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DIY iPhone screen repair kits cheap but challenging

Consumer Reports volunteers try to repair cracked iPhone screens

So, you've dropped your iPhone and the screen is shattered.

You can take it to a repair service or you can try to save money and do it yourself.

A number of websites sell screen repair kits.  So how easy is it to tackle this yourself?

Consumer Reports' Bernie Deitrick ordered a kit from Amazon for $30 and watched a 30-minute tutorial video from iCracked.com. He also wanted to see how others would do.

"I recruited people from around the building with cracked iPhone screens, people with various skill levels, from engineers like me to complete novices who aren't comfortable working with electronics," Dietrick said.

Some volunteers breezed through the process. Others regretted the exercise.

"I requires a lot of patience," said Theresa Pannetta.

There were lots of steps, lots of small parts and fragile pieces.

Overall, it took most panelists about 90 minutes to replace the cracked screen.  But, for the technically-challenged, it took a lot longer.

"In the end, we repaired five iPhones using seven replacement screens," Deitrick said. "One screen was defective, and one screen was broken in the process."

If you're thinking about replacing a cracked screen yourself, it can save you money.  But, it can cost you a fair amount of time and aggravation.


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