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With a device that spends so much time loose it’s bound to happen, you drop your phone. Sometimes the phone survives intact with no issues, other times a spiderweb of disappointment greets you when you pick it up. With glass covering both the front and back of the Nexus 4, the likelihood of seeing a crack is highly likely, although some users still have not experienced any drops as yet.

The Nexus 4 screen is a pretty good one, offering a zero-gap display with the digitiser built right into the glass. The downside to this is that as soon as the glass is cracked, I found the LCD either stops working altogether or the screen will only work in the outer reaches where the crack has not touched. Either way, it’s a pretty depressing sight.

Nexus 4 - Depressing

So, what do you do when your Nexus 4 is in need of a repair?

Well, obviously this is not generally a warranty issue, so upon calling Google Play support you will be advised to contact LG and they will happily provide you with a contact number: (02) 9648 6374 or (02) 9648 6746. Upon calling them, you’ll be advised that the LG Mobile Phone Service Centre is located at 55 Parramatta Road, Lidcombe NSW or for phones being sent via mail: PO Box 6917, Silverwarter NSW 2128.

Before you visit or send your phone, be sure to call them and obtain a quote. So far I have had to have the LCD replaced twice and the back repaired once, and the costs so far have been thus:

  • $99 to replace back cover.
  • $165 to replace LCD.
  • $187 to replace LCD and back.

These prices will be subject to change over time, so ensure you call the service centre first. Both times I have had to utilise this service the turnaround time has been excellent. The latest turnaround saw me send the phone via Australia Post on a Thursday afternoon and by Monday I had the phone back in my hands.

So, now that my Nexus 4 is repaired, am I using it? No. I have ordered a ruggedised case from eBay and intend to only begin using the phone again after the phone is carefully enclosed in its protective grip. I’ve nearly paid for a new Nexus 4 at this stage based on shipping and repair costs alone I do not intend for this to happen again.

All in all, the Nexus 4 feels great, the glass makes it feel fantastic after holding a phone like the Galaxy Nexus, however the cost of this is that the phone seems to be as fragile as a piece of tissue in a rainstorm. I sincerely hope that Google and the next Nexus manufacturer do not pursue glass as a material in the next Nexus device.

Until then, if you do happen to drop your Nexus 4, I hope you find this useful.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/andrewpalozzo Andrew Palozzo

    Nice write up, this is usually pretty hard to sort out for a niche (non galaxy / iphone) device in Australia :P

    Me and my gf have both had our n4’s since december, nothing broken yet, but my mate picked one up in feb and broke his back a month later. I’ll be sharing this with him.

    • Alastair Gilfillan

      I hope your mate’s back recovers!

      • http://www.twitter.com/andrewpalozzo Andrew Palozzo

        Thanks for your concern :P

  • Peter Massey

    Thanks for the tips, my wife has a Optimus G and I’m sure it’ll suffer the same fate at some point, even with a Otterbox Commuter on it!

    Although I thought this was going to be a “How to DIY screen replacement!”, slightly disappointed now, I wanted to see naked N4 photos! ;)

  • Mag

    Very good to know, but I think it’s important to highlight that people’s experiences with the fragility of the phone have been very disparate. I’ve dropped my phone three times from hip height onto tiles (x2) and concrete (x!) and haven’t had a problem. The phone was in a slim case. Phandroid ran a poll on this recently and most respondents and 74% of respondents said they hadn’t broken it http://phandroid.com/2013/04/11/nexus-4-rant/

  • G

    Mrs cracked her N4 screen – slightly cheaper screen off ebay. Took about an hour to replace.

    • mario276

      Did you replace the screen yourself?

    • Sam

      Does replacing the screen also wipe out all the data from the phone automatically?

      • http://ausdroid.net/ Daniel Tyson

        No, it shouldn’t clear at all.

  • Dylan Wheeler

    Very helpful! Thanks Daniel!

