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Why you shouldn't use smartphone with broken screen: Reasons will surprise you

Why you shouldn't use smartphone with broken screen: Reasons will surprise you Why a smartphone with a broken screen cannot be used (photo: Pixabay)

Even the most expensive smartphones do not guarantee protection against falls, which can lead to damage to the screen coating and even cracks in the display glass. Despite this, many users continue to use their devices as before, but such behavior is not recommended.

RBC-Ukraine explains why using a smartphone with a broken screen is not advisable.

Sources used in preparing the material: Asurion, Quora, Alphr.

What makes the cracked glass on the screen dangerous for a smartphone

Screen may unexpectedly stop responding to touch

Typically, the front panel of a smartphone includes toughened protective glass, a touch-sensitive panel for touch input, and a matrix for displaying images.

In high-end devices such as the latest iPhone models or Samsung's Galaxy S series, the touch-sensitive panel is integrated into the protective glass, and the matrix is positioned at a minimal distance from it without an air gap. This is done to reduce the thickness of the smartphone and improve image quality.

However, the protective glass is susceptible to rapid temperature changes, such as during charging or intensive device usage when it heats up, and quick cooling in cold air. It is also susceptible to friction and other physical forces, such as contact with the user's hands and movement in a bag or pocket.

With an intact smartphone glass, it remains undamaged even with active use. However, in the presence of glass damage, these defects gradually spread, and within 2-4 weeks, small cracks may begin to release tiny fragments.

The first element at risk is the touch-sensitive panel, which may suddenly stop responding to touch, leading to an inability to respond to messages or answer important calls.

Broken glass can harm the internals of a smartphone

To accommodate modern components such as the processor, capacitive battery, vibration motor, and others, manufacturers place them inside the device at a minimal distance from each other.

These components are secured in a monolithic casing made of robust materials like plastic, glass, and metal. Their positions are fixed, preventing mutual damage as long as the structure remains intact. However, when the glass is damaged, the situation changes.

Initially, the matrix suffers from the pressure of the shattered glass. In its intact state, the glass served as reliable protection for the matrix, but after the glass is destroyed, it becomes the cause of damage to the matrix.

A broken screen also affects other components, causing them to move, collide, and rub against each other. These actions can be fatal for the entire motherboard and individual components on it.

It is particularly challenging for the internal components of the smartphone when the user is actively moving around the city, experiencing vibrations in public transportation, or engaging in sports. Even minor damage can unexpectedly lead to malfunction. For example, a broken screen, the delayed replacement of which can significantly increase repair costs or make it impossible.

Чому не можна користуватися смартфоном, якщо у нього розбитий екран: причини здивують

X-ray image of iPhone 12 Pro Max (photo: Reddit)

Moisture can penetrate inside and start damaging components

The primary adversary of a smartphone's internal components is water, so manufacturers equip devices with seals that protect against moisture. However, when the protective glass is damaged, moisture can infiltrate the interior of the casing, even if the owner's hands are dry, as it is present in the air.

Most internal smartphone components are located on the motherboard, which contains conductive tracks protected by layers of textile and glue.

The motherboard is connected to the battery, making it particularly vulnerable to moisture. When moisture reaches the motherboard, the corrosion process begins, which can lead to short circuits in internal components.

During regular use, a small amount of moisture can enter the device through cracks, which may not immediately cause the components to malfunction. However, over time, the components will gradually succumb to oxidation and may stop working at the most unexpected moments.

If a smartphone with a broken glass comes into contact with water, the chances of saving it are practically nonexistent. The corrosion process will accelerate, and all device components will be damaged.

Чому не можна користуватися смартфоном, якщо у нього розбитий екран: причини здивують

Corrosion on the motherboard (photo: HZO, Inc)

What to do if it's not possible to replace the glass

Perhaps you don't have the time for smartphone repair, especially if it's damaged while traveling and you're far from a service center. The cost of replacing the protective glass or the entire front part, including the touch panel and display, can also be discouraging.

In such situations, it is important to ensure complete protection for your smartphone, including the screen and internal components, to prevent further damage. There are two ways to achieve this.

Apply a protective film or glass to the screen

They will help prevent cuts on your fingers, reduce physical impact on the smartphone screen, and partially protect the device's touch panel and display.

Applying protective films and additional glasses inside the case will also reduce moisture penetration, lowering the risk of component corrosion.

Place the smartphone in a waterproof case

Usually, such cases have a special transparent film for the front panel of the smartphone. It will protect it from further damage and prevent moisture from getting inside.

Чому не можна користуватися смартфоном, якщо у нього розбитий екран: причини здивують

Waterproof Shellbox Case (photo: Onecase)

What should be done with a broken screen in the service

Depending on the device model, you may be offered three repair options: install a new glass, replace the glass along with the touch panel, or replace the entire screen as a complete unit.

During the service, they should also inspect the condition of internal components after the fall and replace seals that protect the smartphone from moisture. The cost of device repair may vary.

Also, read about what to do if an iPhone falls into the water.

We have also written about things you should never use to clean your smartphone screen.