Smart phone_0 (1)I had the unfortunate experience lately, as I am sure many of you have had, of dropping my iPhone. Unfortunately, this phone was dropped into a tub of water for less than ten seconds. On a day where bad was going to worse, I quickly dried the phone and hoped for the best. After the advice from others and a little googling, I turned the phone off and dropped it into a bag of rice to dry out. Great advice for drying it out, but when I turned the phone back on, the calls were on mute; I couldn’t hear anyone I was calling. Texting and anything else on the phone worked fine. It turns out that a kernel of rice was stuck in the headphone jack. After significant maneuvering with a pin, the rice kernel came out. I then updated all of my software, and the phone was finally working.

Ironically, the next day the WSJ had an article on fixing damaged smartphones (More than One Way to Fix a Broken Cellphone, Jan. 22, 2014). In addition to water damage, cracked screens are a common occurrence to smartphones, one that you may have encountered. Too often, we head back to the Apple Store or the smartphone vendor and are told that we can get the phone fixed at a high price or are forced to upgrade our phones to a new one at a price.

The WSJ article cited other sources for fixing damaged phones. One interesting one for the iPhone (or iPad) is iCracked. While the Apple Store has a more difficult time (more labor and time) fixing the 4 series iPhones, the iCracked site fixed a cracked iPhone 4S at a lesser price than the Apple Store would have and did so in one sitting. The site will set you up with a tech in your area. In the reporter’s case, he met up with a tech at a Starbuck’s and the phone was fixed during their meeting. Sounds like something worth trying!

A good source for Samsung Galaxy repairs was Cell Phone Repair. The reporter dropped the phone off at a mall location and it was fixed within a few hours at less than $100.

There are also mail-in sites, but the down side to this is that you are without your phone for a few days. That is not an option for many of us.

The lesson in all of this is that there are options to choose from in fixing a damaged phone and they may be more efficient and cost effective. Remember to have a good case for your phone (and protection for the screen) to help prevent cracking. Here’s to your phone’s safety!