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Consumer Reports: Repairing a cracked phone screen

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Sooner or later, it happens to the best of us: Your smartphone screen cracks. (WLS)

Sooner or later, it happens to the best of us: Your smartphone screen cracks.

A professional replacement can be expensive, so Consumer Reports wanted to try some cheaper DIY repair kits to see how easy it is to go from shattered to smooth.

Cracked phone screens are annoying. Sooner or later many of them need to be fixed. If your phone isn't under warranty, older, or both, paying to fix it might not seem worth it.

"It would have cost me $129 to get the screen of an iPhone 6 repaired at the Apple store," said Bree Fowler, Consumer Reports Tech Editor.

Fowler writes about smartphones. She wanted to try a few DIY screen repair kits to see how they work. So she rounded up some cracked iPhone 6s and fixed them for about $50. But she said it was actually really hard to do.

So what does it really take to fix your own screen? A lot of patience, and some skill.

In addition to removing the screen, you need to disconnect the home button, camera, sensors and microphone. Not to mention, melt adhesive with a hair dryer without damaging the phone.

Fowler successfully did all of that, but when it comes to those really tiny screws?

"They were stripped. I mean, anyone who's built anything or taken anything apart knows how aggravating stripped screws can be. But imagine having to deal with those screws and having them be nearly microscopic size," Fowler said.

However, she ended up with a dark, shadowy image in the upper left corner of the screen. The phone works, but it's not the same.

"To me, the hours that I put into this - the aggravation and the stress - it just wasn't worth it," Fowler said.

Consumer Reports' take? Fix at your own risk! If you want to save money on an older phone and you're up for a challenge, these kits can give you everything you need.

The kits Consumer Reports used are available online.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
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technologyconsumer reportsiphoneDo It Yourself