  • Yoshiyahu

    After two years of owning smartphones, my first time I dropped one, it had my two-month-old Nexus 4 above my sidewalk… :(

    Touch screen was mostly undamaged. Just the bottom right corner got shattered. Just enough so the bottom half of the screen was unresponsive. Crystal clear display, though.

  • mebs

    This nexus 4 phone is the most stupid design. No durability built into the phone. Thousands have broken the screens. Never ever buy a phone built by LG because it has demonstarted its engineering capability. It is like buying a car and when you have a flat tire you need to buy the axle and the engine because all these parts are glued as one module. What a joke this company…No wonder it is called LIFE is GOOD. life is only good for the company and not their customers !!

    • F.Y.Fitzgerald

      It’s really hard for me to believe that people dumb enough to post something like this exist. Remember laughing at all your friends with their broken iphone 4s’? On the same page that the device is sold, a bumper/case is offered at a price much cheaper than screen replacement.

    • F.Y.Fitzgerald

      It’s really hard for me to believe that people dumb enough to post something like this exist. Remember laughing at all your friends with their broken iphone 4s’? On the same page that the device is sold, a bumper/case is offered at a price much cheaper than screen replacement.

  • Michael

    Just dropped my phone from pocket height and it landed on the tile floor with cracked screen. The LCD is now unresponsive. Googled and found this article. Do I need to wipe the phone to send it to LG for repair?

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Daniel Tyson

      I was unable to wipe anything, the phone wasn’t responding. Suppose you could do a factory wipe but I had stuff on there I wanted to keep, so I just sent it off.

  • Harry

    I have cracked my back and will need it to get it replaced, I have one concern about sending it to LG which is the quality of the repairs because I sent my one x of to some Phonebiz repair centre and they did a bad job and it felt much more different than it was out of the box.

    So my questions are,

    Will I receive my nexus 4 with the same quality I got out of the box?
    Should I be concerned about wether LG will do a good or bad job at repairing the phone?
    And does anyone have any issues with NFC or Wireless charging when they get their phone back?

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Daniel Tyson

      No issues with NFC or Qi Charging after getting the phone back. Phone was in exactly the same condition – albeit fixed – as when I set it. I’m very happy with the service I received from the LG service centre.

      • http://twitter.com/gfieldew geoff fieldew

        My daughter, who loves writing, thinks “the spider web of disappointment” phrase is an excellent piece of genius.

  • Brit nexus owner

    Love the phone and price but the reality is the front screen went after a week, and the back screen after three months. Replacing both has probably made it a false economy for me….

  • russ

    Thanks for your helpful post!

  • John Wilton

    You are amazing, thank you

  • Jo

    I just broke my front screen last night and was told if I brought it in today before 12pm it would be done by 3pm today! Thank you for your helpful article!

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  • Nathan

    The only downside to this is that when you send it in they wipe everything. They said it’s a security precaution. When in all reality they send you a refurbished Nexus 4 back and fix yours to be given to the next sap to crack their screen. Pity.

    • marque2

      Whitendown the serial number and that 20 digit code – then compare when you get the phone back. If not the same complain.

  • ria

    I just needed the front one side replaced.. Took it in and they said it will be done in 45 mins. Went down to the outlets in the meantime.. phone looked as good as new when it was done! Was scared of them wiping my data too.. But they didn’t touch that. Expensive to replace but I’m pretty happy. Just need to learn how to stop dropping it now. Thanks so much for the details!! I thought I’d have to send it to the states.. as per the reply I got from google help. :)

  • Chris Watson

    Sent mine on Monday it was back on Friday to central NSW. Excellent service

  • mohamad mokdad

    Daniel Tyson i am in lebanon and i can’t go to america is it necessary to contact LG

  • marque2

    I have found sites online that show you where to order a back case and the necessary tools to fix a back cover – with a nice demo video. Costs about $60 if you want to do it yourself.

    • Diders

      I did it for $16 .. back glass that is. OEM glass. But fixing the front is not worth it for that price as you could buy a Moto G