When to repair or replace your cell phone

CLEVELAND - Electronics aren't built to last forever, but a reputable repair shop may be able to fix your broken phone.

As cellular phones become more of a necessity, more repair shops are surfacing, hoping to give a second life to your dead device.

Angie's List, the nation's leading provider of consumer reviews, asked highly rated cell phone repair companies about fixing your gadgets.

Common cell phone repairs:

·         Cracked screens

·         Water damage

·         Battery replacement

Sometimes the problem proves as simple as a loose wire or cracked screen, but occasionally the motherboard is fried, which is often not cost effective to repair.

Repair or replace? It's worth weighing the pros and cons of repairing versus replacing before you shop for a new device. Some devices are worth paying to have repaired, and some are not. If the item isn't covered by a warranty or service plan and you aren't sure which way to go, consult a reputable repair service and get an estimate for the cost of repairing. Then you have the information you need to make an informed decision.

Angie's List Tips: Hiring a cell phone repair company

·         How much? Repair typically costs a fraction of the replacement cost of a new smartphone, which often runs $500 or so when not subsidized by a phone carrier. Be sure the estimate includes costs for labor and parts before you sign off on anything.

·         Is there a guarantee? Does the work come with a guarantee? How long is the guarantee? Make sure you have all the details in writing.

·         Match the item to the technician: Finding the right repair shop for your device depends on the experience and specialty of the shop. Look for a repair shop that specializes in the kind of item you need fixed. You want someone who is knowledgeable about your device.

Angie's List Tips: Taking care of your phone

·         Protect it: Invest in a high quality phone case. Check the company's warranty. Some offer a lifetime warranty on their cases so if your device breaks while in their product, they will replace the device for you.

·         Keep away from water: Avoid putting your phone on a table that has condensation. Do not take your phone in the bathroom or out on a boat, pool, etc.

·         Avoid heat: Keep your phone out of the sun and from heat sources like your stove/oven, furnace, chimney, lamps, etc.

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