Cape Town - As more South Africans race to buy smartphones, many may be unaware that the modern gadgets can be fragile and repair costs are not always cheap or easy.
As feature phones evolved into smartphones, manufacturers competed to increase functionality on the devices with features that today turn mobiles into personal computers.
Subsequently, the modern smartphone is a sophisticated device that often stores the intimate details of your life in your pocket. But when it breaks, it can cost a pretty penny to repair.
Here are the repair costs you can expect to pay for popular smartphone brands from the likes of Sony, Samsung, HTC and Apple.
The Sony Xperia Z3 is one of the toughest smartphones on the market in SA. It is waterproof, has a two day battery life and a 20 megapixel camera. To achieve this, it is a sealed unit.
Despite the shatterproof glass that protects the display, it is not unbreakable. If the unthinkable happens, your local mobile repair firm is unlikely to be able to repair the device because of the waterproofing gaskets.
These gaskets have to sealed on a machine to specific tolerances. Failure to match the manufacturer spec will render the seals (and the waterproofing) useless.
To replace the display on an Xperia Z3 will set you back around R3 500. The camera lens can be scratched if you keep the device in your pocket with keys or coins.
However, the lens alone cannot be repaired. The entire back cover must be replaced if the lens is damaged and that costs around R999.
Given that the Sony is waterproof, it is important that the covers retain their integrity. Cover replacement starts at R250.
Water damage usually destroys modern smartphones. (Duncan Alfrreds, Fin24)
The official Sony Mobile repair centre is situated in Johannesburg and the company charges R399 for courier services for repairs.
Meanwhile, Samsung has arguably the largest modern smartphone footprint in SA and the company recently launched an online tool that allowed customers to book their mobile devices in for repair.
The Galaxy SIII may be long in the tooth, but many of these smartphones are still operational in SA, though beyond the manufacturer's warranty.
Replacing the display will cost you R1 842.11 excluding VAT, while damage to the main camera will set you back R419.60 (ex VAT).
The SIII had a removable battery which costs R355 to replace, and the back plastic cover costs R170.
For the Galaxy S5, the display will set you back R1 899.12, comparable to the SIII, but if you damage the main camera, be prepared to shell out R823.06.
The battery on the LTE S5 is also more at R450.
A smartphone cover can take the brunt of damage. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
HTC's One (M7) is not repairable in SA according to technical agents at Regenersis, but if one is damaged, the normal procedure is that the device is swopped out if still within the warranty period.
Replacement of the display on the One (M9) will cost R1 650, and if there are light scratches on the main camera, these can be remedied for about R50.
The aluminium housing on the HTC One will set your back R700, a convincing argument to ensure you have a cover for your gadget. Sure covers don't always look pretty, but they take the first hit and save your phone.
Apple, meanwhile, has arguably the best reputation for service of mobiles and the iStore offers iCare with your latest iPhone. If you are prepared to shell out over R10 000 for an iPhone 6, then spending a little cash for the cover is well worth it.
Regardless of manufacturer warranty, it is always advisable to insure your new smartphone against theft and breakage - which includes liquid damage.
Some insurance packages specifically for mobiles start at a R85 per month, but if you bundle these devices with your household contents insurance, you can pay as little as R47 per device per month.
Check out this this iPhone survival guide:
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