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Are iPhone screen repairs expensive? Note 9 vs XS Max vs OnePlus 6 display replacement prices

Are iPhone screen repairs expensive? Note 9 vs XS Max vs OnePlus 6 display replacement prices
Long gone are the days of metal or plastic phones, and the display is no longer the most expensive part that can break in your handsets, at least according to Apple, which charges $399 if you shatter the casing of your iPhone XR, for instance, and have no insurance.

The screen is still the part that cracks the most often, though, so we took a peek replacement costs. Well, broken phone displays are no broken dreams - while the first is repairable, the second might haunt you for life, so let's pray for screen replacement services that won't break your piggy bank, how's that for another shattered thingy in one sentence? 

We probed Apple, Samsung, LG and OnePlus for their exact quotes on official screen replacement services, and it turned out that their pricing is pretty much in line or often better than getting one of those display assemblies off, say, eBay, and bringing it to your local repair shop. 

Not only do such screens sometimes differ from the phone maker's specifications, but, in the case of Samsung's AMOLED panels, the company is the monopolistic provider of those anyway. Moreover, most of today's flagships feature some sort of water-tight certification so you are basically left with very little choice but the official replacement pricest if you want your iPhone or Galaxy restored up to spec. Here's the breakdown:

 
As you can see, the only eye-watering prices for a screen replacement of today's most popular flagships are for handsets with OLED screens. Those start at $219 for the Galaxy S8 or S9 and go all the way up to $329 for Apple's largest iPhone XS Max. That's largely what we'd expect for high-res OLED displays with plastic substrates, given that they are provided by one near-monopolistic manufacturer - Samsung Display. 

Going down the price rank, the iPhone 7/8 and 7 Plus/8 Plus screen prices are not bad for quality LCD panels with 3D Touch technology, too, yet the nicest surprise is the V30's display replacement quote, which LG said can barely hit $150, depending on if they have to do a complete swap. The worst offender is the iPhone XR which sports a comparatively low-res LCD screen that apparently costs $199 to replace, but fiddling around a notch that houses a TrueDepth camera kit apparently doesn't come cheap.

The silver lining in those official screen replacement service tags is that the phone makers also confirmed they restore the phones to the original IP67/68 specifications, meaning that the handsets will again be waterproof, woohoo! Given how much special adhesive there is inside to keep it all nice and water-tight, that's no small matter to consider before you go the local repair shop route instead to save a few bucks.

Long story short, we now know which phones are worthy of their insurance price tag - looking at you, swanky OLED technology. We can only imagine those display replacement costs if and when foldable phones hit the market, though the whole flexibility concept might mean you are less likely to send them face-down to the pavement unless fully unfurled.

source: Apple, Samsung, OnePlus; image: iFixit

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