Tips Galaxy S3 Cracked Glass Screen Repair

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by cassnate6259, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. cassnate6259

    cassnate6259 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    Hi all,
    I just did a repair on my Galaxy S3, and thought I'd post my experience in case any of you are in a similar situation:

    Galaxy S3 Smartphone Repair - Imgur

    What I learned is that if you (or someone you know) has a steady hand, save yourself an expensive repair cost and fix it with a $16 kit!

    Keep in mind that I only damaged the glass. If the LCD is damaged, you're unfortunately looking at a more expensive fix.



    daveams and funkylogik like this.
  2. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
    VIP Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    Paisley, Scotland, Western Europe
    Really nice write up mate thanks :):beer:
  3. GTWalling

    GTWalling Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2012
    Alabama USA
    As a hind sight maybe putting clear packing tape on the front of the broken screen would help hold the glass together while removing it.
  4. cassnate6259

    cassnate6259 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    Great suggestion! I think mine might have been a bit too far gone for that, but it certainly would have been worth a try. I have also heard of trying dental floss, assuming that the screen is coming off in one piece.

    In our case, the palette knife was the magical tool.
  5. cassnate6259

    cassnate6259 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    A lot of people have been sending me questions (and I'm glad to help!), but here are the common ones I can answer:

    This is the replacement glass I bought

    If your screen and buttons still respond to your touch, and all of the pixels look good, then you are in good shape and probably just need the glass listed above. Otherwise, if you broke the screen itself, you will need to replace the entire LCD screen, which is unfortunately a much pricier fix.

    When you are in the process of ordering your replacement screen, I would highly recommend using a palette knife. You can see it in the pictures, but it is like this one.

    Maybe even get a few different types. We tried a number of tools and that seemed to be the magic solution.

    As far as removing the back before fixing the glass, you are probably ok just taking off the rear panel. I was, however, a bit nervous about overheating the electronics with the hair dryer, so I removed those pieces. Just follow this tutorial.

    It is surprisingly easy to take the components out, just be sure to do it very slowly and carefully, and the same goes for removing the screen. A steady hand, good heat, and the right tools are key. Good Luck! (And, of course, I make no guarantees... repair at your own risk!!)
  6. Galaxy Tab2 47

    Galaxy Tab2 47 Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2012
  7. ashwinvsinha

    ashwinvsinha New Member

    Dec 5, 2013
    Hey r u sure u bought the exact same screen shown in the link u provided... Coz it says digitizer.... My only the top screen is cracked.... Touch n everything works perfectly... Plz reply fast....
  8. Polo63119

    Polo63119 Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    i have same question / issue with replacement of screen only...

    do on my own OR pay over $100 for repair with same parts
  9. Ed Vim

    Ed Vim Active Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    Hat tip for ifixit in general, it's a great site for repair/upgrade info. Really good step-by-step guides for computers, laptops, phones, tablets, etc.
  10. daveams

    daveams Active Member

    May 24, 2012
    I recently went through a similar ordeal - dropped phone going through airport security. Some things I'd like to add (things I wish I had known before I got started:

    Preparation and removal notes:

    1. For front glass replacements, i9300 and SPL-710 are the same. Yes, you can get the i9300 screen. (I got the blue one, which I love)
    2. When taking the old screen off, make sure you start at the top edge and work your way down. The soft keys have a ribbon cable on the bottom edge.
    3. I used hair dryer with no IR temp sensor. I would periodically touch screen with hand to see how hot it felt. I let mine get hot enough that it was uncomfortable to touch, but so that I could still leave hand on screen for 4 or 5 seconds without feeling like I was getting burned. Seemed to work, no digitizer or LCD damage.
    4. If your screen is badly broken, be careful about super-tiny glass fragments. I'd recommend periodically using a weak tape (like blue masking tape) to lift any glass fragments off the screen (especially if the screen is coming off in pieces) The only damage to my digitizer/LCD were small scratches from almost microscopic glass fragments.
    5. I used plastic razor blades throughout. Wish I would've gotten a palette knife as Nate suggested.
    6. The black gasket looking thing around the perimeter should be removed. You'll replace this with the new adhesive sheet or double sided tape Be especially careful around the ribbon cable at the bottom.
    7. If you test the digitizer/LCD before installing the new glass, don't be too worried if digitizer seems jumpy and unresponsive. Mine did. Once glass was installed, it started working perfectly again.
    If you get glass with an adhesive sheet:
    1. Almost the whole sheet is disposable. ONLY PEEL OFF THE BACKING AROUND THE VERY EDGE. Otherwise you will stick a sheet of opaque adhesive over your screen. (fortunately it peels off fairly easily if you're an idiot like me)
    2. Also be careful that you don't peel the backing off of the camera, light and sensor spots on the top. You don't want these to stick!
    3. Before installation, I modified my sheet by extending the cutout at the bottom to make more room for the softkey ribbon cable. I used fingernail clippers to extend the cutout. It helped.
    4. My adhesive sheet had a little U shaped cutout on the top left of screen, which can be popped out. Popping this U out in advance is a good idea: it gives you a nice little tab to grab on to when removing the excess stuff and exposing the gasket.
    5. I stuck the softkeys to the phone instead of screen, but either way, some of the little bits of excess adhesive works great for affixing the softkeys (like the little square from the light and proximity sensor) *Edit: if you reattach the softkeys to the glass, be careful not to cover the big white LEDs with this tape ... unless you don't want them to light up any more
    6. if you didn't get an adhesive sheet, everybody seems to recommend the 3M 2mm double sided tape. See youtube videos on where to put it.
    Screen installation

