One of the most common issues with smartphones is having a broken or cracked screen. The screen can be damaged in numerous ways, but the most common are impacts from being dropped or struck. But what is more important is whether the screen that covers the LCD or the LCD itself has been damaged. There is a significant difference between a broken LCD screen and having a cracked screen on your phone. Understanding that difference may come down to whether repairing or replacing a broken phone screen is the right answer.
What is LCD on Phone?
The Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is the most common type of display used for mobile phones and tablets. This is because LCDs consume relatively little power and can be easily seen. The display itself consists of many tiny pixels that is made up of a molecule layer set between two electrodes that are transparent along with two filters that are polarized.
When an image is being shown on the LCD, the pixel will turn a particular color as directed by the electrodes and filters. With each pixel lighting up based on the information it receives, it reveals the image bit by bit to create a smooth display.
There are different types of LCD displays. Some are low in terms of cost, power consumption, and quality such as the STN. Conversely, higher-quality displays such as the TFT offer better imagery but at a higher price and power consumption. Chances are the LCD screen you are using is transflective in nature. That means it is both transmissive to provide solid image quality and reflective under bright conditions.
If your screen is damaged, particularly the LCD, then the damage might be interfering with the display. Keep in mind that the digitizer may also have been damaged, so it is important to know the difference.
What is a Digitizer?
The digitizer is not an LCD, although it is used with LCDs. Instead, it is the device that converts the analog signals your device receives and converts them to digital ones. The glass piece that is attached to the LCD is the digitizer which also allows you to use the device as a touch screen. When you swipe or press, it converts that information into actions so you can view new pages, press buttons, see more information, and the like.
The glass screen is the digitizer itself which is connected to your phone through a flex cable. For those who are purchasing a replacement glass, getting the flex cable should be part of your purchase. Of course, what you do will depend in large part on the type and extent of the damage to your phone.
Does a Cracked Screen Affect Your Phone?
The answer is yes and no. You probably know someone that has had a cracked screen on their phone for a long time with no detriment to its performance. However, if the LCD, digitizer, or flex cable has been damaged, then it will affect your phone will display and react to your touch commands.
Obviously, a cracked screen will affect how you view your phone compared to an unbroken screen. There will be small points under the cracked area that may not be well seen. But as long as the LCD portion is unharmed, then it will not affect the performance of your device in terms of what it can display.
However, since the screen is part of the digitizer, it is possible that your swipes and presses may not have the same effect as before. You may have to put more pressure on the screen to get it to respond. Or in some cases, it may not respond at all if the flex cable has been damaged or compromised.
How Do You Know if Your LCD Screen is Broken?
Broken LCD: However, if your phone is suffering from a broken LCD screen, that is a different matter. The symptoms of the LCD itself being damaged are as follows.
- Black spots
- Discolored areas
- Screen failing to light up
If you are seeing any of these three symptoms, then it is most likely your phone has a broken LCD screen and it will need to be repaired. Repairing or replacing the LCD screen is more expensive compared to replacing a cracked screen, but it can be done if you visit the dealer or repair shop.
What To Do if Your Phone LCD Screen is Broken?
The best way to remedy a cracked screen is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Adding a solid, protective shockproof casing combined with carrying your phone in a place where it cannot be bent, sat upon, or dropped will minimize the potential for damage. The more steps you can take to prevent your smartphone from becoming damaged, the less likely you will have to deal with a broken or cracked screen.
But no amount of preventative measures can guarantee that your smartphone will never be damaged. If you discover a crack on the screen or any damage to your phone, the first thing you should do is a functional check. Take a few seconds to test out the touch commands such as presses and swipes.
Observe the display for any signs of damage to the LCD. Once you know the type of damage that is present, you can take the proper steps to have it corrected.
A cracked screen will need a replacement along with the flex cable for the digitizer. These are fairly common items and with a little instruction along with the right tools, many people can do the replacement themselves if you so desire.
A cracked LCD display is another matter as the replacement will be more expensive. In this case, you will probably want to talk to the dealer or take it to the repair shop. They can replace the LCD screen and get your phone back in order, although you will want a free estimate first.
A cracked screen can be annoying, but a broken LCD screen needs to be fixed quickly before the damage can spread. Knowing what to do and where to go can help you when facing a broken phone screen.