led tv panel failure symptoms

Here is a detailed post about the Led Tv Panel Failure Symptoms. So, if you have been searching for led tv main board failure symptoms or other keywords online, then this article is dedicated to you. It contains lg led tv screen problems and solutions. Read on to enjoy all these and more.

The difference between a LED TV and a LCD TV is that they are both LCD TV’s except one has LED stripes and the other has CCFL Backlights- (Florescent Tubes). I used a Philips Magnavox Emerson LG TV when testing these repaird, but they should work on other TV brands that are similar. Before you do any Repair, check to see if you are still under warranty, or are covered by a recall of your TV!!

led tv main board failure symptoms

Led Tv Panel Failure Symptoms

Electro help: HOW TO DIAGNOSE A FAILED T'CON BOARD - HOW TO REPLACE A T'CON  BOARD
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Power Board Failure

If you unplugged your TV, while it was on, and now it is dead, you have just blew the main fuse on your Power Board.

Power Board or Main Board

If stuck in red standby, press the power button. If power button flashes, replace Power Board. If power button remains solid red, replace Main Board-

Unplug the cable between power board and the main board. If the back-light turns on it means that power board is working and the problem is with the main board

Standby problems can be caused by corrupted data in memory ICs, Main Board, improper dc voltage, shorted components and the main power supply itself

If your Plasma or LCD/LED or CCFL/LCD TV or monitor has stopped working, or is displaying one of the following symptoms, then it *may* need some new capacitors in the power supply board or a replacement board

Power Board failure
– Flickering screen
– Screen image disappears after several seconds
– Dim screen
– Slow start
– Power LED on, but no picture
– shuts down for no apparent reason
-No led on no picture or sound
-no picture or sound
-sound and no picture
– Unusual colors and/or lines

-Blue light on, but Dim

-Flashing Green Power Light ( Capacitors)

The most common failures are electrolytic capacitors on the power supply board.
TV Symptoms:
Dead set
Blown fuse
No voltages or missing voltage on Power supply board

Shuts down after a few minutes

LCD TV orange power light- Power Board, SMDs (Surface Mount Device)

No picture no sound relay clicks=Power board

Dark picture, OSD (On Screen Display or Menu Bounces=PSU

High pitch noise=Power supply capacitors

90% of cycling on/off is Power Board
Intermittent problems-
shuts down after a few minutes, or hours
Loose connection or dry joints, are 90% Power Board.

Power Board Failure-
1)- No power
2)- Low output Voltage
3)- High output Voltage
4)-Power Cycling/Blinking
5)- Power Shutdown
6)- Intermittent Power Problem

Turns on, no picture no sound== opto coupler

If the Power Light itself is turning off then its the Power Supply

Also-

Do this with NOTHING connected to the Power supply but AC power. If a voltage is missing/ fluctuating, then the power board needs to be replaced.

slow startup, flickering or no picture, clicking noise even sound/Power is on, comes on and off, replace Power Board

lg led tv screen problems and solutions

02

Main Board Symptoms

IMPORTANT: If your TV has No Picture/No Video, this is likely caused by a bad T-con board, and NOT a bad main board.

Power Board or Main Board

Unplug the cable between power board and the main board. If the back-light turns on it means that power board is working and the problem is with the main board

On screen display is stuck on logo screen
– TV won’t power on with remote or buttons (LED indicator remains same color)
– TV won’t turn on after being off for 30+ minutes
– TV shuts off by itself during channel scan or when switching inputs
– TV turns on and is stuck in color test pattern mode forever
– TV turns on but there is no backlight (LED indicator shows TV is on but there is no image)
-TV tends to shut itself off at random times while working
-TV shuts itself off immediately upon powering on
-Upon three unsuccessful start up attempts the TV locks itself in protection mode and needs to be disconnected from AC for 30-40 seconds before power attempts can be restore-Display Locks after 10 minutes–

Main Board
TV turns on but only has blue screen.
•TV has a power indicator light but does not turn on.
•HDMI Input does not work.

I turn TV off, it turns back on– Firmware update-

Using keypad or remote, TV shuts down into stand-by mode

Replace Main Board

Symptoms commonly caused by a bad main board
-No sound
-Loud noise, then TV shuts down
-HDMI inputs non-functional
-TV will not tune channels
-No internet connection
-Internet apps open and TV locks up

-TV makes chirp/squeal sound.

Main Board-
when you hit the power button the light will just simply fade away and the TV will not turn on

Digital Main Board. Symptoms include will not turn on, no picture or sound and green power light comes on then shuts off.

