To fix or not to fix: when it comes to mobile phones, that’s often the question

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MOSES LAKE – It can happen in a flash. Mobile phone slips and crashes on concrete floor. Or it is safely stored in a purse – except the purse is slammed into the car door and the creaking sound is not good.

Or he was lying on the seat, fell out of the car and got run over. Or maybe – well, the phone ended up in the watering hole – don’t ask how.

There’s a lot of stuff on this phone, all these contacts. And how many people still even memorize phone numbers when they can just look up the name? This calendar contains a few months of appointments, and good luck rebuilding it. And the pictures – the first day of school, last summer at the beach, those really cute Christmas pictures.

This phone is an essential part of life these days.

“It’s basically a small computer. You can check the weather, call a friend across the country, do anything, really,” said Saul Hinojosa, manager of CPR Cell Phone Repair in Moses Lake.

Thus, the portable device which is part of daily life is broken. What to do now?

“The data would be the most important thing,” Hinojosa said.

For most people, photos, calendar, contacts – data – are the crucial elements. Fixing the phone itself, however, can be a cost-effective decision.

“It really depends. If you absolutely need that specific cell phone, yes, bring it,” Hinojosa said.

The most common problem that causes a cell phone to be repaired is the vulnerable glass screen.

“It’s very, very common to break your screen,” he said.

All kinds of things happen to screens. They often get slammed in car doors, for example.

“The phone falls (out of the car) perfectly when you slam the door. Getting run over is also quite common. People leave it on the roof of a car, or they don’t realize it’s out of their pocket,” he said.

“We generally recommend, at a minimum, a case and a screen protector, for example,” he added. “Mine, I always have a case and a screen protector. You don’t want to travel or camp or anything and have your phone broken.

Another common enemy of a cell phone is water.

“Although in the event of water damage, if it is repairable, we generally always recommend replacing it,” Hinojosa said. “Water damage can be random.”

A water-damaged phone may continue to work well for a year, or it may die tomorrow.

“At this point, it’s a board-level fix,” he said. “Most of the time, we can definitely work on it. But the customer ends up paying more than the device would ever be worth, with these kinds of repairs. »

Getting the photos, contacts or calendar from a water-damaged phone isn’t guaranteed, he said. A cell phone that has gone down in a glass may need the services of people who specialize in data recovery.

Hinojosa said that depending on the phone and the problem, it might be more cost effective to buy a new one rather than fix a broken phone, even for a relatively small repair like a broken screen. He used a nearby cell phone, about four years old, as an illustration. Replacing a broken screen would cost around $150, he said, while a new phone with similar capabilities could be had for less.

If there are multiple issues, it might be more cost effective to simply replace the phone, he said.

Cellphone repair is a big part of CPR’s business, he said, but it also repairs tablets, laptops, desktops and game consoles.

“We are fixing all of this. And once in a while, weird stuff,” he said. “It could be anything, really.”

Among other things, he repaired wheelchair controls and worked on power banks with broken cables.

Hinojosa has worked at CPR for about 18 months, but he has been interested in computers most of his life.

“I’ve been playing around with devices since I was 10 or 11 years old. That’s when I got my first computer. Since then I have been interested. I grew up gaming too, playing video games. So that’s something that appeals to me as well.

The potential of the devices makes them really interesting.

“You can do anything to them. It’s a tool that has endless uses,” he said.

He learned to fix computers by working on his own phone and computer, and to fix the phones and computers of his family and friends.

“If the device works, we can diagnose it using a computer. If not, we just have to use our knowledge, the tools we have,” he said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached by email at [email protected]

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