Top 6 most common types of cell phone damage and repair

Top 6 most common types of cell phone damage and repair

Cell phone damage can occur in a number of ways, but it always seems to happen at the worst possible time. But don’t fret — with over 2400 cell phone repair shops spread all across the country, the Swappa Repair Network is here to get your phone back up and running as soon as possible.

So whether you have a cracked screen, water damage from an unexpected dip in the pool, your home button stopped working, or your battery won’t hold a charge; there is still hope for your smartphone. Join us as we take a closer look at the most common kinds of repair, whether it’s worth it to fix your phone, and how to get your phone fixed as quickly as possible.

Table of Contents:


Screen Replacement

Cracked screens are the single most common type of smartphone damage. It has been estimated that more than 50 million screens are broken in the US every year. Luckily, repairing a shattered screen is relatively easy for a professional repair shop in most cases. We recently took a closer look at how much it costs to repair your cracked screen and whether you should attempt the repairs yourself, but the short answer is that it depends on which phone you have and how much it’s currently worth.

The Swappa Repair Calculator helps you figure out how much screen repair costs for your particular phone, and whether it’s cheaper to fix your existing device or get a replacement. But for those who’d prefer to see the numbers in a table, here’s a quick breakdown of how much screen repair costs on the most popular iPhones.

Phone Screen Repair (Out of Warranty) Replacement Price (Swappa)
iPhone 11 Pro Max $329 As low as $849
iPhone 11 Pro $279 As low as $809
iPhone 11 $199 As low as $475
iPhone XS Max $329 As low as $480
iPhone XS $279 As low as $439
iPhone X $279 As low as $350
iPhone XR $199 As low as $389
iPhone 8 Plus $169 As low as $265
iPhone 8 $149 As low as $200
iPhone 7 Plus $169 As low as $199
iPhone 7 $149 As low as $125
iPhone 6S Plus $169 As low as $118
iPhone 6S $149 As low as $79
iPhone 6 Plus $149 As low as $120
iPhone 6 $129 As low as $65
iPhone SE 2020 $129 As low as $385
iPhone SE $129 As low as $50

As you can see above, deciding what’s right for you depends on which phone you have. If you have a relatively new phone such as an iPhone 11 Pro Max, fixing a broken screen or a blank screen will cost a decent chunk of change due to the high component costs. However, this pales in comparison to the replacement costs for a current generation flagship. On the other hand, if you have an older phone that isn’t worth as much on the used market, you’re better off picking up a cheap replacement on Swappa for the same price or less than the cost of fixing your broken phone. Plus, it’ll serve as a great excuse to upgrade if you’ve already been considering doing so.

Wondering how much will your phone repair cost? Visit the Swappa Repair Calculator to figure out whether it’s better to repair or replace your particular phone.




Battery Replacement

Next up, we have battery replacement. This one is a little more insidious, since battery degradation takes time and you may not realize it as it’s occurring. What this means in practice is that your device that once could last a full day without a top-up, now feels like it must live tethered to the charger. A little bit of battery degradation is normal as devices age. However, devices left for extended durations at either 0% or 100% charge will lose battery capacity at a faster rate.

Modern phones aren’t exactly designed with end user service in mind. Glue, tape, and other forms of adhesive are often used during the assembly process, making it extremely difficult for most users to access the internal components. Some manufacturers even go so far as to solder the battery terminals directly to the motherboard, making it nearly impossible to perform home repair unless you have the appropriate tools. As a result, swapping out a dead battery goes from what should be an easy DIY fix to something that requires special tools, a steady hand, and a whole lot of experience to perform safely. Luckily, professional repair shops have all the above. And assuming your local repair shop has the required parts on hand, it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to complete the repair.

Despite the differences in design and assembly, battery repair is generally on the cheaper end of the repair spectrum, typically ranging from $25 to $100 when performed by a local repair shop. Regardless of whether you have a brand new iPhone 11 Pro or something a bit older like an iPhone 7, it will probably be worth it to swap out your battery and extend your phone’s life a little. So unless you’re already thinking of picking up an upgrade, getting a new battery is probably the right move for you. See how your estimated phone repair costs stack up with the Swappa Repair Calculator.




Charge Port Repair

Dead batteries aren’t the only power-related problems that frequently plague our smartphones. If you’re having trouble charging your phone, it could be due to a damaged charging port, USB port, or Lightning port. Just like any physical connector, repeatedly connecting and disconnecting your charging cable may cause it to wear out over time. And while some phones and port types are more susceptible to damage than others, all ports will eventually break after sufficient insertion-removal cycles.

