Sunday, 17 December 2017
Reviews

Tech review: You paid a ton for your iPhone. How much protection does it need?


Not long after buying a new iPhone 8 Plus, a friend posted on Facebook asking for a recommendation to fix the broken back glass after a drop.

I answered that since the iPhone 8 models had only been out a few weeks, she likely wouldn’t find any independent shops offering to replace the back glass; no one but Apple would have the parts yet.

To include wireless charging, Apple changed the back of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus to one made of glass. The iPhone 6 and 7 models had backs made of aluminum.

A day or two later, she told me Apple quoted her a price of $400 to fix it.

Phones like the Apple iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are marvels of engineering — using the latest in glass and metal — and their screens are bigger than ever.

With handset prices punching through the $1,000 mark this year, I’m sure everyone who’s shelled out big bucks is wondering if and how to protect their investment.

Should you keep that beautiful phone in a case?

What about the screen? Does it need extra protection?

How about an extended warranty?

I tend to be an over-protector, and it’s worked out well for me so far.

I’ve owned cellphones for more than 25 years, including six different iPhones starting with the original model. I have yet to break one despite my fair share of drops (knock on wood).

I’ve gone back and forth on buying AppleCare Plus for my phones, although I purchased it for the last three iPhones I’ve owned.

For my iPhone 8 Plus, I bought AppleCare Plus for $149 to add extra insurance coverage.

The regular Apple warranty is for one year, but it covers only hardware repairs due to manufacturing defects. Adding AppleCare Plus covers accidental damage for two years.

Repairs are not free, though. Screen repairs costs $29 and other repairs are $99 for up to two incidents.

So my iPhone is covered against damage, but I still had a new case waiting for my iPhone 8 Plus when I bought it.

I don’t keep it in a huge case, but I use a magnetic mount in my car that requires a metal plate on the phone, so I slip the plate inside a very thin case. It also keeps the back and sides scratch-free.

I usually go without screen protection — but that bit me already on my new iPhone.

I scratched the heck out of my new iPhone’s screen by putting two phones in my pocket. The glass over the lens of another phone scratched my phone’s screen.

So I could take it to Apple and pay them $29 to replace it, but I opted to install a glass screen protector.

The glass protector covers up those scratches completely, so I’ll hang on to my $29 screen replacements in case I do break the phone’s screen.

Of course, everyone has a comfort level. You can choose protect your phone or not, but my comfort level is not wanting to pay $400 to fix my $900 phone less than a month after I bought it.

If you don’t have an iPhone, you can still get insurance, from your carrier or a third-party warranty company such as SquareTrade.com.

©2017 The Dallas Morning News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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