Cracked iPhone screen? There’s an app for that! Well, not exactly. But there are online videos on how to fix a broken screen and move on.
Consumer Reports wanted to know how easy—or tough—the repair is. So one of its engineers ordered a replacement-screen repair kit for $30 and then watched a 30-minute tutorial video from iCracked.com. He also wanted to see how others would do.
So he recruited people with various skill levels, including complete novices who aren’t comfortable working with electronics.
Some of the Consumer Reports’ volunteers breezed through the process. Others regretted the decision. There were lots of steps and lots of small parts and fragile pieces.
It took most of the panelists about an hour and a half to replace a cracked screen. But for the technically challenged—it took much longer.
In the end Consumer Reports repaired five iPhones using seven replacement screens. One screen was defective, and one screen broke in the process.
So Consumer Reports says if you’re thinking about replacing an iPhone screen yourself, realize that it can save you some money, but it will probably cost you a fair amount of time and aggravation.
You can buy an insurance policy to cover damage to iPhones or buy Apple’s extended warranty, called AppleCare+. But given the costs and caveats, Consumer Reports thinks neither offers good value. A better investment might be a phone case that wraps around the edge of your iPhone screen. Cases like that start at about $20.