Charging port repair isn’t easy. Since USB and Lightning jacks are typically soldered to your phone’s motherboard, fixing a broken charging port is far outside the realm of most DIY repair enthusiasts. Given the complicated and varied procedures involved, charging port repair can range from as little as $50 to as much as $175. Repair fees for your specific phone will boil down to how easy it is to open, the availability of replacement parts, and whether the charging port is soldered in place or attached using a special connector. As a result, we’re once again presented with a situation where it only really makes sense to repair relatively recent, high value phones like the iPhone X and newer. If you have an older phone such as the iPhone 8 or iPhone 7, it’s probably better to pick up a cheap replacement iPhone or Android phone on Swappa. Estimate your phone repair costs and whether it’s cheaper to repair or replace using the Swappa Repair Calculator.




Broken Power Button

Next up, we have broken power and home buttons. Power buttons, home buttons, and volume keys types have finite lifespans. This means that the more you use these buttons, the sooner they will fail. These buttons are generally engineered to outlast your phone’s useful lifespan, but this doesn’t always hold true in practice. And if you find yourself unlocking and locking your phone more than the average user, you may end up with a worn out home or power button before you’re due for an upgrade.

Since power and home buttons are used to turn on your device’s screen, a broken button is more than just an inconvenience. Luckily, power button and home button repair is relatively straightforward for trained repair technicians. Assuming your local repair shop has the parts on hand, they should be able to perform the fix in just a few hours.

Typical repair costs for broken power buttons range from $60-150, depending on which phone you have. Because of this, the same suggestions we gave above still apply: If you have a relatively new phone with no additional damage like the iPhone XS, you should probably get it fixed. But if you have an older phone that is already approaching the end of its useful lifecycle, you’re better off getting a cheap replacement or upgrade on Swappa. But as always, figure out what makes most sense for you using the Swappa Repair Calculator.




Headphone Jack Repair

Although headphone jacks have largely generally gone the way of the dinosaur in today’s smartphones, many of us are still clinging onto older devices with these legacy ports. Just like any physical connector, a headphone jack is subject to wear and tear when used frequently. What this means to you is that over time, you may experience hissing, crackling, and audio cut-outs if the plug isn’t inserted “just right.”

Unfortunately, 3.5mm headphone jacks are almost always soldered directly to the motherboard of your phone. This means that in order to replace the jack, the broken one has to be desoldered from the board, and a new one has to be soldered in its place. Due to the size of the components involved, fixing a broken headphone jack should only be attempted by skilled repair technicians like those listed on the Swappa Repair Network.

The cost to fix a broken headphone jack will vary, but it’s usually not cheap. You’re generally looking at between $50 and $100 for the repair, with much of this being due to labor rather than the replacement part itself. Since phones with headphone jacks are generally on the older end of the spectrum, it will likely not make sense to repair a broken headphone jack in most cases. After all, consider that for about the same cost as the repair, you can pick up an entire replacement iPhone 7 on Swappa. That said, it’s always a good idea to figure out how much repair costs near you and make your decision accordingly.




Water Damage

Now this is where things get complicated. Cell phone water damage is a bit of a wildcard because you really don’t know what to expect until the device is opened up and the appropriate diagnostics have been run. Issues that arise from water damage can be relatively minor such as muffled sound and foggy camera lenses, or they can be a bit more serious like short circuits that cause phantom button presses. Or worse yet, your device may simply refuse to power on after it’s taken a dip.

Regardless of what issues your device is currently experiencing, it’s entirely possible that the water that has made its way inside your phone may migrate to less favorable areas and cause more severe issues down the line such as data loss and permanent damage.

Many users have tried home remedies such as the popular “rice trick” in an attempt to extract water from their smartphones. However, this method is based in fiction rather than fact, and doesn’t actually do anything to fix your phone. In fact, it can even lead to additional problems, as explained by industry veteran Dave Takushi of Device Pro Solutions in Kansas City:

The short answer is the rice trick may, in fact, do more harm than good. Rice dust, grains, and pieces tend to end up in charge ports and headset jacks and can even end up inside the phone itself. It also can’t fix anything that the water already damaged. Sometimes the water doesn’t get very far and the phone is fine. Other times it reaches vital components and the phone is dead.

Dave Takushi, Managing Partner for Device Pro Solutions in Kansas City

When your device and its data are on the line, don’t take chances with pseudoscience. Find a reputable repair shop near you and get it done right the first time.





There are plenty of things that can go wrong with modern cell phones. Whether it’s a cracked screen, water damage, or anything in between; accidents happen to the best of us. Due to the wide range of potential problems that can occur, it’s important to find a quality cell phone repair shop that can do the job right.

Regardless of what’s wrong with your phone, the Swappa Repair Network is here to help. Our nationwide directory features over 2300 repair shops spread all across the country. And you can rest assured knowing that every repair shop listed on the Swappa Repair Network offers a 30-day service guarantee on their work.

Click the button below to find a local repair shop near you. If you want to learn more about how much it costs to repair your specific device, check out the new Swappa Repair Calculator. And to learn more about the repair process itself, check out our Smartphone Repair Guide and our iPhone Repair Guide.