Galaxy S4 Active

When the screen on a Galaxy S 3 or 4 breaks and a user still has perfect touch and display,  we can do a lens only replacement.  A lens only repair, as opposed to a full assembly replacement,  saves the user a lot of money.   The water resistance of the new Galaxy S4 Active presents an unusual issue that prevents  lens repair from being a viable option on that device.  A lens only repair on the S4 Active, while possible, would compromise the water resistance of the device.  Therefore, even if a user still has perfect touch and display, to repair the cracked screen on an Active, the entire screen assembly needs to be replaced.  This repair costs $325-350, as opposed to the $140 a lens only repair would cost.

Lens Replacement Saves Money on Phone Repair

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Phones are getting more and more complicated and so more and more expensive to repair.  My technicians are always looking for ways to do repairs less expensively than the norm.  One thing we like to try before replacing an entire screen on a phone is a lens only replacement.

If the glass is cracked on a phone but the device shows no other signs of damage (the touch screen is sensitive and the picture is clear) then that device is a candidate for a lens only repair.  In a lens only repair, we use a calibrated heat gun or special hot plate to loosen the adhesive.  Then we remove the entire top layer of glass, a tricky and time consuming job.  Once the top layer of broken glass is fully removed, we replace it with a new lens.  Some phones also require a new back light.   The lens is not a working part of the phone, it is simply a layer of protection for the working parts underneath.   We charge $140 for a lens only repair.  The part is not expensive, but the repair takes quite a bit of skill.

If the touch screen has lost sensitivity or if the picture is compromised, we will have to replace the entire LCD / Digitizer / lens combination.  This repair is relatively quick and easy but the parts are extremely pricey.  The price of a full assembly varies from phone to phone and will run anywhere from $95-$350.  The only way we know exactly how much a full assembly will cost on your particular phone is for you to come in and have us look up the exact model number.

Some phones do not have a lens over the top, they have the phone’s digitizer incorporated into the top glass.  If your phone is one of those, we will have to analyze it on a case by case basis.

Phone with lenses are:

Galaxy S3, S4,and S4 Active

Note 1, 2, and 3

iPhone 5, 5S and 5C.

 

Evolution of the Smart Phone

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According to Daniel Burrus,  of Burrus Research, the following are 5 ways your smart phone will change in the coming years.

1. Your phone will be your personal assistant. The introduction of Apple’s Siri (an intelligent e-agent) gave us a taste of how advanced our phones could be. As Siri-like agents rapidly advance, they will turn into personal assistants, searching the web for you and delivering focused, highly relevant information based on how well it knows you. In other words, your phone will know your preferences, likes, and needs and will automatically compile, present, and share what’s pertinent to you. Additionally, forget just talking to a faceless voice. Your intelligent e-agent will have a face when you are looking at the screen and a personality that you choose. You’ll even see celebrities and cartoon characters licensing the rights to their digital likeness and personality to be used as intelligent e-agents for both adults and children.

2. Many smartphones won’t have a screen. The traditional smart phone with a screen will not go away, but you will have an option for a screen-less smart phone. This will be a very popular and highly adopted smart phone because without the screen, you get rid of much of the need for a big battery. Think of the screen-less smart phone like the little piece of jewelry people wore on the old Star Trek TV show. The screen-less smart phone will be touch and voice activated. When you tap it, you’ll be connected to your intelligent e-agent, which is part of a super computer in the cloud. Whatever you need, your intelligent e-agent will be able to verbally give you the information, such as turn-by-turn directions, reading your email, etc.

3. Augmented reality will make life easier. With augmented reality (AR), you use your smartphone camera to see a live image of a scene in front of you, and an AR app will overlay on the screen pertinent details about the image. For example, you can activate the AR app and using your phone’s camera, point the camera to a far off mountain range, and text will overlay onto the image indicating the name of the mountains, their elevation, typical fauna, etc. How does it do this? The app uses the device’s GPS, digital compass, and motion sensors to detect where you’re pointing the camera. But it goes much further. Imagine walking down a busy shopping district looking for a shoe store that sells a particular brand. With AR, you could tell your phone what you want and then pan your phone’s camera down the street. The name of each store and what brands they sell will appear on your screen, overlaid on the image of the street. Even better, this technology could also be used inside large stores to help you find specific items.

