Repairing your smartphone yourself: questions to ask yourself
Some repairs are simple, others are a real adventure, requiring patience and thoroughness. How to assess their difficulty? Where can I find the parts? How to disassemble and reassemble the smartphone?
unable to invoke your warranty? Why not do the repair yourself? Here are the six important questions to ask yourself before you start.
How much will it cost me?
The cost of spare parts varies a lot. The price of a battery ranges between 20 and 60 euros. The price of a screen between 50 and 350 euros. Add about fifteen euros for a complete tool kit.
Do you estimate that the invoice will exceed 150 euros? Take the time to consult a repairer. The additional cost is sometimes negligible, since repairers pay less for parts, and in this case the part is probably much more expensive than labor. A professional is less likely to break the spare part, or to reassemble the smartphone with a slight assembly defect, as often happens when you operate yourself. Some repair chains guarantee their work for one year.
Can any failure be repaired?
A few rare models are repairable from A to Z. But the overwhelming majority of smartphones cannot be fully restored. Possible repairs are limited to the screen and the battery, which are the most common sources of breakdown. The less distributed smartphones may even be impossible to repair due to a lack of spare parts available. The repair professionals themselves can’t help it.
What should you check before starting?
The diagnosis. If the battery fails after three years, you are almost certain it is at the end of its life. But most failures are much less easy to diagnose. On some smartphones, for example, the screen and the glass are two separate parts that should not be confused; on others, these two pieces become one. Some faults are particularly difficult to diagnose. If your smartphone refuses to turn on, the problem can be caused by a lot of separate parts. A mobile is made up of dozens of electronic and mechanical components. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, you may end up buying parts unnecessarily and wasting time. If in doubt, consult a professional.
The spare part. It can sometimes be difficult to be sure that you are buying a genuine part – some part numbers are simply no longer produced. Not all copies are created equal: some are close to the original, others are of very poor quality. Avoid unusually inexpensive parts. Their performance and reliability often leaves much to be desired. Buy your parts on the Internet at reputable sites, such as www.brico-phone.com, www.htcn.fr, www.sosav.fr or www.ifixit.com. Avoid small telephone shops, unless a connoisseur advises you. Their seriousness is uncertain and difficult to gauge for laymen.
The user manual. The disassembly procedure varies greatly from smartphone to smartphone. Unless you are an electronics whiz, you will need a quality user manual for your repair to be successful.
The level of difficulty. The gap in complexity between repairs is abysmal. Some smartphones are almost beyond repair. The more delicate the repair, the more you risk getting lost on the way, breaking parts, or not being able to reassemble the smartphone. How do you know if the difficulty is beyond your skills? By learning about the level of difficulty, which is indicated in the valuable instructions for use on the Internet.
Where can I find a good manual?
This is the key to a successful repair. The essential American site iFixit lists thousands of step-by-step guides, most of which are translated into French. Some smartphones are entitled to 20 guides, each corresponding to a different repair, but most mobiles only benefit from 2 or 3. All of these guides are written with care. Each step is illustrated by a photo and described in detail. Each repair is embellished with a note of simplicity: easy, moderate, or difficult.