5 Most Common Cell Phone Repairs or Issues
Every wonder which are the most common cell phone repairs and issues we see everyday? Our mobile phone repair technicians at Cellular Toy Shoppe Edmonton have been fixing broken phones as far back as 1999. We have fixed countless brands, models, and generations of phones at our store over the years. Even though smartphone technology has improved substantially over the last few years, phones still break over time as they are subject to the constant wear-and-tear of daily use. Unfortunately, accidents still happen, LCD screens still breaks, batteries still wear out after years of use, and issues still appear no matter what we try to do. Here is a list of the 5 most common problems or repairs we see at our Cellular Toy Shoppe Edmonton Location and what you can do to fix them.
1. Broken/Cracked/Smashed Screen
How this looks like:
The most common damage to any smartphone is a broken screen. Whenever a phone is dropped, there is a risk of the shock of the impact cracking the glass or the LCD/OLED/AMOLED screen underneath. A broken screen can look several different ways:
1. Cracked Glass:The glass can be chipped and cracks will spread over time like a “spider web” until the display is no longer visible (Fig 1). Your phone may still work, but a structurally-compromised glass has a high risk of cracking the display underneath, and you may cut yourself with glass fragments from the screen as you try to use it.
2. Lines on screen: The LCD screen which forms the display underneath the glass can crack and form dark lines (Fig 2). Note that the LCD can crack even if the glass above is NOT damaged. There may also be areas of the phone that no longer respond to touch, even if the rest of the phone is functional.
3. Leaking LCD: You will see black liquid areas as the screen starts leaking out (Fig 3). The phone may be temporarily functional but the damage quickly spreads as the liquid crystalline display slowly leaks out.
4. Phone not touching or touching randomly: Your phone is not touching in certain areas, or randomly touches by itself or dials phone numbers (“ghosting”). Your phone may also be disabled as the random “ghost touches” will have you locked you out of your phone. Look for damage on the screen or any cracks on the glass. Note that a broken screen may not be the only issue, but is the most common issue when symptoms like this appear especially when paired with visible cracks on the glass. (Fig 4)
5. Black Screen: Your phone is not turning on, even when charged or plugged in. If your phone has a functional LED light (e.g. Samsung Phones) or can ring or vibrate when it receives a phone call/notification, this is a good sign that your phone is functional, but has a broken screen. Inspect the screen carefully, you may spot cracks on the glass or the screen underneath. Note that there may be other issues like a dead battery, broken charging port, or other internal issues, but replacing a broken screen is the most common fix for a black screen, especially when there are visible cracks on glass. (Fig 5)
What you can do:
- Use a sturdy case and screen protector. Cases and screen protectors absorb the shock of the drop and reduce the chance of damaging the screen
- Replace the screen as soon as possible! Any cracks or damage to the glass weakens the structure of the screen and will lead to more cracks or eventually rupture the LCD display so that the liquid crystalline display leaks out and you can no longer use your phone. Furthermore, as glass fragments are dislodged from the housing, the inner components may be exposed and be subject to serious damage.
- Click here for an estimate of how much a typical screen repair will cost or Contact us for more details
When you might need a new battery:
- Phone does not turn on, even when you try to charge it. There is no visible damage to the screen and you do not remember dropping or damaging it.
- Phone drains battery much quicker, compared to when it was first purchased.
- Phone frequently turns off especially around a low percentage (e.g. 30%)
- You have been using the same phone for more than 2 years. The average battery life on most smart phones is only 2 to 3 years. After that time, a portion of the battery degrades and no longer can hold a charge. For example, your phone may say 100% but only 50% of your battery still works, so 100% on your phone = 50% actual battery percentage!
What you can do:
- Check your phone for any power-draining apps, as those may increase battery usage and decrease battery life. However, if your phone is still dying quickly, there may be more problems than app usage.
- Check the Battery life of your phone via the phone settings. We recommend changing your battery when battery life is below 80% or if it says “service“. You can also use a third-party app like Battery Life (Note: Battery Life indicators are not 100% accurate, including the beta battery health indicator in the iPhone settings)
- Come in for a Free Battery Test. Mobile phone technicians have equipment that can check the number of times a battery has been charged (“cycles”) and how much of the battery is still usable.
- Replace your phone battery. If your phone has a removable battery, go to your nearest cell phone repair store to buy one. If you phone has a sealed casing, do NOT attempt to disassemble your phone as there are delicate components which can be damaged when people try to pry the frame open. Go to your nearest mobile phone repair technician for a hassle-free replacement. Most shops offer warranty as well (we offer 90 Day Warranty on all our repairs).
- Click here to see the prices of most battery replacements.
3. Charging Port Replacement
When you might need a new charging port:
- Phone does not charge when plugged in
- Phone only charges at certain angles or if you hold onto the cable in a certain orientation
- Phone can wirelessly charge (if that feature is available), but does not charge when plugged in
What you can do:
- Use a different charging cable and USB power adapter. Some third-party cables do NOT work with iPhones or other Apple products as they do not provide the right amperage. The device will display a notification and apple’s software will prevent you from charging.
- Use a wireless charger (if available) or an external battery charger (for phones with removable batteries) as a temporary measure to charge your phone.
- If you are still unable to charge your phone, contact your nearest cell phone repair technician for an assessment, and replace the charging port
- Note: Charging port replacements tend to be costly, so sometimes it is more cost-effective to upgrade your phone rather than to spend more money to fix an old device. We would not recommend spending over $100 repairing a 5 year old phone, when you can use that money for an upgrade towards a new phone. Click here to visit our phone store.
Watch this video to see charging port replacements:
What happens when your phone is exposed to water?
- When your mobile device is dropped in water, liquid, juice, snow (especially in Edmonton, Alberta), or even exposed to high humidity or steam, water may damage the delicate internal components of your device.
- If water enters the inside of your device, it will cause a short circuit, rust out the internal components, and damage the battery, screen, and internal motherboard components
- Even if your phone is working initially, liquid spreads inside over time and may cause severe internal damage as time progresses.
What you can do:
- Invest in a phone with a water resistance rating. An IP78 rating means they have been tested against dust and immersion in water up to 1m for 30min. The IP68 rating brings water resistance to 1.5m up to 30min. Some phone cases also help protect the vulnerable charging ports and headphone jacks, which is particularly useful for people who are in professions which frequently deal with water, steam, snow, or liquids.
- If your phone is exposed to water, immediately dry it off, do NOT turn it on, and bring it to your nearest cell phone repair professional so they can clean, restore, and repair damaged components.
- Learn more about Water Damage Repair
These are the 4 most popular cell phone repair questions we get from customers:
- What is wrong with my phone?
- Can you fix it?
- How much does it cost to fix it?
- Is it worth fixing?
What does a diagnostic tell you?
Any questions about any of our services? Please contact us:
Cellular Toy Shoppe Edmonton