You’ve finally got that brand-new phone you’ve always been dreaming of! You could have received it as a birthday gift, or you decided that it was finally time to upgrade your old phone. In today’s day and age of emerging mobile technologies like 4G, 42MP cameras, gigabytes of RAM, and so much more… Our phones are becoming more and more a part of our daily usage.
And that means increased time in our hands.
In this article, we’ll focus on why mobile screens are as delicate as they are, what you can do to protect them, and how you can fix a screen in the unfortunate event that it breaks or cracks.
The screens of our phones are made of glass, primarily. But wait, there’s more to it! Touchscreen components can be broken down into 3 segments – an LCD screen (or a variant of it) to render and display colours, circuitry to detect the location of your finger’s touch, and a protective glass cover.
The LCD component is one of the more basic versions of display techniques (with more advanced technologies like OLED, AMOLED, and others). It stands for “Liquid Crystal Display”, and it works by passing a current through a special liquid crystal (read as: a chemical that is a structured solid when cool, unstructured liquid when hot) to manipulate light passing through it. While the specific details of its working aren’t relevant in this context, it is worthwhile to remember that the housing of these liquid crystals can get pretty fragile – especially if you compare them to the screens before this technology. And out of the three components of a mobile touchscreen, this is the easiest to break.
The touch-detection circuitry is essentially a microscopic grid of wiring that generates an electric field around it when current passes through. The skin of your finger is capable of disrupting this electric field when brought close, and the phone can interpret this disturbance as a “tap”. This type of touch-detection circuitry is known as capacitive touch screens. There are resistive touch screens as well, which work by detecting physical pressure on the screen. There’s a unit called a “digitiser” that converts the physical touch or tap into information that the phone’s processor can understand.
And the protective glass cover is made of a special compound that’s extra-hard to fracture or scratch. The world leader in this field is a company called Corning, and they’ve branded their damage-resistant screens as Gorilla Glass – a term we’re all familiar with today. In the event that we do observe a scratch on our phone screens, this is usually the affected layer.
Protecting your screens
As your phone is most exposed by its screen, users typically take any possible precaution to protect their screens. This is typically done by either films or sheets. Both are additional layers that are applied on top of the protective glass layer of the phone, after cleaning all dust with a microfiber cloth to prevent air bubbles from under the film or sheet. The difference is in the fact that the film is usually made of thin and flexible plastic, while the sheet is usually made of not-as-thin and hard tempered glass. This can protect your phone’s original screen from extraneous components like sand or rocks, that could potentially scratch it.
However, advancements in Gorilla Glass technology have started to make these protectors more or less obsolete. You can find several videos on YouTube of people trying to scratch their Gorilla Glass 6 phones with knives.
Replacing your screens
If you’ve physically damaged your phone’s touchscreen and you’re sure it needs to be replaced, the first step is to identify what kind of screen it is. Some of the most popular ones are TFT, OLED, AMOLED, Super AMOLED, Retina Display, and NOVA.
TFT (full form: thin-film-transistor) is a variant of LCD displays which are used in most lower-priced phones like the HTC Desire or older versions of the Google Nexus. These display duller colors and have smaller viewing angles, which mean you can’t see what’s on the screen at an angle. Also, these screens need a backlight to operate.
OLED (full form: organic light-emitting diode) screens are used in phones with more advanced displays. They can be printed on plastic (leading to lighter weights in grams), are usually brighter than TFT displays, consumes less power, and quicker response time. Phones in the price bracket of the Google Nexus 6, Motorola DROID Turbo, and Nokia Lumia 930 use this.
AMOLED (full form: active matrix OLED) screens are advanced OLED screens with a TFT display in the back. They allow individual pixels of the OLED screen to activate based on currents from the TFT display behind it. The bottom line is, this is one of the most advanced screens which have massive benefits in terms of screen size, power consumption, and color quality. Phones in the highest price bracket like the OnePlus 7, Samsung Galaxy, and Lenovo Z6 Pro use this.
When you’re replacing your phone’s screen, you should consider the type of screen you need in order to determine the cost. Screens that use TFT technology are relatively cheaper (<INR 4000), but screens that use AMOLED technology can easily cost you above INR 14000. The exact price can be determined by asking for your phone’s specific model. Don’t compromise on this by getting a second-hand replacement! Always try to go for spare parts from the original manufacturer. At Helpforsure, we provide guarantees for official spare parts wherever possible. Contact us for more information on whether we can help with the screen for your specific phone.
And finally, if your phone’s screen doesn’t seem to be responding to your touches, the most common instant-fix suggestion is to replace the touch-screen digitiser. More often than not, doing this can ruin the long-term life of your phone! If the problem isn’t with the digitiser, but rather with the touch-detection wiring, then you could potentially stop your phone from responding entirely, and be forced to go to a mobile service centre again.
At Helpforsure, we offer a wide range of services, including screen replacements for your specific phone. This article is just the tip of the iceberg of touchscreen fixes, and you can always learn more by reaching out to us. Use the contact information below to connect with us and learn more! And if you’re facing any issues, we have skilled technicians who will come to your doorstep and assist you on the same day.Book Repair