Having a broken phone screen is like having a fender bender in a mall parking lot. It happens to most of us eventually, and then we get to choose between paying too much to fix a dent or driving around showing off the cracks in our screen.
While you’re shopping for Black Friday, let us suggest that if your iPhone screen is broken, you should check out the best phones from Samsung. Samsung offers more money for broken iPhones than Apple does – so much more, it may be time to consider a switch, especially with today’s Black Friday Samsung phone deals.
If you are paying for an AppleCare warranty, of course, you should have your iPhone screen repaired, but if your phone is out of warranty there are few good options available. Apple will initiate a repair, and this often means you bring in your phone and they hand you a refurbished replacement device. It may not even be the same color as your phone. You’ll pay a flat rate to 'repair' your phone, and it will cost hundreds of dollars, depending on your model.
You can take your phone to a third party. In the US the shop uBreakiFix is a licensed repair shop for Samsung, Apple, and other brands, so they often carry manufacturer parts. They will also try to sell you on cheaper repair parts for your phone if some are available. Those parts will be much cheaper but the difference will be noticeable.
You might bring your iPhone 13 Pro Max in for repair and instead of a Liquid Retina OLED display, they will try to sell you a lower-resolution LCD display. You’ll save a couple hundred bucks, but you won’t have the phone you originally purchased. Then, when it is time to sell the phone, you’ll have the dubious honor of explaining to your potential buyer that you’ve downgraded Apple’s device to save money. You may as well toss your trade in the bin.
Apple has options for self-repair, but they are incredibly convoluted and difficult for a layperson to achieve. We tried a self-repair option on a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, also a complicated process, and it did not go perfectly. We would not recommend self-repair unless you relish the risk involved with cracking open your phone.
Apple and Samsung will take your broken trade
The good news is that you can still trade your phone for a discount on a new device, even if it’s broken. If you have an iPhone, both Samsung and Apple will take a trade-in device with a cracked screen.
Unfortunately, Apple reduces the value of a device if it is broken by so much that it would be more economical to pay to fix it first, then trade it to Apple. With Samsung, trades are a much more generous story.
Let’s say you’ve got an iPhone 11 that you’ve held onto because you love the phone and it has great cameras… and you can live with the spiderweb cracks that cover the face. You’ve finally decided it’s time for an upgrade, and you want to get a new device around the same level as the iPhone you have.
If your phone wasn’t broken, you would have gotten $220 from Apple towards a new iPhone 14, or $215 from Samsung to buy a new Galaxy S22. With a cracked screen, Apple will only give you $55, bringing the price of the new iPhone to $744.
Samsung, on the other hand, will still give you $170 for your broken iPhone 11 if you buy a new Galaxy S22. The price of a new Galaxy S22, when you trade a broken iPhone 11, is $629.99.
Not only that, Samsung doubles the storage for free. You get 256GB instead of 128GB, an upgrade that costs $100 with Apple.
Samsung gives much more for the best broken iPhones
Trade-in values change depending on which device you are buying. Let’s say you want to buy the most expensive device from Samsung or Apple. That’s the Galaxy Z Fold 4 or the iPhone 14 Pro Max. You are trading an iPhone 13 Pro Max, the most valuable phone to trade. Both companies will give you $720 for that phone if everything works perfectly.
What if your phone screen is broken? Apple will give you $280. That’s a 61% drop in value. Samsung will give you $500 for that same phone, only a 30% drop from a full trade.
Frankly, the Apple deal feels like a rip-off compared to what its competitor is offering. Surely, Apple can fix its own phones for less than $440, and make a returning customer feel more welcome?
If you’re a longtime iPhone owner and you’ve ever been curious about Samsung Galaxy phones, there’s no better time to consider a Samsung than when you’re replacing a broken device. Samsung is offering more to win over disgruntled iPhone owners, and the best Samsung Galaxy phones are every bit as good as the best iPhones you can buy.
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, having reviewed his first device (the Sony D-EJ01 Discman) more than 20 years ago for eTown.com. He has been writing about phones and mobile technology, since before the iPhone, for a variety of sites including PCMag, infoSync, PhoneScoop, and Slashgear. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University.
Phil was the internal reviewer for Samsung Mobile, writing opinions and review predictions about top secret new devices months before launch. He left in 2017. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. He has been a High School English teacher at Title I schools, and is a certified Lifeguard. His passion is smartphones and wearables, and he is sure that the next big thing will be phones we wear on our faces.