Menu locks after 10 minutes–
If you have any of these symptoms, Replace Main Board”

Picture is lost after 5-10 minutes

Intermittent or erratic functions=Main Board

cant turn the TV ( power indicator ) off after it comes on- Main Board

Intermittent color or no color=Main Board

Picture is lost intermittently every 10-20 sec
Sound ok

No signal= Backlight and menu ok-Main Board

F is displayed on screen- TV in factory mode- press volume and program keys simultaneously

No picture no menu Backlight on, LVDS Socket on T-Con or Main Board

Blue screen with or without signal- refit or replace LVDS Cable

-TV turns on briefly, has no video on screen then shuts off, comes back on, shuts off, repeat.
-Takes 10 – 60 seconds to turn on, stays on for a bit and shuts off, comes back on, shuts off.
-Red power LED blinks forever, TV doesn’t turn on.

Main Board- Symptoms

1) the front green LED of your TV comes and stays on for 20-30 seconds, then turns off for 1-2 seconds and then keeps cycling like that, but the display never comes;

2) the display comes on for a brief few seconds, then the TV shuts off; in some models the display may not even come on, but still the relay clicking on and off and the green power LED activation and shutdown can be easily observed.

3)- Green power light Standby red then off

If TV turns on ( Green or Blue ) goes into solid red standby-then power light shuts off–

Replace Main Board–

-TV clicks and screen glows gray
-then cycles off and on again several times until it stays on with a loud buzzing noise coming from speakers and distorted picture.

Digital Main Board, Main Board Failure- Symptoms include power LED is on but TV will not turn on or power LED is NOT on and TV will not turn on.

Main Board Failure
1)- No audio on any input-
2)- TV turns on/off repeatedly with no video on screen
3)- TV will not turn on and red power LED blinks continuously

NO Signal or Weak Signal, replace Main Board

When you press the power button the lite does not react by blinking? it stays solid red?
Suspect Main Board
If, when you press power button, power light flashes, suspect Power Board

03

How To Unlock Your TV
Turn on the TV using the remote.
Look at the screen. If you see a blank screen with a red key on the bottom of the screen, press FUNCTION and MUTE at the same time. This will unlock the channel

UNLOCK Most TV’s

A model number is needed to determine the unlock procedure, but most likely you will need a remote to unlock most TV’s. Below is a common lock procedure.

You will need a remote to unlock the FPA:

1. Press MENU to see the main menu.

2. Press CH+ or CH- to highlight Preferences.

3. Press OK to enter the Preferences submenu.

4. Press CH+ or CH- to highlight FPA (Front Panel) Lock.

5. Press VOL+ or VOL- to turn on or off FPA Lock.

Choose On to disable all the buttons on the front of the TV. FPA Lock On will appear on the TV screen each time you press buttons on the front of the TV. You can still operate the TV with the remote control. You can still use the POWER button on the front of the TV, but only to turn off the TV (not on). Set FPA Lock to Off to cancel this feature so you can use the buttons on the front of the TV again.

6. Press MENU repeatedly to exit the menu or the menu will automatically disappear within a few seconds if no buttons are pressed

Unlock Reset

1. Unplug the TV from electrical power. Leave it unplugged for about ten minutes.

2. After that time, and while stilled unplugged, press and hold the TV’s main Power On/Off button for about 5 to 10 seconds. Release it.

3. Press and hold each of the remaining buttons on the TV, one at a time, for about five seconds, and then release. DO NOT use the buttons on the remote control – only use the buttons on the TV itself.

4. Press and hold all the buttons on the TV simultaneously (together) for about five seconds, and then release.

5. Plug the TV back in. Power it up normally.

6. The TV should start automatically scanning for active channels from your input signal source. Make sure you have a good signal (antenna or cable or satellite).

If the TV still does not display anything, try the menu button on the TV and see if you can access the menu. If not, try using the remote control’s menu button.

If the TV is still locked and will not respond to any commands from the front panel control buttons or the remote control unit, it is apparently locked in a failure or diagnostic mode, and would probably have to be diagnosed and repaired by a reputable TV repair facility. Good luck.

04

All LED/LCD and LCD TV’s–Vertical and Horizontal Lines

Thin vertical Line

If it is a thin vertical line that appears on certain video resolution/image then it is normal and is indicated in the users manual under troubleshooting. If the line is almost half the screen, it could be a problem with the cable connection between the LCD panel and logic board, or the LCD panel itself. Try reseating the cable first if it’ll solve the problem. I’ve done similar issue in the past. Reseating the cable worked for a couple of months till eventually the LCD panel is the problem. Replacing the LCD panel is quite costly and impractical.

