Who said that looking after a phone is easy?
These little gadgets can be high maintenance if you don’t take care of them properly. And by “take care” we mean; don’t drop them, don’t damage them, don’t lose them or leave them unattended…ever.
Anything can happen to them, but the “cracked screen phenomenon” is more common than you think. According to the Evening Standard, one in five mobile phone users in the UK have cracked their screens.
Have you ever considered what you would do without your phone? Or, what would you do if your phone screen was cracked?
Would you continue using it, or perhaps get it fixed? It will be your call. Whilst you probably won’t panic because you can’t check your Instagram or call your friend, there’s a number of things you can do to rectify things.
Here are some of your options if you have a damaged or cracked screen:
- Put up with it, and maybe put a screen protector on so it doesn’t chip further.
- Take it to the manufacturer for repair.
An expensive option if you don’t have insurance, particularly if you have a flagship or high spec device. You will however receive a high quality repair with manufacturer grade parts.
- Get it repaired through a high street repair shop in your local area. Some high street repairs may not be able to perform fixes on the most recent devices.
- Claim though your phone insurance (if you already have it – remember your device needs to be in top condition when you buy the policy).
- Trade it in.
- Use or borrow an older phone.
- Buy a new device.
If you get the cracked screen repaired through a repair shop, the repair quality may not be guaranteed.
With the high spec technology now powering most smartphones, you could be risking ending up with a phone with more problems than before.
Also consider the type and quality of any parts used to fix your phone.
The majority of us are constantly on the move, and our phones are always coming with us, so risks are unavoidable.
Will a cracked screen get worse?
Well, it won’t get any better, so chances are that it could get worse in time.
A bit like a cracked window. If the integrity of the whole screen is weakened due to a crack, there’s increased likelihood of it spreading.
Does phone insurance cover a cracked screen?
Yes, and claiming through your phone insurance could be the solution assuming you have cover in place.
Think of it this way; it’s cheaper than buying a new phone and more trustworthy than repair shops. it's also much better than compromising by just getting by with a cracked screen. Take a look at our insurance options.
Is a cracked screen covered under warranty?
No, manufacturers will repair your phone free of charge if there are any faults. For example, if the phone keeps freezing, the battery drains quickly or fails to charge, or if the apps keep crashing.
The manufacturer is responsible to either repair or replace it. Any functionality issues should be covered if reported within a specific period – which is usually for 12 months after you buy it.
How long can my iPhone/Samsung phone last with a broken screen?
- We can’t say how long your phone would survive with a broken screen.
If there is a minor scratch on it, you could probably get away with not getting it fixed. However, if you dropped and damaged your phone you could also experience the following as a result:
- Unresponsive touch screen
- LED screen damage - which will mean parts of the screen may not work
- Intermittent mic problems
- Malfunctioning battery
- Chips in the corners and sides.
- Cracked back
- Cracked camera – which could lead to issues with face recognition
The phone’s glass strength could give you an indication on the phones’ durability.
Although to be honest, only the serial dropper is likely to pay attention to the screen glass specs when they buy a brand-new phone.
For those who continue to use their phone with a broken screen, it may be worth seeing what type of glass is used for the phone’s screen.
They won’t tell you how many hits it could take, but it could you an idea of its overall strength:
Corning is a company that makes chemically strengthened glass called Gorilla Glass. Apple collaborated with them for the production of their recent iPhone 12 and 13 models. The glass is partially made of tiny crystals of ceramic to make it break resistant.
Whilst helping increase durability, the ceramic shield isn’t enough to fully protect it. The glass would still retain some of its natural properties which make it fragile. Other smartphone models that use this type are Apple iPhones 11, 12, 13, 13 Pro & Samsung S22 (and more).
Other popular glass types are:
- Made by Asahi Glass, a Japanese tech giant.
- Second most popular glass brand with manufacturers.
- Comes in different variations: Dragontrail, Dragontrail X, and Dragontrail Pro (latest of the lot with 30% more durability).
- The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XXL use the Dragontail glass.
- The most affordable but least durable one.
- Used mainly for screen protectors.
- The strongest and most expensive. The type that Rolex and Breitling use as well!
- For phones, this glass is reserved for smaller areas such as camera lenses.
- Also used for some smartwatch models such as the Apple Watch Series 7.
At the end of the day, gravity is king. Any type of glass is likely to break, or suffer some form of damage from a fall - no matter what.
Can I fix my own broken screen?
Not without massive risk to further damaging your phone. We generally would not recommend trying to fix a broken phone screen yourself due to the increased likelihood of damaging another part of your phone.
Of course, if you have prior experience of fixing phones or gadgets, you may have access to the tools and parts needed to repair your screen. However, you’d risk ending up in a much worse position than before. Not to mention that your manufacturer warranty will also be voided if you attempt to repair the phone yourself.
So, if anything goes wrong, the manufacturer won’t be able to fix the phone free or charge. We always recommend leaving your cracked screen in the hands of professionals, especially if the LCD screen (the screen under the Gorilla Glass panel) has been affected as well.
What's the difference between a cracked screen and a broken LCD screen?
A phone screen is comprised of two elements: the front ‘glass’ screen on the surface and the LCD screen below it. The LCD is more important as it’s responsible for all the display features including the vivid colours and the touch functionality. The glass screen is just there to protect it.
When you drop your phone, the front screen is usually the one that breaks. If the phone still works with a cracked screen, then it means that the LCD was not affected. If you notice any black spots or discoloured areas, or the screen won’t light up, then the LCD screen has taken a hit also. LCDs are more expensive to repair as they are vital for the touch interface.
Can I recycle my phone with a cracked screen?
Yes, and you’d be doing the earth a favour if you did. You can recycle old phones or phones with a smashed screen for cash. Some retailers such as Musicmagpie and Mazuma would happily buy your broken smartphone, although be aware that you’re unlikely to get the proper replacement value if the phone is damaged.
You might be thinking that a cracked screen causes too much trouble. We agree! If you know you are clumsy but don’t want to buy phone insurance and be protected, or look for repair shops last minute, here’s how to NOT crack your screen:
- Invest in a durable case.
- Don’t leave it in your back pocket (so you don’t accidentally sit on it!)
- Always have a screen protector on.
- Don’t put it face down on surfaces.
Accidents happen, that’s true. At least with phone insurance, you’d know where to turn to.
So don’t wait until the screen is smashed. You can be proactive and get your phone insured in minutes.