When referring to iPhone & Galaxy S series screens, there are 3 levels of quality.
- Copy LCD + Copy glass (1/2 the price of original)
- Refurbished (used) original LCD + copy glass (2/3 cost of original)
- New original LCD + New original Gorilla glass
The difference in quality is quite dramatic; if you have a poor quality screen on an expensive phone then you have a poor quality phone. Issues like backlight bleeding, touch response issues, short lifespan, freezing & pixilation issues are very common with low quality screens.
The quality of the glass is also of great importance, all phones we repair use Gorilla Glass that is made in the USA by Corning. GG is an aluminosilicate tempered (strengthened) glass that is resistant to scratching and moderate impact. If you end up with aftermarket (copy) glass which is just a standard bit of glass then it’s going to be far more prone to scratching, cracking and shattering.
As a rule of thumb you can drop gorilla glass from about chest height onto most surfaces without shattering, copy glass will crack from about shin height. Of course it does depend on the surface and how the device impacts but it’s a general rule of thumb. Here is a great YouTube video of how resistant Gorilla Glass is to shattering.
When accessing the cost benefit of a cheap phone repair (a copy screen at about 60% of original cost) vs. the original screen think
“if I cracked the factory original screen do I want a weaker screen that’s going to crack even easier in future?”
How to tell the difference, well it can be pretty hard to tell and you will probably only be able to tell once you drop the phone from your around shin height and it breaks however here are some giveaways …
Look at the photo for the Samsung S4 screen below. You can see the copy screen has a dark blue colour to it while the original screen is black. The Samsung logo is also has a black border around it while the copy one doesn’t.
Now look at the iPhone picture. We have 2 phones there with screens being tested on them. The screen on the left has a strong yellowish tint … COPY! Pretty obvious (it appears worse in person). Screen on the right has a clear crisp cool white colour, one of our original ones (we turned the brightness down as well so it was perfectly comparable). The phone on the left came in from a customer who paid $109 at one of the those “back alley” type joints for an iPhone 5c screen replacement, what he got was a yellow LCD, malpositioned rotating home button and a month later the screen popped out from the frame due to a poor / unskilled assembly.
Synced Repairs only uses original parts and material and at the time of writing we were charging $180 for the original screen, which also included a new home button secure gasket and of course the proper assembly.
Next time you need a mobile phone or tablet repair just weigh up the cost / benefit of cheap vs. original quality.