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At least once in your life, you’ll probably have a smartphone that gets damaged. Sometimes, the damage isn’t that serious, and your phone is still usable. For example, a minor crack on a screen — while annoying — doesn’t always mean that your phone is inoperable. But in some cases, the damage is so severe that you either need to replace or repair the phone before you can use it again. However, figuring out when damage should be repaired versus replaced can seem like a tricky situation. But a few factors must be considered before you make the decision. If you have a smartphone insurance plan, check the fine print.
The choice between repairing an existing phone or upgrading to a new one isn’t going to be the same for everyone. A variety of issues might make repairs more practical and economical for one person, whereas buying a new phone might be the smartest choice for someone else.
One of the biggest factors that you need to think about is the type of repair your phone needs. Some issues, like cracked screens, can be easily fixed by simply replacing the screen. In contrast, more widespread damage that makes a phone impossible to use might be more expensive and time-consuming.
One of the biggest factors that you need to think about is the type of repair your phone needs.
Along the same lines, if the amount of time needed, or the cost associated with fixing your phone is extensive, you might be better served to get a new phone.
If you just damaged a brand-new phone, you’ll probably not want to toss it and get another. In contrast, if your phone is old, you might feel like the damage is a sign that it’s time to upgrade to a newer model.
If you have a warranty or insurance, certain types of phone damage are sometimes covered. And in some cases, depending on the damage, your insurance might opt to replace your phone anyway. You may also wonder whether to get monthly or yearly phone insurance.
One of the main drivers for opting to fix a phone is because you don’t have insurance. Depending on the damage, you can attempt to repair the phone yourself — with the most popular DIY fix being a cracked screen.
However, it’s important to note that many phone manufacturers categorize DIY repairs as a reason to void your warranty. So, always check with your manufacturer before doing this or opt for a professional repair either from your phone manufacturer or a third-party repair service. Here’s how to file an Asurion Sprint phone insurance claim for Sprint users.
Also, note that if you have insurance or your phone is still under warranty, it might be worth contacting the manufacturer or your mobile carrier to see if the repair will be covered. Usually, warranties will cover certain types of damage or device malfunctions for anywhere from one to two years from the original purchase date. This can help offset the expense and ensure that you won’t void your warranty by doing unauthorized repairs.
Sometimes, it’s not worth the trouble to repair a damaged phone. This is most often the case when the damage is extensive, or the cost of repairs would be more than the price of a new phone. Likewise, if the damaged phone is significantly older than the current versions, it might be time for an upgrade anyway.
Consequently, most tech tends to break sooner than expected due to Planned Obsolescence. So, if you do forgo the warranty or insurance, make sure you’ll be able to do the necessary repairs as they arise.
And just like with repairs, it’s a good idea to review the terms of your contract with your mobile carrier. If your plan is currently up for an upgrade, it might make sense to take advantage of that feature to help offset costs. In some cases, phone insurance will automatically determine whether to replace or repair your phone based on the damage listed.
More widespread damage that makes a phone impossible to use might be more expensive and time-consuming.
Is it better to repair or replace a phone?
This depends on the issue that needs to be corrected and if it can be easily fixed. Repairing a screen or installing a new battery can be significantly cheaper than buying a new phone. You can do this with the right to repair by Samsung plan.
When should you replace a smartphone?
If your phone is badly damaged to the point where you can’t effectively use it, it should be replaced. Likewise, it’s time for a new phone if your phone has run out of storage or isn’t functioning properly after performing a routine software update.
How do you know it’s time for a new phone?
If you can’t upgrade to the latest operating system, your phone is performing slowly, or you experience frequent app crashes, it’s time for a new phone.
If you’re curious about repair laws, check out our info article covering the motor vehicles owner’s right to repair act.
STAT: 64% of people that responded to a Ting mobile survey admitted to cracking their smartphone screens. And of all phone damage, the average cost for a repair is $113. (source)