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Cell Phone Repair: What to Know Before You Go

BY: GROUPON EDITORS | 10.6.2017 |

It's the scenario that haunts every smartphone owner's dreams. You're sending a text, or you're taking your phone out of your pocket, and then bam—gravity does its thing and your phone is on the ground with a screen full of spiderweb cracks. Taps plays in your head.

So what now? You know you'll need to get your phone repaired, but you've got questions. How much will it cost? Which services do you really need? Should you use a case from now on? (We'll just go ahead and say that yes: you should use a case from now on.) Keep reading our guide to cell phone repair to find out.

How much does general cell phone repair cost?

Truthfully, it depends. Lots of different factors have a hand in how much you'll end up having to shell out to get your phone up and running again, such as:

  • What kind of phone you have. Older (but not too much older) models tend to be cheaper to fix than newer ones. You'll also see different repair prices for Apple, Android, and Windows phones.

  • What all you're having fixed. A general cell phone repair—which can include everything from screen and battery replacement to repairs made to buttons—will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $150-$200, but that price can rise if your phone has other/more problems.

What about cracked screen repair?

Ah yes, the almost inevitable cracked phone screen. For as common as cell phone screen repair is, your options for where to take it, how much you'll wind up paying, and how long it'll take can vary wildly.

  • Where should I take it? You essentially have two options here: manufacturer or a third-party repair store. The benefit to going the manufacturer route is that if your phone's still under warranty or a supplemental protection plan, you can save a good chunk of change on the repair. The downside, though, is that you may have to mail in your phone for the fix, which obviously will take a bit of time. Along with being able to shop around (or find local deals on our site), the draw to making an appointment at a third-party store is that frequently, your phone can be fixed in as little as a few hours.

  • How much will it cost? Fixing a broken phone screen can cost anywhere from $100 to nearly $300. If you have an iPhone 6S, for example, you can have Apple repair it for $129, which is considered relatively inexpensive for a manufacturer repair. Taking your phone to a third-party store via a deal on our site, though, will frequently only cost somewhere between $45 and $80. Note that that price can jump up if you end up needing a replacement battery or other essential hardware.

And what about a water-damaged phone?

As with almost any cell phone repair, the cost of fixing water damage in your device varies. Here, though, is where the extent of the damage has the most impact.

  • The extent of the damage really matters. Many repair shops will either give you a free diagnostic check or charge you a refundable payment when you bring in your water-damaged device. After they take a look at your phone, they'll let you know what you can expect to pay for the actual repair, or if a successful repair is even possible.

  • Not all water-damage symptoms are seen right away. Unfortunately, even after you've taken your phone to a shop, the effects of water damage you thought you rid yourself of (like a broken camera or blank screen) can crop up again in the days or weeks following the initial repair.

  • Bottom line: be prepared to pay according to how badly your phone's damaged. A "simple" water-damage repair can run as little as $49, while complicated fixes can cost $100 or more.

How do phone repairs affect my phone's warranty?

They might, but not for the reason you might be imagining. It's a common misconception that taking your device to a repair shop to get it fixed will negate the device's manufacturer warranty. The good news is that this isn't true! The bad news? It's the damage itself that likely voided your manufacturer warranty. As with all high-end consumer electronics, be sure you know the fine print of any warranties or protection plans you decide to get with your phone.

The Best Cell Phone Repair Deals on Our Site Right Now

If you're reading this through a web of cracks or on a friend's phone instead of your own, it's probably time to get yours fixed. To give you an idea of the great phone-repair savings that can be had on our site, check out the below collection of top deals that are live right now. Not in one of these cities? Click here to search for great phone-repair deals near you.

  • Chicago: $75 for iPhone 6s glass and LCD repair at Mobile Screen Geeks ($300 value)

  • New York: $59 for iPhone 6 screen repair plus a $10 gift card toward accessories at Repair Institute ($200 value)

  • Houston: $65 for screen replacement for LG G4 at Cell Phone Repair Guyz ($170 value)

  • Philadelphia: $45 for a replacement battery or charging port on any iPhone at iGeeks Repair ($80 value)

  • Miami: $44 for glass-screen replacement for an iPhone 6 at Zunnywireless ($115 value)

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