Vertical colored lines
If the lines are there all the time or intermittent but in the same location it is an indication of a bad panel. The panel driver can also be the cause of this symptom.

If the lines/bars are across the OSD Menu and all the video signal inputs also same results, this means the TV LCD Panel is Defective-
Horizontal Lines/Bars in the Screen
If the lines/bars are across the OSD Menu, and all the video signal inputs also same result, that means the TV LCD Panel is defective Most of the time this symptom is caused by a bad LCD Panel 95%. You can try refitting LVDS Cable or replacing Main Board capacitors or replacing Main Board—5%

Coloured lines on LCD TV screen? ——–

Thin coloured vertical stripes (and some horizontal—

Bad news unfortunately, their are two possible causes for what you have described, one would be a fault with the picture drive pcb ( Power Control Board ), and the other is physical damage to the LCD cell matrix, (screen).

This doesn’t mean throw your TV into the dump.

There’s videos on how to fix this. It has to do with putting foam, in between panel frame and screen, which applies pressure to solder joints, which then completes the circuit- Contact my10cents, for better explanation.

Big Black Bar on bottom of TV Screen– If the bar that appears in the bottom is showing the energy saving logo, HDMI, Dolby surround and pc mode capabilities look into your remote.

*Press TOOLS (is located in the center of your remote in the left corner of the arrows next to menu).

*Down Arrow to DEMO

*Right Arrow turn OFF

*Press the Center button

Is the OSD menu affected as well? If yes then possibility could be the LCD Panel or the t-con board. Since you have replaced the t-con board then possibility is the LCD panel. There could be also a possibility of mainboard where upgrading the firmware could restore the picture. If the OSD menu is not affected then the LCD panel is good.

If the lines are across the OSD menu then chances is very high the LCD panel is the cause of the problem otherwise it can be due to bad T-con board or even Mainboard. Have you tested on the OSD menu to see if the lines are really across the menu?

White Lines– There are several possibilities that can cause white lines on an lcd screen. One would be high temperature on the logic board. Logic board drives the LCD panel and when it overheats can cause this display problem. One solution would be to clean the vent holes around the TV. One possibility that I have experienced myself servicing is a bloated capacitor on the power supply board. The worst possibility is a defective LCD panel, which is costly to repair, and sometime more practical to buy a new TV set.

05

Blue screen without signal. If provided with signal, the blue screen will flash white short horazontal lines-
Refit or replace LVDS Cable-

Blue Screen
Read this-
Do you get blue screen when using x-box or DVD, VCR? Have you tried to reset cable box if you have one? Reset TV. Check all cable connections? Try these first.
Here’s the resets-
If you have a Cable Box, Unplug Box, hold the Power Button on box for 5 seconds, plug in turn on–
TV Reset-
Unplug TV from wall plug for 10 minutes, then press and hold power button on TV for 60 seconds–Plug in turn on–
Read this-
Blue screen———-
Do you use the Set top box for cable channels? If yes then try connecting through HDMI and see if you can see the TV. Also do you get blue screen when using x-box or DVD, VCR?
And last-
On the TV there is a MENU button. When the problem is happening, if you press the MENU button, does the TV’s menu look OK or is it scrambled?
If all of this fails you will need a signal board (main board)

Blue Screen
Blue screen with sound
What made you decide to change the mainboard? I ask because if the MENU does not appear, then this indicates a problem elsewhere within the TV. Also, did you check for any swollen, or bulged capacitors on the power supply board?

Did you additionally measure the voltages from the Power Supply?

There are several problems that could cause this problem. It could be the connection from the T-Con board to the panel, try wiggling these cables around and see if the picture comes up even for a second. The Mainboard or it’s cables are not the issue in my opinion. The isdsue is either going to be a bad capacitor, faulty output from the power supply to the T-Con board, a bad connection from T-Con to panel, or the T Con or the panel itself are faulty.

Blue Screen

Basic things you can do is to check the connections. If you have a cable box, check the video connections. And while doing that, unplug the TV and the cable box from the AC outlet for it to reset. These are the most likely cause of a blue screen

Most of the new TVs display a blue screen when theres no signal for it to lock on. Try unplugging it for about 5-10 minutes and see if that clears up the problem. Why? Because they have microprocessors in em (computer chips) and just as like with any other operating system, they can hang up or crash. This isnt an uncommon problem with todays TV sets. Unplugging it for awhile resets the microprocessor (in other words, it causes it to re-boot when you plug it in again).-

T-CON board or LCD panel

One possible reason for a blue screen is as follows;

If the signal is weak or absent, the TV will automatically change to a blue screen. So check the antenna connections and Audio/Video cable.

