DIY Cracked IPhone Repairs

When Viviana Robalino dropped her iPhone, the screen cracked. It was driving her crazy, but the cost to replace the phone made her even more upset!

Vivian explained, "That's way too much."

To save money she used a repair service. But could she have fixed her iPhone for even less?

Consumer Reports tester Bernie Deitrick wanted to know how easy - or tough - this repair is. He ordered a replacement screen repair kit for 30 dollars and then watched a 30-minute tutorial video from He also wanted to see how others would do.

Bernie says, "I recruited people from around the building with cracked iPhone screens. People with various skill levels, from engineers like me to complete novices who aren't comfortable working with electronics."

And this phone was fixed by a repair service in order to compare the results. Some of the Consumer Reports' volunteers breezed through the process.

One said, "So far so good!"

Others regretted the decision …

Another told us, "It requires a lot of patience. I don't have a lot of patience."

There were lots of steps and lots of small parts and fragile pieces. Bernie stayed on the sidelines to help if and when panic set it.

Overall 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!

Bernie explains, "In the end we repaired five iPhones using seven replacement screens. One screen was defective, one screen was broken in the process."

So if you're thinking about replacing an iPhone screen yourself - realize it can save you some money but it will likely 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 Plus. 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 around $20.

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