When Your Phone Screen Cracks: What to Do

phone cracks
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In movies and TV shows, you may see people throwing their cellphones on the table and the floor and still manage to use them, with the screen or glass cover still intact and without a scratch. But that is in reel life.

The reality is, when you drop your phone, the possibility of the screen cracking is huge. If the cellphone slipped from your hands and falls into the ground, expect to see a smashed, cracked, or chipped screen.

But with the electronics right-to-repair movement, you now have other options to mend your cracked smartphone screen. You can be conservative and bring your phone to an authorized repair center. But you also have the choice of bringing it to a third party repair center or repair the phone yourself.

Why do phone screens break?

Phone manufacturers often claim that their phones have tough screens, using the latest glass technology to ensure that the cover will not easily crack.

The claim may be true, but due to consumer demands, something has to give. Consumers want phones that are slimmer and almost bezel-less. They want displays that occupy the entire screen. To give what the consumers want, the durability of the phone is minimized. The new design provides little protection for the glass screen of smartphones.

Nevertheless, physics has something to do with the problem. It’s called elastic energy. When a phone is dropped, the glass screen’s elastic energy changes into surface energy, which is the reason for the glass breaking. The force of the collision overcomes the surface compression, stressing the screen and causing it to shatter.

What should you do? 

If you dropped your phone, check the severity of the damage. The screen may have missing parts of glass, develop patterns like a spider web, or sustain just some minor scratches.

Under good light, carefully check how big the damage is and ascertain if the screen will fall off or your phone no longer works. Sometimes, even if your screen is cracked, you can still use your phone. But the right thing to do is to back up your files immediately so they will be safe even if you can get the phone working again. If you cannot use the phone, bring it to a professional repair shop.

Repair solutions

Depending on the extent of the damage to your smartphone glass screen, you have quick and easy solutions if the phone is still functioning. 

1. Clear packing tape

If you are due for an upgrade and your phone still works, you may want to continue using it. However, to protect your fingers, and to ensure that the glass cover retains every piece of glass, you can cover it with clear packing tape. Place your phone on a solid surface, and make sure that it will not move. Carefully align the tape over your phone screen and press it on the glass. Cover the entire screen and trim off the excess. When placed neatly, the tape will resemble a screen protector.

broken screen
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2. Screen protector

If you want something neater, buy a real screen protector. Bring your smartphone to a shop that sells screen protectors. These shops typically sell protectors for different phone models. They also install the screen protector, ensuring that the protector fits the screen correctly. The screen protector will provide a smoother surface for your fingers despite the cracks.

3. Replace the screen

You have two options here. You either bring the phone to a repair center and have a technician replace the screen. But if you have the knowledge and the tools, you can buy the parts (screen biometric sensors and touch interaction) and do the screen replacement on your own. You should check if you are going to void the phone’s warranty if you repair the phone yourself.

Assess the damage when your screen cracks. Avoid touching the cracked glass. If it is broken, there will be minute glass particles that can hurt your fingers or fly into your eyes while you’re looking at the phone closely.