How to avoid and fix 7 of the most painful smartphone problems

Even the best-made smartphones will break, but don't worry, here's what to do when it happens

In this day and age, mobile phones are becoming increasingly indispensable. Despite being more advanced than ever, the lifespan of a phone has not been significantly extended, and they've not become more infallible too. Phones break as much as anything else, and everyone should have some idea of what to do when the inevitable happens.

Even if your phone is fairly affordable, should you even bother to repair it when it starts to act up? Well, that really depends on your specific problem, whether it’s cosmetic damage or a catastrophic motherboard failure. We’ll go through some of the most common phone problems and tell you roughly how much you would expect to pay, so you can decide if it’s worth it.

Note: Our recommendations are applicable only if you don’t have a warranty or phone insurance, of course.

Broken screen

Whether you got mad when someone beat you in Clash Royale or you dropped your phone during unboxing, screens crack and break. Replacing the screen is a fairly routine operation and as long as the LCD panel is not damaged, your phone should be good as new afterwards.

This is the most common problem and usually the quickest repair job so you can stick around to watch your technician do the job if you want. You can get this kind of repair work done practically anywhere, from push cart booths to large repair shops.

How to avoid: Get a tempered glass screen protector for the best protection against impact

Cost: From RM250 depending on the model of your phone

Broken LCD

Sometimes the screen is the least of your problems when you discover that the LCD itself is damaged. This can be a little tricky because you’ll usually only be able to get OEM parts unless you go to an official repair partner. Depending on the source, OEM LCDs may have problems such as discoloration and poor touch sensitivity so your mileage may vary.

Original parts aren't free from these problems too, so do check your phone carefully after the replacement is done, and ask if your repair shop has a warranty for the new part. LCD screens can be replaced fairly quickly so you can get it sorted in a day.

How to avoid: Get a protective case and a tempered glass screen protector

Cost: About RM500 depending on the model of your phone

Broken Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth

It's slightly less common to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fail - most repair shops will lump these into the “motherboard problems” category. They are not easy to fix, and most of the time there’s no guarantee that it can actually be done.

Some repair shops turn away motherboard repairs outright, and going to an official repair partner might mean you’ll have to send your phone in for a diagnosis for which you will have to pay a fee, whether or not they can actually do anything about it. Repairs can take anywhere from an hour up to a week, so you might want to clear out your phone and reset it before handing it over.

How to avoid: High heat can sometimes be the culprit, so try not to leave your phone in the sun or let it cook in a parked car

Cost: Depends on whether the repair shop will take your phone so best to bring it in for them to have a look.