To fix or not to fix: The cracked screen conundrum

James Gillespie, left, holds his un-cracked phone screen next to Maren Parsons and her cracked phone screen. (Natalie Stoker)

It’s every cellphone owner’s nightmare: a phone slips out of hands and crashes to the ground. After a dreaded pause, the owner picks up the phone and analyzes the damage. The diagnosis? A fractured phone screen.

A crack in a phone screen may bother some, but BYU student Nathaniel Batey doesn’t mind too much.

He said the crack in his screen isn’t big enough for him to get a new phone.

“The phone still functions fine, and I can see the screen,” Batey said, “sometimes when I use it I just forget about it and don’t even notice it anymore. It can be bothersome sometimes, but it isn’t enough to ruin my day.”

After his screen-cracking experience, Batey recommends not clutching phones 24/7 and storing them away more often.

“We need to be aware of how we are using the phone and not just throwing it all over the place,” Batey said.

BYU student Maren Parsons was shocked when her phone screen first cracked on the asphalt of a church parking lot.

“I have had my phone for a little over two years, and I feel like I drop it almost every day,” Parsons said. Normally, Parsons covers her phone with a case. However, even though the phone was protected, the screen still cracked.

Parsons has yet to fix her screen because of the time and hassle.

“I have been busy with school … I haven’t had time to find the right place,” she said.

Finding the right place to get a cellphone fixed is an important factor for former Apple employee and BYU student Clay Ellis.

James Gillespie texts on his phone, which is protected with a Life Proof phone case. (Natalie Stoker)

“I tend to go to the Apple store because they have the actual screen,” Ellis said. “Sometimes if you take it to unauthorized Apple stores they will use an off-market screen that is still compatible but is outside of warranties.”

Ellis suggested people find an authorized repair center when looking to get a phone fixed.

“I am typically wary of the pop-up kiosk in the mall,” Ellis said. “They might be able to do it for cheap, but where phones are so important to our personal lives, it doesn’t really make sense to go halfway with something like that. It would be like putting lawnmower gas in a BMW … you just wouldn’t do it.”

Local stores offer different prices for fixing phone screens. Phone Restore in Provo charges $139 for an iPhone 6 screen repair; Bad Apple charges $150 plus tax; and Tony’s iPhone Fix charges $130.

Apple stores charge $79 for an iPhone 6 screen repair if a person has AppleCare. Without AppleCare, the store charges $109.

Ellis recommended using a glass screen protector rather than a plastic film sticker.

Maren Parsons holds her cracked phone screen. (Natalie Stoker)

“While those (stickers) help against scratches, they won’t do much to absorb any shock or take the blunt of a fall,” Ellis said. “Glass protectors can still crack, but they are easier to replace than the actual screen and often come with a lifetime warranty.”

Aside from a glass screen cover, BYU student James Gillespie finds his LifeProof case a secure option for protecting his cellphone.

“In the past I had a cracked phone, it was really annoying so that is why I got a LifeProof case,” Gillespie said.

Since Gillespie has used LifeProof case, his phone has not been damaged. The case is waterproof and has an extended warranty option.

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