Consumer Reports: DIY smartphone screen repair kits

PHILADELPHIA -- Sooner or later it happens to the best of us: Your smartphone screen cracks. A professional replacement can be expensive, but there's other ways to help.

There are some cheaper DIY repair kits, but do they work? Consumer Reports put them to the test to see how easy it is to go from shattered to smooth.

Cracked phone screens are annoying, and sooner or later many of them need to be fixed. If your phone isn't under warranty, older, or both - paying to fix it might not seem worth it.

"It would have cost me $129 dollars to get the screen of an iPhone 6 repaired at the Apple store," said Bree Fowler, Consumer Reports Tech Editor.

Consumer Reports' Bree Fowler writes about smartphones. She wanted to try a few DIY screen repair kits to see how they work.

So, Bree rounded up some cracked iPhone 6's and fixed them for about $50-bucks. But she warns, "It was actually really hard."

What does it really take to fix your own screen? A lot of patience, and some skill.

In addition to removing the screen, you need to disconnect the home button, camera, sensors, and microphone. Not to mention, melt adhesive with a hair dryer without damaging the phone.

Bree successfully did all of that, but what about when it comes to those really tiny screws?

"They were stripped. 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 said.

However, she 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," said Bree.

Consumer Reports' take - fix at your own risk! If you want to save money on an older phone and you're up for a challenge, these kits can give you everything you need.

The kits Consumer Reports used are available online.

The iCracked repair kit is from a smartphone repair company and runs about $50 dollars. The other kits - URepair and the RSTH - both cost between $40 and $45 dollars and are available on Amazon.

To read the full story from Consumer Reports, CLICK HERE.

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