The butter fingers me dropped my phone about a month ago and it ended up looking like the picture shown on the right. After googling, apparently it is not that uncommon. It happens a lot when someone drops their phone on rough surfaces. In my case, I dropped it on the road. I learnt that phones have multiple layers. There’s a LCD layer for the display. On top of which, there’s the digitizer layer for touch interface, which is the piece of glass that cracked in my case. Frequently, due to the dual layer design, for impact cases, only the external layer would crack. I was lucky, other than the cracked screen, the phone retained full touch functionality.
Despite my warranty having expired, I called up LG enquiring on the official replacement of the cracked digitizer. However, the quotation was in the $100-150 which was rather expensive considering that the market value of the phone is only about $200. After searching eBay and other similar gadget websites, I found resellers of the touch screen glass / digitizer for approximately $20-25. Depending on your phone models, I recommend to take a look at the procedures to replace the digitizer first. For most phones, I would consider touch screen replacement to be for the more advance techie as there are a number of small details to follow and requires slightly more advanced skills. It may get even harder depending on the specific phone model.
My digitizer replacement arrived today and I got all ready to replace it. It’s quite a long process and required quite a bit of prying. Be careful as this might damage the casing itself. However, my phone edges were all already scuffed after the drop, so I wasn’t too particular about the condition of the phone when I took it apart. It is not an easy process and do cater 45 min to an hour to do the replacement so you don’t rush yourself. For other phone models, like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the iPhone, if you crack the screen, you could buy it from DX.com, and search for the corresponding instructions on Youtube. I’m still quite amazed how well stocked the DX inventory is.
Some Tips when doing the Replacement:
- Wear gloves and have eye protection – if you are replacing a cracked screen, some of the broken shards may fly about so be careful!
- Take pictures of orientation and location of buttons like power / volume before you remove them
- Try to get all the tools ready, especially a metal pry tool -> something from a watchmaker kit