4. Your smart phone will have a 3D display and a 3D web browser … and you won’t need special glasses to view it. Instead of just viewing web pages on your smart phone, you’ll be able to go into environments (or stores or showrooms) and maneuver around in them, just as you do on devices like the Xbox. Alternatively, you’ll be able to see things sticking out from the screen, again without the special glasses. The 3D web on your smart phone will be a game-changer for business.

5. Your smart phone will increasingly become your wallet. Our wallets are switching from being leather to being phone-based. That means we will use cash and physical credit cards less often and instead make purchases using our smart phones. This makes security even more important. Currently, we do have near-field communications (NFC) chips taking hold in smart phones. These chips can help to speed a transaction when you’re buying something. You just get your smart phone close to a cash register that’s equipped with a NFC reader and you can do the transaction. In addition, we’re going to be increasingly using biometrics to ensure who you are. This will include having fingerprint readers like the latest iPhone, audio analysis of your voice, and facial recognition features in phones. By using all these things together—your fingerprint, voice, and face—your phone will provide a secure payment method.

Posted on: February 4, 2014 | Tagged

Ways to Save Money At CPR-Shelby Township

phone money

Phone repair can be a very economical alternative to buying a new phone out of contract.  Repairs are also usually less expensive than many insurance plan deductibles (so why spend $10 / month on insurance you ask…that is the topic of another blog!)  BUT even so, it is nice to save as much as possible so I am writing this short blog to give you tips on how to lessen your phone repair bill.

1.  Coupons.  I give coupons to local wireless providers (Verizon, ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile, Radio Shack and Game Stop) .  There are also coupons in the Van Dyke Quarterly.  Most are for $10 off but some are $15 off.

2.  Donate Device.  Bring in an old phone, iPod, or tablet and donate it.  Even if your old device is broken it will be worth some money off the repair of your current device.

3.  Like us on Facebook for $5 off a repair.

4.  Show us that you are a member of the Sterling Heights or Romeo Chamber of Commerce for 10% off any repair.

5.  Register your business with us and get discounts for yourself and your entire staff.

6.  Have multiple repairs done at once for $5 off each repair.

7.  Buy a case at the same time you have a repair done and get money off your case.

The discounts above may not be used in combination (except for #7.  You will get a discount on a case when you also get a repair even if you use a coupon for the repair

We hope to see you in the shop!  Our hours are:  Monday – Friday 11-8, Saturday 11-6 and We are now open Sundays 12-5.

Galaxy S4 Repairs

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a popular phone and so it makes sense that we do a lot of S4 repairs.  The most common problem we see with the Galaxy S4 are broken screens.

The broken screen on a Galaxy S4 can be repaired two different ways, depending on the nature and extent of the damage to the device.  If the glass is cracked but the device shows no other signs of damage (the touch screen is sensitive and the picture is clear) then that device is a candidate for a lens only repair.  In a lens only repair, we use a calibrated heat gun to loosen the adhesive and we remove the entire top layer of glass, a tricky and time consuming job.  Once the top layer of broken glass is fully removed, we replace it with a new lens.  The lens is not a working part of the phone, it is simply a layer of protection for the working parts underneath.   We charge $175 for this repair.  The part is not expensive but the repair takes quite a bit of skill and time so we charge more than our normal $45 labor fee.

If the touch screen has lost sensitivity or if the picture is compromised, we will have to replace the entire LCD / Digitizer / lens combination.  This repair is relatively quick and easy but the part is extremely pricey and so we charge $300 for the full combo fix.  ($255 for the part and $45 for labor)

 

Issues with IOS 7

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IOS 7 has a few quirks.  2 of which effect us at the shop weekly.

1.  If you do NOT update to IOS 7, you will NOT be able to get your phone screen replaced if it cracks.  New iPhone 4, 4s and 5 screens are only compatible with IOS 7.  Don’t ask me why.  I think it is weird.  But its true.  If you are one of those people who never updates their phone and you crack your screen, a new screen will not work on your phone.  Please update to IOS 7.

2.  If you buy a used phone w IOS 7, please be sure to have the seller log into their Apple ID account and remove that device from the seller’s account.  It used to be that wiping the phone by doing a full factory reset would accomplish this.  Not anymore.  To do this, visit support.apple.com/kb/HT5818 and follow the instructions for removing an Apple Device from a user’s account.

