Should You Repair or Replace a Smartphone

Dorian Smith-Garcia Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

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, first check what the fine print says.


  • Always consider the age of your phone and the extent of the damage before repairing it.
  • Sometimes an expensive repair that requires more time to fix may make replacing your phone a better choice.
  • Check your manufacturer warranty or mobile carrier insurance to see if the cost of replacing or repairing your phone can be covered or partially offset.


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.

Consider the Damage

One of the biggest factors that you need to think about is the type of repairing 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.

Insider Tip

One of the biggest factors that you need to think about is the type of repairing your phone needs.

Repair Costs and Timeline

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.

Your Phone’s Age

If you just damaged a brand new phone, you’re probably not going to 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.

Warranty or Insurance

If you have a warranty or insurance, sometimes certain types of phone damage are 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 a month-to-month phone insurance, or a yearly one.

When to Repair Your Phone

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 third-party repair service. For Sprint users, here’s how to file an Asurion Sprint phone insurance claim.

Also, note that if you do have insurance or your phone is still under warranty, it might be worth it to contact the manufacturer or your mobile carrier and 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.

When to Replace Your Phone

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 current versions, it might be time for an upgrade anyway.

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.

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, if your phone has run out of storage or isn’t functioning properly after performing a routine software update, it’s time for a new phone.

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.

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)

Dorian Smith-Garcia Profile image