You get your new phone and promise to cherish it forever. It's beautiful, shiny, and shows so much promise.
Then, a few months in, and several drops, and one nasty spiderweb crack later — you have to figure out the least-expensive way to renew your vows.
You could turn to Apple itself for some needed TLC. As Apple explains on its website, every iPhone comes with one year of hardware repair and up to 90 days of complimentary support. Customers can extend their protection coverage for two years by purchasing AppleCare+ for $129. Through that plan, screen replacement will only cost $29.
But outside of that period, screen repairs will cost $129 to $149 at Apple, depending on the phone model. Luckily, if you're looking for a less expensive or more convenient way to get repairs done, there are a few options here in New York. An added bonus: Apple recently changed its policy, and iPhones that have undergone third-party repairs are still eligible for partial warranty. (But if your iPhone is over a year old, chances are it's no long covered anyway.)
iCracked is a popular option for iPhones, iPads, and Samsung devices — both phones and tablets. After you go to the site and start your repair request, iCracked searches for technicians in your area that can meet you at the location most convenient for you. The company also sells DIY iPhone repair kits that range in price from $39.99 (not including tax) to $149.99, depending on the phone model.
One iCaveat: Going with iCracked might be more about convenience than price. I walked through the site as if I needed a repair for my own phone. There was no option to select the (Product)Red iPhone, which I have, so I selected the black 7 Plus for a broken screen repair and was quoted $179.99. They do throw in a free screen protector, but the cost is still $50 more expensive than what Apple would charge, making this more of an emergency or ease option. (For example, if I were going on vacation and needed to meet someone near my house to fix my phone ASAP.)
The cost will likely be less for older models, but you should always request a quote for any of these services before forging ahead.
Update: Although it is not listed under available repairs, iCracked can repair your RED iPhone. Just select any other iPhone 7 device and specify your model when you connect with your technician.
This is another chain with several branches in NYC that offers same-day repairs — and also touts a "low price guarantee." So, you might be able to weigh more than one option and go with them if they can do the job well at a more appealing price point.
In NYC, iPhone Doc Michel Lavache, who operates in Brooklyn and Manhattan also comes highly-recommended. According to Wired, "he is the Apple Genius bar gone mobile." Through this option, iPhone 5 generation through 6 generation screen replacements cost $60 to $105. (The site says that 7 and 7 Plus replacements are coming soon.)
The Doc has an impressive five-star rating (out of 138 reviews) on Yelp, with several customers saying that it took him less than 20 minutes to get the job done, even if it required more than one visit. Quincy W. from Hoboken wrote: "He started to work on my phone and noticed a piece was missing. He asked that I meet him the next day so he could make sure the phone was 100%. He didn't charge me for the first visit, since he had more work to do. That fact alone speaks to his trustworthiness and honesty."
Lazy Bee is a more-than-solid option for people in need of repairs in Queens. Jimmy, the long-time technician here also boasts five-stars on Yelp, as well as long-time clientele. One reviewer, Evelin C. says the repair work was just as solid three years ago as it is today. Plus, reviewers mention that the lead technician Jimmy is considerate when it comes to actually giving you what you need, instead of piling on the work (and the costs).
"These guys are the real deal," wrote Michael M. from Manhattan. "Jimmy knows a lot about phones, will give you all sorts of options to make it economical to fix them and I really admired their honesty. They are my go to repair store and well worth it over any DIY job you are thinking of doing too."
Finally, Simply Mac is another option that is highly recommended by NYC Yelpers. These technicians provide services across the city but are based in Harlem, making trips easier for customers who live farther uptown.
Simply Mac Repair offers travel service (reviewers mentioned visits in Midtown Manhattan and the Bronx); fast service, according to B P. "Brian was fantastic! I've dropped my phone and cracked the screen around 9am and had new screen installed by noon same day. And honest service: "He actually told me, when I tried to schedule an appointment, that Apple could fix my problem more cheaply," wrote Amy N. from West Point, N.Y. "Nothing like an honest answer (at someone's own expense!)"
Looking for a preventative solution? The Wirecutter has a few reviews and recommendations of screen protectors from amFilm to keep your phone's face secure before the worst hits occur.
"A glass screen protector can’t guarantee that you won’t break your iPhone’s screen. But it can prevent the screen from getting scratched, and scratches can affect glass’s structural integrity and make cracks more likely," Wirecutter's experts explain.
These screens are made of tempered glass and cost less than $10 ($7.99 through Amazon Prime) — a very inexpensive way to extend your phone's life.