About three weeks into iPhone 6 ownership, I had an incident with gravity and ice that turned a corner into 100 little iFragments. When this happens, you typically have just two unattractive options: a crappy Chinatown screen or an expensive trip to the Apple store. A few quality, albeit unofficial options exist in-between, and we decided to test one.
Describing itself as the "world's largest on-demand repair and buyback network for iOS devices," iCracked specializes in screen repairs, battery changes, and other repairs but differs from the Apple Store—they come to you.
Our iTech Marlene began the repair by unscrewing two tiny screws located on either side of the charge port, separating the screen from the iPhone half housing all the hardware. Yep, just two mini screws hold your entire life together.
The screws are super teeny, and can really only be properly manhandled using a magnetic screwdriver.
After a metal shield is lifted, the four cables that power the LCD and turn the screen into a touch-sensitive surface are pried off. The camera, ear speaker, home button, and heat shield—the parts that are attached to the screen—are then disconnected, and transferred to the new screen.
The replacement "full-assembly" screen provided by iCracked is built to facsimile specifications and apparently as close as you can get to an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture) screen. It also comes with the sweet added bonus of a tempered glass screen protector—a film that, upon impact, will in theory suffer a crack in lieu of your actual screen.
Once the parts are re-affixed, the cables are re-connected, screws re-inserted via the most painfully tedious, not-for-the-impatient-of-heart onlooker, and all primary functionalities like keyboard, mic, music, camera, and fingerprint scanner get tested.
And, voila! The entire repair from start to finish usually takes as little as 30 minutes. These guys are good.
To combat dropsies anxiety, the company has now started offering iCracked Advantage, a new protection plan and membership program that costs $7 a month and charges just $25 for every replacement (A normal cracked iPhone 6 screen would cost about $120-150 to repair). If you don't feel like getting the phone insurance for $10 per month, it might be a good move.