    1. Make sure you check the digitizer/LCD for any dust or fingerprints. LAST CHANCE!
    2. It seems almost all of the replacement glasses have TWO plastic sheets on the back. Make sure you check for this second plastic sheet before installing the screen. It's very hard to see because it's trimmed to exactly the same side as the glass, but it will affect screen clarity and digitizer performance. Make sure you remove the second piece of plastic!
    3. Have your tools ready just in case you need to pull screen back off. The replacement screen will come off much easier the second (and third) time around, just in case you need to fix something. (Yeah, I really did have to remove the replacement glass twice to fix things)
    Even after all my little foibles, the phone looks great now.
  11. jttraverse

    jttraverse New Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Daveams's tips above were extremely helpful and cleared up several things I was confused about and helped to avoid some others (notably keeping the adhesive from over the camera, light, and sensors.) I'd only add one thing about the adhesive sheet in the replacement kit I received, which came as a sheet of translucent orange material that was cut to fit around the entire edge of the phone. Whatever the color, it's understanding just what and how this is made that stumped me for a time.

    It may not be clear or obvious at first that the adhesive is actually a very thin clear layer of sticky material sandwiched between the orange backing and another sheet or two of clear plastic. It was hard to tell just what was the adhesive part, or how to work with it and even get to the adhesive since mine came with no instructions. Pulling off the little "U" shaped piece will show you that there is adhesive under there, but at first I wondered if the orange backing itself was the adhesive.
    What I found is that you will need to pick at it carefully and maybe repeatedly with a pin or the edge of a razor to get it to finally start separating from the orange backing. Then you'll be able to pull just the outside strip around, as Daveams said, leaving the middle portion covered so it won't stick to the screen (don't forget to leave the backing in place for the camera, etc.)
    Once you have the outer edge of adhesive exposed you can lay the whole of it in place around the screen and get it to stick in place (and do enlarge the open hole around the bottom buttons as Daveams said, it makes it much easier to get it around the ribbon cable and buttons at the bottom.)

    With it pressed in place, now remove the backing and all over the camera, etc, making sure to get everything all the way thru. Finally, peel the rest of it away, removing everything so you're only left with the thin border of adhesive all the way around. Follow the rest of the instructions above to stick your glass in place and you'll be good to go.

    Hope this helps.
  12. hchen42

    hchen42 Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2011
    New York City
    WTH, you are stealing my business. I do screen repair for my side income! :)

    Just kidding. I am glad some people are taking it up to do it themselves. To me, the key is getting blow dryer at the right temperature. I have one from back in the 80s, I guess where standard is lower, so the temperature on it is high. The air flow is low. This is actually my secret tool. With low air flow, the heat doesn't get blow away quick and the high temperature get the job done quick. Also, I sharpen a plastic putty knife to pry the glass off. This avoid scratches (still not 100%).

    Another good thing to have is those compressed air can. Spend $5 on one at the local Staples. before you apply the glass back on, use it to blow the dust away. Don't blow it too close. Avoid installing this near carpet. Carpet has too much dust/lint material.

    Read through the instructions in the thread, watch a few videos on youtube and you should get it done.

    Good luck.
  13. gordonfink

    gordonfink Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2013
    Thanks to all of you for this useful thread. I have a question - is the tape around the edges as effective as the UVA-cured glue? I might have the nerve to do it with the tape, but I don't want to mess with the glue.

    I've done a dozen Samsung tablets - guessing it's not too much harder that that?

    Thanks much

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