential for errors to occur when replacing your phone screen. However, the cost of labour associated with pre-assembling these screens contributes to a higher overall replacement part price.
Further, the market for replacement smartphone screen parts is often quite small. This means you typically can only get OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. These are parts made by the original manufacturer, for example Samsung.
Although this means the parts will be of a high quality and compatible with your phone, the market is also cornered. Therefore, the manufacturer can charge more for the parts as you can’t get them anywhere else. This is often part of a strategy to make it more cost-effective for you to purchase a new phone rather than repair the screen, resulting in a bigger net gain for the company.
When it comes to Samsung or iPhone screen repairs, for example, repairing a damaged screen through the manufacturer can be nearly as expensive simply buying a new phone. A new phone will also allow for an immediate fix that doesn’t require going without a phone for an extended period while your phone is being repaired.
So since it doesn’t seem like phone screen repairs are going to get cheaper in the near future, what can you do to save money on repairs or avoid needing them entirely?
Protect your phone
A simple way to avoid needing to repair or replace your phone’s screen is to prevent it from getting damaged in the first place. There are lots of ways you can protect your phone screen, but here are our key strategies.
- Use a hard protective case
A hard protective case can minimise damage caused to your phone if you drop it or knock it against something. The case will absorb the majority of the shock and direct it away from the delicate screen.
There are a range of hard cases available on the market to suit most phone models. The shock protection they provide also varies. Check reviews to see which is best for your phone and lifestyle. For instance, if you work on a building site, you may want something that can handle more knocks and drops than if you worked in an office.
A good quality hard case will also provide your phone with a level of water and dust protection, although this will vary by model.
- Use a screen protector
A screen protector is a tempered glass or plastic layer that sticks over your phone screen. When you drop your phone, this protective layer will take the brunt of the impact, leaving your screen undamaged. If you’re prone to chipping or scratching your phone screen this is a must.
And if the screen protector does crack or chip, replace it immediately. Loose plastic or glass fragments can damage your phone screen or cause injury.
- Minimise drop risks
No one sets out to drop their phone, but accidents happen. However, you can put into place some strategies to minimise the chances of damaging your phone.
For instance, avoid keeping your phone in your back pocket. It can easily slip from your grasp as you transfer it to and from the pocket. Additionally, if you sit on your phone it may break.
Similarly, avoid leaving your phone on the edge of surfaces, like your desk or the kitchen table. It can be easy to knock it off. Make sure no one will accidently put something on top of your phone either, putting unnecessary pressure on the screen.
When charging your phone, make sure the cable is out of the way. If someone or something were to catch on the cable, it may send your phone flying.
- Get phone insurance
If your phone ever does need to be repaired, phone insurance can reduce your out-of-pocket expense. While it may seem extreme, if you’re accident prone or rely on your phone for work, it’s a worthwhile investment.
You may even already have phone insurance but not be aware of it. If you bought your phone on a contract or plan, insurance may be included.
Similarly, if you have contents insurance, your phone may be covered. Check your existing insurance policies to see if your phone is already insured or if you can add it to an existing policy.
Ultimately, it’s the cost of the screen that drives up the price of smartphone screen repairs. But you can minimise the need for screen repairs by taking good care of your phone using our tips above.