Even if it hasn't happened to you, we all at least have one friend with a smartphone horror story. Butter fingers have lost more than one touchscreen to the pavement, where scratches are all but assured. Looking to forums and help sites on the Web for scratch removal methods produces many results, but before smearing your iPhone or Galaxy with goop from under your kitchen sink, consider that prevention might be the easiest (and least expensive) fix for unsightly smartphone scars.
Old wives tales
The Internet is packed full of remedies for scratched touchscreens, from toothpaste to Turtle Wax. John Herrman of Popular Mechanics Magazine, however, found that many of these solutions have "a near-total lack of substantiation" to back them up and decided to test them all himself. After pushing himself so far as to attack the damage with a glass buffer and doing more harm than good to the phone itself, he admitted defeat.
"The best solution, short of screen replacement, is a screen-protector film," he said of his endeavor. "It won't just shield from future scratches – it will make some shallow ones invisible."
Prevention and common problems
If prevention is the surest way to keep your smartphone free from scratches, then it is important to identify situations where the screen is exposed to outside variables. Whitson Gordon, editor-in-chief for the website Lifehacker, found that even tough material like the commonly-used Gorilla Glass is no match for loose sand in your pockets.
"Surprisingly, most materials [scratched against a touchscreen] didn't leave a mark, but that hard, gritty sand that's floating around in your pocket – or on your desk, or anywhere else – actually has the potential to leave some scratches in your phone, showing us that screen protectors can still be useful," Gordon said.
Too little too late?
Yes, it is possible (and advisable) to prevent screen scratches. But hindsight is 20/20, and getting rid of them, however, seems to be an entirely different story. Accidents happen and smartphones get blemished – that is an unfortunate fact of life. This essentially leaves you with two options: either get the screen replaced, or just live with it until it is time to trade up. If you can't stand the sight of an embarrassing mark over your emails and texts, bring your scratched or cracked iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, Evo or Nexus to iResQ for expert smartphone repair and cell phone screen repair services.