Screens Anatomy: The Difference Between Glass and LCD
When customers come to us with a broken device, all they see is the visible cracks or dead pixels on the screen. They’re not usually familiar with the process of diagnosing a device or how complicated the inside of a phone can be. When given the news that they need the glass and/or the LCD replaced, many customers aren’t aware what the differences are between these two parts.
Allow us to break it down for you.
Glass is probably the most commonly repaired part of a device because it’s the part that we interact with the most. Before the first iPhone came out, most phones had a plastic or acrylic display screen but they weren’t scratch resistant and weren’t practical for touchscreens.
Apple went with a glass display because it was scratch resistant and more resilient. They also used a capacitive touch model where users are able to touch lightly for an accurate register.
When the glass of your smartphone or tablets breaks, it is easy to see with the naked eye. Spider-web cracks and detaching fragments will make the touchscreen difficult or impossible to use. If you can still use the phone despite the cracks, the issue is typically just the glass, but if the touchscreen is not responding you could have LCD damage too.
The LCD on a smartphone is essentially the same technology you’re used to hearing about in television screens. An LCD is layers of plastic, polymers and glass stacked on top of each other. Each layer serves a unique purpose but the foundational layers are built to create an even image of white pure light, which serves as the backlight of the device. That light is then filtered to create the image.
When the layers of the LCD are damaged, it may be difficult to notice right away. Touchscreens not responding well or dark spots running across the phone are signs of LCD damage.
The glass panel and LCD work together to protect and make smartphones usable, but they can malfunction separately. When you bring your device into a uBreakiFix, we start by running a general diagnostic to try to locate the problem before opening it up. Once we think we know which component is the culprit, we’ll know exactly how to proceed and how much the repair will cost.
We hope that this sheds a bit of light onto how your device works and why things can go wrong. Want to know more about a particular aspect of a device? Leave a comment below!
P.S: Did you know that we went to Corning and got to test some of the best glass on the market? Find out more about that here.