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LCD vs Glass Digitizer
- Which screen part do I need?
- What is an LCD and a digitizer?
- How difficult is a screen repair?
Find anything you want to know about our products
Which Part Do I need?
The screen consists of a top glass, touch digitizer and LCD display component. These components may come separate or be fused together in what is called a full assembly depending on the device.

Screen replacement options include (NOT all devices offer parts separately):

  • full LCD screen assembly with everything: glass, touch digitizer and LCD display (iPhone, Galaxy)
  • outer glass screen and touch digitizer (common in iPads & tablets only)
  • outer glass screen only
  • LCD display only (common in iPads & tablet only)
LCD Display

An LCD screen is the display under the glass screen that is the source of the image displayed on your phone. For most devices, you can purchase an LCD screen assembly which includes everything: the outer glass, touch digitizer and LCD.

Replace if:

  • Screen does not come on
  • Black spots on the screen
  • Colors are distorted or washed out
  • Image flickers or wavers
  • Front glass is shattered
We recommend to purchase the LCD assembly for any mobile phone. if you are not sure which screen part is broken - that way, you have replaced complete screen at one time, and you know they are both working correctly. Another reason to purchase the the full screen assembly is to make sure you don't damage the other part (either LCD or glass touch) during repair. It is by far the easiest and fastest repair.

Note: For iPads it depends on which model you have.

With iPad all the numbered iPads - iPad 1st - 9th, the glass touch digitizer and LCD display are separate pieces (and do not come as full LCD assemblies). This includes iPad 1, iPad 2nd Gen, iPad 3rd Gen, iPad 4th Gen, iPad 5th Gen (2017), iPad 6th Gen (2018), iPad 7th Gen (2019), iPad 8th Gen, iPad 9th Gen plus iPad Air 1st Gen and iPad Mini 1 and Mini 2. so in this case, you can replace just the glass since it isn't fused together. If your LCD display is damaged, then you need to replace the glass digitizer and the LCD as the glass will break as you try to remove to get to the LCD.

For newer iPads including (all iPad Pro, iPad Mini 3rd Gen - 6th Gen, and the Air 2nd Gen, Air 3rd Gen and Air 4th Gen, the screen comes as a full assembly (with screen parts all fused together). You only have one part (full screen assembly) to replace. With these iPads, you can't replace just the glass, unless you have special equipment and expertise. It's not a typically DIY repair.
Touch Digitizer

In most devices the digitizer is fused to the glass. The digitizer detects your touch. Screens with the digitizer fused together will have a flex cable attached to the screen.

Replace if:

  • Screen won't respond to your touch
  • You cannot select any icons
  • There is a long delay from selecting an app to opening
Glass Screens

The glass screen is the front glass lens that covers the LCD. Devices with the digitizer and LCD fused together have a glass only screen adhered on top.

Replace if:

  • Glass is cracked or chipped but all other components above are functioning properly
  • Glass is NOT shattered
How Difficult is a screen repair?

The easiest repair for mobile phones to complete is the LCD assembly replacement. This repair takes less than an hour and requires the least amount of technical ability. For some devices the LCD assembly can be replaced simply by removing a few screws and cables. Also, as the assembly includes the glass, touch screen and the LCD, you can be confident it will fix all common screen issues.

For iPad and other tablets, if the screen parts aren't fused, then you can do a glass touch digitizer only replacement. Otherwise, the full assembly is the easiest repair. Either way, it usually takes 1-2 hours.

While it can be significantly cheaper repair, If the screen parts are fused, the screens must be heated to loosen the adhesive between the screen and LCD and you need special equipment. This includes all iPhone and most other mobile phones and some iPads or tablets. A heat gun or hair dryer can be used for this. The screen is then gently and very slowly pried apart from LCD. DIYers need to use care to insure the LCD is not damaged in the process.

Tip: Transferring the home button on an iPhone or an iPad can be the most tricky part. It takes a little patience and heat. You can purchase screens that have the home button pre-installed (along with other small parts) and this is the easiest of all repair. This can take 15-30 minutes. However, Touch ID function only works with the original home button so you have to transfer if you want to retain it. Note: some of the iPads don't have a screen replacement option that includes the home button like the iPad Pro and newer iPad Mini. iPad 1st Gen to 9th Gen screens, have a home button pre-installed option.