Do-it-yourself kits for fixing cracked smartphone screens can save you a lot of money, but they also can require a lot of patience and skill.
“It was actually really hard,” she said.
In addition to removing the screen, you need to disconnect the home button, camera, sensors and microphone. You also need to melt adhesive with a hair dryer without damaging the phone.
Fowler successfully did all of that but faced a bigger challenge with the tiny screws.
“They were stripped,” she said. “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.”
She also 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,” she said.
But if you have an older phone, want to save money and are up for a challenge, DIY kits can give you everything you need.
Consumer Reports recommended the following tips if you do try this at home:
- Do a trial run on an old phone first.
- Buy the replacement screws in advance.
- Be prepared to spend a few days on the project, which requires a dedicated workspace in a low-traffic area of your home.
- Be organized. It’s important to keep the screws from getting mixed up.