Broken phone? Experts say repair might be better option than replace

Most people have a cellphone within reach at all times, but more usage means they're more likely to damage their phone.

Experts say it pays to consider repairing a cellphone instead of replacing it.

"Cellphones today have become a lifeline for most of us. We carry them with us wherever we go, which means they are likely to get dropped -- dropped in the water, broken," said Angie Hicks, with Angie's List. "Many times people think they automatically need replaced, but they can be repaired. It's something you should check out to see whether it's cost-efficient."

Repair typically costs a fraction of what it would cost to replace a smartphone -- a new phone can run about $500 when not subsidized by a phone carrier.

A common repair, such as a cracked screen, can often be fixed for less than $100. For more expensive problems, like needing a new motherboard, a new phone is the best bet.

Seeking repairs from an unqualified company could end up being more costly, so Hicks said it's important to find someone familiar with the particular phone.

"We're seeing more and more companies that will do cell phone repair, but the key here is finding someone who specializes in the make and model of your type of phone so that they have the right expertise," she said.

Chris Barclay, of Indy Cellular Repair in Broad Ripple, says the best thing consumers can do to avoid repair or replacement costs is to take care of their phone.

"Investing $100 or $50 in a high-quality case is going to be the best thing for you," Barclay said. "A lot of people don't want the bulk of it, or they don't like the color of it, and that's not the purpose of the case. The case is to protect your investment so you don't have to come see me."

Some phone cases offer a lifetime warranty, so if a device breaks while in the case, the company will replace the device.

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