Defective Parts

I am writing this specifically for those of you who have had an iPhone 4S fixed at our shop sometime in the last 60 days.  I hate to say it but the quality of iPhone 4S parts has been terrible the last 2 months. We have had to return entire batches of parts.  The problem is not just with our parts.   The VP of CPR’s global supply chain has recently gone to China due to this issue.  He was able to trace the bad parts back to one factory and he has dealt with the issue.   If you have gotten a defective part at our shop, we thank you very much for your patience.  We are getting a new shipment as soon as Friday.  If your screen is acting crazy since your repair, bring it in any time after Friday and we will swap it out for free as a warranty.

 

Once again, our apologies for the inconvenience.

A Phone Worth Keeping?

modular phone

The author ofthis recent article in the Verge suggests that the phones we use now are disposable and describes Motorola’s Project Ara as being an “inspiring vision of a more sustainable and democratic smartphone”.

Motorola wants to lower barriers to entry for new companies and consumers alike while helping to build an ecosystem of versatile devices that don’t get discarded as soon as any one component breaks down. The same flexibility that you gain from having an interchangeable battery can be magnified if everything from the display and cameras to the applications processor and wireless radios is also user-upgradeable. By swimming upstream against the current of ever-greater integration and consolidation, Motorola’s venture aims to produce “a phone worth keeping.  (By Vlad Savov on October 29, 2013 10:00 am )

As the owner of a cell phone repair facility…I would argue that the phones we use are in fact NOT as disposable as Mr. Savov seems to think.  I can replace most parts of most any phone that goes bad, no need to throw it away!  The part of the modular phone idea that excites me, however, is that I could offer not only repairs but UPGRADES in my shop with the modular phones.   You bought a phone with a low end camera but now want a better camera?  I would be able to swap that out for you!  Your screen is slow and you want the newest version?  no problem!  I hope the Motorola modular phone catches on…it seems cool.  Until then,  remember that your phone is not disposable!  I can fix it!!!

Posted on: October 29, 2013 | Tagged

Cracked Screen? Get It Fixed!

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We had a guy come in to the shop for a repair the other day with an iPhone so badly cracked you could see inside the thing.  It had been like that for 4 months.  The screen still worked so he just kept using it.  When he brought it to us there were several issues on intake:  the power button, the head phone jack and of course the screen.  He wanted us to make his phone perfect again and he was mad when the bill was $150 and the speaker didn’t work.  All I can say is that if you let your phone stay broken, basically leaving it open to the elements, you should not expect a perfect device after a repair.  Opening a phone like that is like opening a can of worms.  I have seen parts just fall off the motherboard of an iPod that was used cracked for 6 months.  Another iPod that was broken for 7 months but “left in a drawer” simply would not turn on after a new screen was installed.

In order to fix the screen on an iPhone, my technicians must dissemble the entire phone.  If you bring us a phone that has been cracked for longer than a few weeks, that disassemble process will be difficult to predict.  Even if the phone “works just fine” with the broken screen, once it is opened and the internal pressure is released, there is no telling how the components have been compromised by the moisture that has gotten into the phone through the cracked screen.

We never have problems with phones or iPods that are brought in within a few days of being broken.  Those are easy, straight forward repairs.  So, if you break your device…bring it in for a repair sooner rather than later, you will be much happier with the result.

Apple Stays Strong

Samsung is gaining market share on Apple but not enough to make up for market share lost by Motorolla, HTC and LG.

In the US, Apple’s dominance as the top smartphone OEM has not only surpassed the 40 percent mark, but it appears set to keep growing. Samsung is gaining as well, but not as fast as its main competitor. Rounding out the top five are HTC, Motorola, and LG, all of which lost share or remained flat.

In the platform space, Google is still first courtesy of Android, Apple is second with iOS, but the latter continues to gain on the former. In fact, Android is back to losing share while iOS is eagerly pushing onwards. Rounding out the top five are BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Symbian.  (Thenextweb.com)

As a repair center, I am glad that Apple and Samsung are the most common phones.  Mototolla and LG parts are extremely expensive and rare while HTC phones are over engineered and difficult to repair.  Apple and Samsung parts, while not cheap, are available.  And the repairs, while not easy,  are straight forward.

Of course, we repair any phone with any damage.  If you have a question do not hesitate to call the shop during business hours:  Monday 9-8, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 11-8 and Saturday 11-6.