So you dropped your Xiaomi Redmi 1S and broke its screen? Sorry, you're out of luck!

I assume that you are here either because you've dropped your Xiaomi Redmi 1S, which led to cracking the glass/display, or you are here to see what happens if you sometime in the future commit the misdeed. If you are in the latter category, be double sure from now on to handle your phone carefully, because, speaking from personal experience, you won't want to belong to the former group.

At around 6:15 am on the 7th of January '15, the phone slipped out of my jacket's shallow pockets, and the screen kissed the floor as if they were were longing for each other since forever. I picked up the phone and rotated it slowly, praying in my head that the screen didn't crack, but unfortunately, it did.

Update: While I have discussed what all your options are once you manage to crack your screen in this article, I summed up how I got mine repaired for less than Rs. 1,200 in another article here.

The first thing I then did (after seeing that the glass has cracked), was to power on and see if the display was gone too. Thankfully though, the touch and display were still working fine. Next, I googled for discussions involving people who had already met the same fortune. To my horror, I saw price estimates for the screen repair to range from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 7,500. Yes, you read it right - Rs. 7500 for replacing the cracked glass of a Rs. 6,000 phone.

My Xiaomi Redmi 1s with broken screen

Another shot of the broken screen on my Xiaomi Redmi 1s

The experience with the Xiaomi Customer Care

I called the Xiaomi customer care number (1800-103-6286), and was promptly connected to a customer care rep. I told the rep about the accident, and asked him what would be the rough cost for getting the screen replaced. He told me that the customer care representatives don't have any knowledge about the prices of spare parts, and that I should visit my nearest service center (which happens to be about 100 kms away) to learn about how much it cost. So, my brief stint with the customer support wasn't very pleasant as the representatives failed to provide me any suitable information. He didn't even suggest me to call up the service center.

So I googled up "Xiaomi service centers in India" and found Xiaomi's service centers details on their official website. So I called their exclusive service center in New Delhi. Thankfully, he didn't ask me to pay them a visit to find out the price of the replacement, and quoted a straight-forward price of Rs. 4,200.

Now that didn't seem to be a viable option to me, as the Rs. 6,000 phone I had bought about 3 months back, would sell for around Rs. 5,200.

So you don't want to spend Rs. 4k+ on getting the screen repaired? Here are the options that are viable:

  1. Sell the phone on OLX/Quikr:
    If someone has a phone with a dead SoC, he/she might be interested in your phone. Or if your phone has its touch and display working, then someone who wants a phone that doesn't lag and a brilliant camera, but is really tight with his budget, might want to buy your phone, even though it's cracked. At least, I would buy a Redmi 1S with a broken screen, rather than buying any other new phone, if I had a budget strictly limited to around Rs. 3.5k.

    So I went ahead and posted an ad on both Olx and Quikr, with a negotiable price point of Rs, 4,000. I was hoping that it'd sell for Rs. 3,500 or up, but would have considered any offer around the Rs. 3,000 mark. Thanks to the phone's popularity, I did receive a lot of calls from interested buyers, but the best offer I managed to get was Rs. 2,700.

    But as I wasn't ready (nor could afford) to incur a direct loss of Rs. 3,300, I tried the second option.

  2. Order a screen/glass replacement:
    I found that some sellers on AliExpress were offering a touch screen panel replacement for around $16 (~Rs. 1,000). A full Display + Digitizer + Touch glass can be bought for somewhere around $46 (~Rs. 2,950). There are a couple of videos (one embedded below, the other one is here) available on YouTube that try to explain the process of replacing the screen with the new one. It'd be better, however, if you take the phone to a local mobile repair shop and get the screen replaced by a professional, especially as the touch glass and display of the phone are glues together, and it can be tricky to separate them.

    If your touch and display are working, you can order the $19 touch glass only. Otherwise, you will have to go with the $46 option. I went ahead with the $19 touch glass, and am currently waiting for its delivery. Yeah, the only catch behind choosing free delivery on AliExpress is that it takes somewhere between 30-60 days to receive the product.

    Update: I received the touch glass I had ordered from AliExpress in 20 days, which was a pleasant surprise seeing that they claim that it takes 30-60 days.

    I shall update this post with whether I was able to get my phone repaired with the screen I receive, or whether I messed it all up (and ended up wasting Rs. 7, 200. I hope that is not the case).

It can be really depressing to see your beloved smartphone's getting cracked. I had woken up early that day to prepare for my exam, and of course, wasn't able to focus on any study. I hope you found some options you can go with, if you face such an accident. If you have a Redmi 1S with broken glass/display, I would really love to hear your experience in the comments section below. Also, if you had cracked your Redmi 1S' glass and got it repaired, then too, we and our readers would love to hear out your story.

Peace out!
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