Blue Screen

First

1)- Make sure your TV’s receiver is on and your cables are connected securely

2)-Try another input, or hook up a DVD.

3)- Reset Cable Box-unplug for 10 seconds, then plug in.

Unplug TV, for 10 minutes, hold power button for 60 seconds. plug in.

If all voltages on Power Board test good, replace the T-Con Board.

If that does not work, suspect panel failure-

It could be the connection from the T-Con board to the panel, try wiggling these cables around and see if the picture comes up even for a second. The Mainboard or it’s cables are not the issue in my opinion. This is due to either a bad capacitor, faulty output from the power supply to the T-Con board, a bad connection from T-Con to panel, or the T Con or the panel itself are fault. Also, it’s possible the A/V receiver’s Video On feature was turned off by an electrical surge or something else.Turn the Video feature back to On and suddenly that bad blue screen was gone.

Power Supply, the T-Con board, or the LCD,

Then some say Main Board

06

Video Shuttering or Hesitation– More in Blog #3
To fix, go into menu, select Picture, scroll to Auto Motion Plus and select off

Screen jitters on left side of screen. covers menu-

Repair- Replace T-Con, if that does not work suspect panel failure

Check the power supply for bad capacitors

Screen Display

1)- Symptom–Video Stuttering or Hesitation

Repair-To fix, go into menu, select picture, then to Auto Motion Plus and turn off–

2)- Jittering-

Check all Cables–

3)- Try a firmware update-

Could also be bad transistor(s) on Main Board–

4)- Poor or intermittent Video-

Repair-Check and clean both ends of LVDS Cable-

5)- Flickering on the screen intermittently-

Reset Cable Box or change resolution–

6)- Picture jumps- Reset white flex Cable (s) at top of T-Con Board.

Flickering on Screen
Symptom: Flickering on the screen intermittently
Repair/Solution: Change the cable box to a fixed resolution. OR have the customer install the latest TV firmware which can be located at your TV Brand Customer Support

07

Lightning Strike

Symptom–Not working after lightning strike

Your power board needs serious help–If you want to repair you have to replace Switching Mosfets, disc capacitors and of course the main fuse, Rectifier Diodes and most of the time the transformer–Costly–Easier to replace Power Board–There is a chance the strike come through the cable line, so it’s possible the Main Board needs repair–That’s a small chance though, but I thought I’d let you know–Replacing power board should repair your TV. During a lightning storm, electrical power surges is induced to the transmission line eventually end to our household appliances. Our TV sets, computers are the most susceptible. For the TV set, the basic cure is to leave the TV unplug from the AC outlet for it to discharge and reset

08

LED and LCD TV’s
Flat Screen LED/LCD TV

Green Light on, No Picture/Sound

There are basically three problems that would cause this, the Power Supply, the T-Con board, or the LCD panel itself has failed

Resets- These have reset TV, with Power Light On, No Picture, No Sound–

Try this for a start—
1. Hold [menu] and [vol-] button on the side of the TV
2. while holding these, press the [power] button on the side of TV (NOT remote)
3. blue light comes ON and stays ON
4. wait 10 seconds then let go of [menu] and [vol-]
5. wait another 30 seconds and some type of picture should appear—If that does not work–Unplug TV for 10 minutes and then hold power button on TV for 60 seconds–Plug in and turn on.

Unplug TV– On TV, hold the power button down while pushing and holding each button for a few seconds. After going through all buttons, (on TV) then plug TV back in and it should power up–

No Picture or Sound with (Blue or Green) Led on
When the TV, has no Picture or Sound. Led turns from red to (Blue or Green). It means the Main Board has sent out the start up signal to the PSU (Power Supply) Board.

Now we need to know if PSU Board has all the correct output voltages. This means checking the secondary side output voltages of Power Board. Probable causes are the Power Supply, the T-Con board, Main Board or the LCD panel itself has failed.

Another possibility-( LCD TV only)

The red power indicator turns on normally, red power indicator turns blue, screen remains dark and no sound.

Symptom-Red standby light comes on. I press the power button, power light flashes green, then turns of and red standby light is on

Repair- Transformer on Inverter Board is shorted. Replace transformer or Inverter Board

No Picture/Sound The person who looked at my TV, stated that the high voltage power supply needs to be replaced. He explained that I have a low voltage supply which is why the power button is lit once pressed, and a high voltage supply which needs to be replaced.

LED or LCD Plasma TV’s
Symptom-Had a power outage.
Reset-It has to be unplugged for sometimes up to 72 hours. Sometimes it’s sooner-
When you plug it back in hold the power button for like 30-60 seconds. The light should come back on and then you will be able to start it up.

