In 2017, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones. The flagships marked a new era in edge-to-edge displays, with an all-glass exterior and great screen-to-body ratio. But this aesthetically pleasing design came with a major caveat: the phone’s exterior is extremely vulnerable to cracks, even when dropped from low heights.
So what happens when your gorgeous device hits the floor and a crack spiders across its delicate exterior? Let’s take a look at your various Galaxy S8 screen replacement options.
How Fragile Is the Samsung Galaxy S8?
Insurance provider SquareTrade conducted its usual drop test with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ once the phones released. Not only did it find that the devices are very prone to cracks, but at the time, they were the most fragile handsets the company had ever tested.
The breakability of a device is measured on a scale of 100; the closer to 100, the more fragile the smartphone. The Galaxy S8 scored 76 on the scale, while the S8+ scored 77. This is classified as a “medium-high risk.”
According to the company, the S8 is the first phone it ever tested that cracked from the first drop on all sides (e.g. front fall, back fall, edge, etc.).
SquareTrade’s tests were done with a six-foot drop onto concrete, which is quite a fall. But it doesn’t take much for the S8 to crack under pressure.
S8 owners have reported cracks from drops as short as two feet. Having a case doesn’t necessarily make the device impervious to damage either. In our own experience, a drop of three feet onto a tiled surface is enough to crack the phone, even with a cover on.
Seeing that even a minor bout of clumsiness can lead to cracks on your Galaxy S8, what are your options for repair?
1. S8 Screen Replacement With Samsung Premium Care/Samsung Mobile Care
The normal manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. Furthermore, Samsung’s Accidental Damage From Handling (ADH), which gave owners of previous Galaxy models one free screen repair, does not apply to the S8 and S8+.
Instead of ADH, Samsung offers another warranty option for cracked screens due to accidental damage for the Samsung Galaxy S8. The extended warranty goes by different names depending on your country. The U.S. currently offers Samsung Premium Care, while the U.K., India, and South Africa offer Samsung Mobile Care.
To use these options, you need to have registered for the extended warranty within 30 days of buying your phone. After this period passes, you cannot buy the insurance policy.
If you did sign up in time, here’s what each warranty plan offers…
Samsung Premium Care for the Galaxy S8
Samsung Premium Care is the extended warranty plan that applies to the United States. It includes some extra benefits that users in other countries don’t have.
With this service, you can exchange your damaged device for a new one. However, these claims are limited to three per 12-month period. Not handing in your damaged device once you’ve received your new one can result in an unrecovered equipment fee of up to $1,200.
This extended warranty plan comes with a monthly fee and deductible for each claim.
Samsung Premium Care also has the extra perk of in-person support. Unfortunately, any S8 not bought through an authorized Samsung carrier or retailer cannot be registered for the policy. You also cannot transfer the policy if you sell your device.
You can submit a Samsung warranty claim on the Samsung Premium Care website or by calling Samsung at 1-866-371-9501.
Samsung Mobile Care for the Galaxy S8
Samsung Mobile Care has the same core inspiration of its premium counterpart (covering accidental coverage), but comes with fewer bells and whistles.
The coverage plan also comes with a monthly fee (with the first month free), but it is slightly cheaper than the US Premium Care plan. You can also opt for a bulk payment for the full 24 months of coverage.
The plan has a 24-month limit from the date of purchase, after which it will automatically lapse. And no, you can’t extend it past the 24-month period.
For each claim (you’re limited to one claim per year for two years) users will have to pay an “incident fee.”
2. Fixing the Galaxy S8 at a Samsung Repair Center
If you missed out on Samsung’s extended warranty plans, you can take your Galaxy S8 or S8+ into a Samsung Repair Center for a quote.
These centers tend to be more expensive than third-party repair shops, but the device warranty is protected when using authorized Samsung services. The exact price of a repair is dependent on which region you live in. Make sure to call or visit your regional Samsung Repair Center website for a quote.
The benefits of choosing this option are the absence of a limit on the number of repairs and your manufacturer’s warranty remaining intact. You can also get your phone repaired if it is out-of-warranty, but this means you have to pay for the full repair rather than only paying a deductible.
3. Using a Third-Party Repair Center to Replace Your Galaxy S8 Screen
Many Galaxy S8 owners opt to repair their screens using a third-party repair center. You should note that this option may void your warranty and there’s nothing Samsung can do if the third party damages your device further.
On the other hand, third-party repairs are usually cheaper. The key is to first know what the warranty implications are, then choose a reputable repair company with a track record of good service.
You will have to shop around to see the price range in your area and weigh it against the other options.
4. Claim Your Galaxy S8 Repair on Insurance
If you have personal item insurance or specific insurance for your phone, claiming from your policy can be one of the best options. Of course, your policy will need to cover accidental damage instead of just theft or loss.
Claiming from your insurance comes with the risk of your monthly premiums increasing. Depending on your insurance provider, this will also likely come with a significant deductible. On the other hand, these plans usually allow you to lodge claims more often than Samsung’s warranty plans.
Mobile carriers also often offer their own insurance plans. So if you opted for carrier insurance when buying your phone, consider claiming from that plan.
5. Replace Your Cracked Galaxy S8 Screen Yourself
This is an option that more consumers are turning to, but it’s definitely not for everyone. DIY repair allows you to skip the labor fee and only pay for the parts you need.
However, this is an option that may void your warranty. While you can find online guides for repairing your Galaxy S8, the phone is considered moderately difficult to repair and requires a lot of patience, according to iFixit.com.
The company told MakeUseOf the following about the repair:
“While the back glass is tedious to remove because of adhesive, it’s definitely doable for a non-pro to replace. A screen swap on the S8 is a whole other beast. Just accessing the display requires getting the back cover off, tunneling through the phone, and removing several other components. Then you need to get enough heat on the screen to lift the adhesive. Additionally, the front glass doesn’t use standard adhesive; it uses double-sided tape gunk that is more resistant to heat.”
iFixit adds that third-party or DIY repairs shouldn’t technically void the warranty for U.S. consumers unless you damage the device during the process. This is based on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which basically gives consumers the right to repair. Unfortunately, many companies try to ignore this legislation to get out of warranty claims, iFixit says.
You’ll have to decide whether you want to roll the dice on this. Replacement part prices also depend on the company you buy them from. Again, you’ll want to choose a reputable company so you get solid components.
Protect Your Samsung Galaxy S8 From Damage
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, there’s no foolproof way to prevent it from damage. However, we recommended that you don’t use the cover that comes with the phone.
Rather, you should opt for a more durable, shockproof cover. These won’t make your S8 invincible, but will definitely soften a blow and reduce the likelihood that a drop cracks your screen. See our guide to the best Samsung Galaxy S8 cases.