6 Smartphone Repairs You Should Never Pay Someone to Fix
Got a wet cell phone? A shattered screen? These smartphone repair techniques should do the trick.
Restore your charge
If your phone won't charge when plugged in, the cord might not be the problem. The charging port often accumulates debris which can cause it to charge slower or not at all. Fortunately, there's a low-tech solution. "You can use a safety pin and run it around the inside of the port on your phone to clear it out," recommends Shayne Sherman, CEO of TechLoris. "If your phone isn't charging, give this a try before buying a new cord."
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Clean up fuzzy noise
Turned off by inferior sound when you plug speakers into your headphone jack? Dirt can cause your device to stop turning on or prevent you from hearing your phone calls, says Liz Hamilton, director of People and Customers at Mobile Klinik, a mobile phone repair business.
"Cleaning out your charge port can be done carefully with a few quick blasts of compressed air to the area, or even with a Q-tip (remove some of the cotton if you have to get it to fit) and use a high alcohol content cleaner to wipe out the area," Hamilton says.
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Replace a shattered screen
"If you're tech-savvy and willing to risk your expensive device that has many fragile and tiny parts, you can probably fix a screen yourself," Hamilton says. But you'll need the right tools for this smartphone repair job, she adds.
And it’s easier to replace the screen on some devices than others. For iPhones, for example, iFixit.com recommends applying some heat to soften the adhesive, keeping the screen on, and using opening picks to slice the adhesive apart in order to carefully pry the screen off. That said, replacing a cracked screen is more involved on Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy series, says Craig Lloyd of iFixit. For example, you'll need to take the back glass panel off first, which adds steps and complexity to the repair.
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Resurrect a soaked phone
If your phone takes an unexpected swim, don't follow the common wisdom to place it in a bag of rice. Instead, the first thing you should do for smartphone repair? Simply remove the phone from the water source and turn the phone off immediately. "Let it dry completely before attempting to turn it back on," Lloyd says. "You can use a blow dryer on a cool setting to help dry out ports and such." Some experts also recommend placing the phone in a box with packets of silica gel that come with shoes.
If your phone still isn’t working, though, many experts recommend that the safest bet for water damage is to turn off your phone and take it to a professional. "Good professionals will give you a free diagnosis and quote before any work is done and the best professionals won't charge you if they can't fix it, regardless of the efforts they take to save your device," Hamilton says.
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Replace the battery
Wouldn't it be great if it were as easy to replace the batteries in your phone as it is to switch out the ones in your remote control? Unfortunately, batteries are glued down in most phones, so replacing them is more of an involved process for smartphone repair. iFixit has detailed instructions to replace the battery in a Samsung Galaxy S8.
Putting in a new battery is easier in iPhones, however, because they have handy pull tabs on the adhesive that makes battery removal a bit easier, Lloyd says.
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Improve a mediocre lens
Salvage a DVD player’s lens—the little piece that guides the disc-reading laser—and use it on your phone’s camera. Put the lens on top of a small piece of painter’s tape, cut a hole for it to peek through, and mount it over your phone’s lens with extra strips of tape for better pictures.
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