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What is covered by mobile phone warranty?

A warranty is a manufacturer’s guarantee to repair your phone or tablet if something goes wrong with it that isn't your fault. Some restrictions apply, naturally – so it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered under the warranty and how long it lasts for, especially when purchasing an expensive high-end device.

How long is your phone or tablet warranty?

Most mobile phones and electronic devices carry a 1–2 year manufacturer’s warranty. However, anything considered as a 'consumable' item – such as battery, charger, USB cable or headset – will have a much shorter warranty. In many cases this is just 6 months, or sometimes even less. The reason for this is that the expected lifespan for items such as batteries can vary greatly depending on where and how they are used.

The table below shows the warranty periods for most of the major UK manufacturers' mobile devices and accessories – but if the company you're looking for isn't listed, we would recommend contacting either the retailer you purchased the device from or the manufacturer themselves.

It's also worth remembering that most manufacturer's warranties apply only to the original purchaser – i.e. they are not transferable – and a proof of purchase is usually required to obtain warranty service.

Manufacturer Device warranty Battery/charger w'ty Headphones w'ty
Alcatel 12 months 6 months 6 months
Apple 12 months 12 months 12 months
BlackBerry 12 months 12 months 12 months
Doro 12 months 6 months 6 months
HTC 24 months 12 months 12 months
Huawei 24 months 6 months 3 months
LG 24 months 12 months 12 months
Motorola 12 months 12 months 12 months
Microsoft/Nokia 12 months 6 months 6 months
Samsung 24 months 12 months 6 months
Sony 24 months 12 months 12 months

What does your phone or tablet warranty cover?

Warranty covers the device if it breaks down through no fault of your own. There are different examples of what is and isn't covered under the warranty – and below you'll find information on the various scenarios where your device may need repair, and whether it's covered under the warranty or not.

Hardware issues

"I dropped/smashed my device"

Sadly, your warranty will not cover you for accidental damage. This includes any damage to the screen or phone in general from it being dropped or knocked against anything.

Cosmetic wear and tear is also not covered – so if you keep the phone in your pocket or bag with keys or change, you may want to consider getting a case or cover for extra protection.

damaged screen

If your phone does meet the all-too-common fate of having a broken or cracked screen, then it's not completely useless. If you get your screen replaced by an accredited repairer, any remaining warranty will still be valid should you need a repair later on – or alternatively, you can make some money back from a damaged phone by trading it in, even if the screen is completely smashed.

"My phone or tablet got wet"

A wet device is an unhappy device. Any kind of water, liquid or moisture damage will void your warranty – even if the device was still working for a while after the exposure occurred.

This is because moisture damage is not always immediate, and can take months to affect the device. Most devices these days have a moisture indicator inside them that will allow the manufacturer to check for water damage.

With devices that feature a removable back cover, you can sometimes see these yourself: they look like small white stickers on the battery and the device itself. If these turn pink, it means your phone has come into contact with moisture – and your warranty is void. Again, even with a wet phone, you can make a bit of money back on by trading it in, so not all is lost!

"My phone won't turn on!"

Don’t panic! A lot of the time when your phone won't turn on, it's because the device has simply crashed rather than there being any real damage. There are a few steps you can take to try and get your phone back on, so try these first:

  • Remove the back and take out the battery, if this is possible on your phone. Leave it out for a full minute, then pop the battery back in and replace the back cover. Press the power button and the device should (hopefully) turn on.
  • If you have a phone with a non-removable battery, hold down the power button for at least 15-20 seconds, which will often trigger a 'soft reset', causing the phone to restart.
  • For an Apple iPhone or iPad, youcan try a 2-button reset. Press and hold both the power button and home button for 10 to 15 seconds until you see an Apple logo. Wait for it to turn back on.
  • Waterproof Sony devices (the M, X and Z series) have a small red reset button underneath the SIM card cover. Press this with a pin for 10 to 15 seconds and see if the device comes back on.
  • Finally, the battery may simply be low on power. Leave the device plugged in to charge for at least an hour, then try turning it on again. Try to do this with an alternative charging cable if you can – faulty cables can sometimes cause charging issues.

If there's still no response from the device, it normally means something has gone wrong with its internal systems – and it will need to be replaced or repaired. As long as there are no signs of physical damage to the device or its screen, this fault is normally covered under your warranty.

"I want to modify my phone"

A lot of companies offer custom modifications to your phone - e.g. different-coloured glass or outer casings on their device.

Unlike a standard case, which you would simply put the phone into, custom modifications actually change or replace the outer parts of your phone. This shouldn't really be attempted if you want to keep your warranty!

Inside your device are tamper-evident labels that will break or tear upon attempts to open up your phone – and once these are broken, the warranty becomes void.

Sometimes these are on the outer casing to prevent the device being taken apart at all, whereas some allow minor things like battery replacement. Fitting a new case yourself or getting it done by a third party will almost certainly break these seals – and void the warranty.

Software issues

"Does unlocking the device so it can be used on a different network void my warranty?"

This is a tricky one – as it all depends on how the device is unlocked, and by whom.

If your device was purchased from Carphone Warehouse, chances are it's already unlocked (unless it's an iPhone). If it came directly from a network store then it will almost certainly be locked to that network.

The best way to unlock your device and maintain the warranty would be to contact the network and get the unlock code from them. This is 'official' and therefore maintains your warranty – but you should definitely double-check and ask the network.

Having your phone unlocked by an unofficial retailer, like a market stall or independent local shop, will often violate the warranty terms and leave you without any cover.

"My device keeps crashing!"

software problemThis can sometimes be caused by faulty software on the device, a glitch or a piece of corrupt memory – and often this can be solved by resetting or updating your phone's software.

If this is happening to your device, then you can give us a call and our Agents can try and diagnose and repair it over the phone. Alternatively, this can also be done by our in-store Agents in one of our repair centres.

A phone with corrupt software is normally covered under the manufacturer's warranty and can usually be repaired by a service centre reinstalling the phone's operating system – so there shouldn't be any costs involved with this kind of repair.

"Does jailbreaking my iPhone void the warranty?"

Yes. Apple view jailbreaking as a modification of the iPhone Operating System, which is a violation of the iOS end-user software licence agreement.

If a hardware fault occurrs and your device is found to be jailbroken, the hardware fault would not be covered – as your warranty would be voided. Nor can Geek Squad assist you with a jailbroken iPhone!

"Does rooting my Android phone void the warranty?"

root android phoneYes, it does. Like Apple, all Android device manufacturers prohibit any form of rooting or installation of custom software or firmware (normally referred to as ROMs) on your device – and doing otherwise will void the warranty.

Whilst custom ROMs can bring new or exciting features to your device, they also open the phone up to possible security risks, as you can never be 100% certain of the reliability of these ROMs.

If your device has been rooted, or had software modifications on its operating system, then neither the manufacturer nor retailer – nor even Geek Squad – can support it.

Summary

Hopefully this article has given you more of an idea about what is – and, more importantly, what isn't – covered by your mobile phone or tablet's warranty.

In short: keep your device away from liquids, try not to drop or sit on it and stay away from dodgy software if you want to keep your warranty intact!


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