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Modern cell phones are built to withstand a lot, but an accidental drop onto a hard surface risks a split or shattered screen. However, some phones are built to be especially durable, surviving rough treatment under demanding conditions.

Here's what you need to know about cell phone screens in order to choose one that'll stand up to the toughest tests.

What Goes into a Cell Phone Screen?

Perhaps one of the top features that makes modern cell phones so popular is the touch screen. It seems hard to imagine now, but only a little longer than a decade ago, the idea of swiping, pinching and zooming an electronic display on a personal phone was unknown outside of science fiction.

Most modern cell phones use a technology known as capacitive touch, which allows multi-touch operation. Unfortunately, this isn't as sturdy as the older, simpler one-touch screens, like those used in ATMs.

So, while the technology works brilliantly, it does mean that phones with multi-touch screens are a little more fragile than older models – and if the screen fails, the phone could be more or less unusable.

However, more recent screens have been toughened up using a special type of glass, called Gorilla Glass.

How Screens Are Made More Rugged

Gorilla Glass is made by bathing ordinary glass in molten potassium at a temperature of 400 degrees. This sparks off a lot of chemical changes, but the upshot is that the tempered glass is much more difficult to crack and any cracks that do appear don't spread so easily.

Some other options for the strongest phone screens feature Sapphire glass, produced under high temperature and pressure to give a similarly strong, clear material that's widely used in durable screens.

But, there's more to the most rugged phone design than just the glass. To be truly durable, a phone should be waterproof, dustproof and able to withstand dropping onto a hard surface such as concrete.

This normally means it should have a strengthened frame and case compared to regular cell phones that are often made of die-cast metal. It should also feature protective edgings rather than the wraparound bezel-less screens common on regular phones.

What if Your Phone’s Screen Isn’t Made of Extra Strong Glass?

If your phone screen isn’t made with the types of glass mentioned above and you're not looking to buy a new phone, there are still ways to keep your device protected. Find cell phone accessories, including a variety of screen protectors that add an additional layer on top of your phone screen and phone covers to provide reinforcement around the rest of the device.

What to Do If Your Phone's Screen Breaks

If a screen has a small crack or chip, it might only be the glass that needs replacing. However, with more serious impacts it's possible that the underlying electronics have also been damaged and a screen replacement may be needed.

But, there's no need to send your phone away for fixing! With our in-store repair services, you can bring your cell phone or tablet to us to handle problems from a broken screen to a dead battery, with a fast turnaround to get your phone back up and running as soon as possible.

Phone Screen FAQs

Our on-site experts can repair your phone at any one of our 700+ Batteries Plus locations, whether it's a cracked phone screen, broken port, camera, speakers or another problem that needs professional attention.

Step one to helping your phone last longer is to keep it protected with a durable case and a screen protector. We also suggest that you don't keep you phone in your pants pockets as the frame may bend, or lint may accumulate in the ports. Other great ideas include: Use quality chargers and cables that were designed for or approved for use with your specific phone. Manage battery life by avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures (hot or cold), store your phone at half power if you're storing it long-term, update to the latest software when it's available, optimize your settings (i.e. turn brightness down, turn wi-fi on, etc), and enable low power mode when your battery goes below 20%. On most newer phones today you can also check for your battery usage/health in the settings app and then adjust your settings accordingly.

The cost of replacing your phone screen depends on the model. Typically, though, phone repair ranges from $59.99 - $659.99. Tablet repair ranges from $89.99 - $599.99.

Some things are best left to the pros. We recommend that you let one of our nationally recognized WISE-certified technicians complete your repair. Most phone and tablet repairs are complex and require specific tools and knowledge to complete properly and safely.

We sure do! It is always best to call the store to check the brand/model of your phone to verify they can do the repair and that they have the parts available. Then, visit the store for fast, expert service.