09

ON/OFF

Symptom: Unit cycles on/off during start up–

Solutions: If the unit tries to turn on but begins to cycle on and off before any video is displayed and all of the SMPS (Power Board ) voltages are good, disconnect the LVDS cable at the T-Con board
If the set starts and the backlights come on, replace the T-Con board.
If the set does not start, disconnect the LVDS cable at the main board.
If the set starts, replace the LVDS cable. If the set still does not start up, replace the main board–

LED/LCD Turns on/off on/off or Cycles

There’s 3 things that could cause this problem–

1)-Power board—Possible capacitors—

2)-Main board—

3)-Panel failure–

You will have to go into the TV and check for capacitors or burn marks or cracked solder around the pins–Main board could be IC’s, or regulators–Panel–Disconnect panel and see if your TV stay’s on—

Extra Info–
Symptom: Dead Backlight Flashes On then Off.
Repair/Solution:
UNIT WOULD FLASH ON THEN OFF AND AUDIO WOULD WORK.
YOU COULD SEE VIDEO WITH A FLASHLIGHT. SOMETIMES UNIT
WOULD STAY ON AND RUN IF YOU CYCLED ON AND OFF MANY
TIMES. FOUND BAD SOLDER CONNECTION ON IP (Inverter Power Board ) BOARD TI801 ON
PRIMARY SIDE.( side closest to edge of bezel ) RESOLDERED AND CORRECTED PROBLEM.

10

Flashing Green or Blue Power Light

Possible Firmware Update –Or
The flashing green light indicates a fault on the power board inside your TV. This will be due to a faulty component like a capacitor or voltage regulator. Faulty electrolytic capacitors on the power board are the most common cause of this problem. These capacitors will often leak and stop working as the TV set gets older,but could also be caused by the Main Board or the inverter board. (LCD TV ONLY) So we will have to take a look inside and maybe do some circuit testing and a visual of your boards-
Backlights–Least likely
Main Board-Likely
Power Board-Most Likely

11

Black Light Failure

In a dark room take a flashlight and at an angle shine it on the screen and see if you can see any movement. If you can see movement or see your menu then its backlight failure. If totally black screen with sound then its T-Con board. So if you see movement on a led screen, then it’s your LEDs inside the panel. If on a LCD TV you see movement and lamps are not turning on, replace inverter. If with a LCD TV your lamps turn on, with no picture replace T-Con Board.

Backlights on, no picture T-Con or Main Board
Audio and backlights- T-Con
no audio with backlights T-Con then Main Board

If with the flashlight test, you see movement the t-con board is fine and working because it provides video data to pixels of LCD screen

Back light Lamps don’t usually go out. The ballasts that control the lights do often. Check the operation of the ballast board first.

Backlight Inverter / LED Driver – No Video with standby light on.

12

Panel Failure

Panel – No power, distorted picture, lines, slow motion, half screen, faded in / out. Panel problems are usually not worth repairing.

Plasma is the most durable in terms of panel failure. LED/LCD is terrible for panel failure. (But every model gets bad apples. Samsung LED/LCD panels die frequently. LG panels are a lot more reliable.) Overall I’d say plasma is more reliable, and even if it fails, in most cases plasma is repairable, LED/LCD is expensive to repair and often difficult to troubleshoot.

1)- No Picture and no backlight. The front controls was working but remote control does not

Replace IR Sensor

2)- Dark frame with color stripes

Replace T-Con Board

3)- Switches off for a second or two intermittently. Relay clicks and standby LED remains green. Switches off intermittently with green LED on, no sound or no picture.

Replace Main Board

4)- No Backlight LCD

Check SMD Fuse on T-Con Board

5)- No start-up. LED is orange.

SMDs on Power Board

6)- After a few minutes when TV warms-up picture becomes distorted

Replace panel

7)- Firmware blinking in Red at the top of the screen. To exit, simply hit the menu button on the TV

8)- No start-up. LED is orange.

9)- No video, has backlight and audio. TV will not come on

Replace T-Con Board

10)- Clicking repeatedly Capacitors, Power Board

11)- Shuts down after a few minutes Opto Couplers

12)- Picture flickers and is brighter on the right, than on the left.

13)- Blue screen. No sound, no picture and no OSD fuse on T-Con Board

14)- Dark picture. Menu display bounces

PSU Capacitors

16)- Erratic functions.

Main Board

17)- Green horizontal line flashing across the screen intermittently Main Board

18)- Grey screen, no display T-Con board

19 No Picture and no backlight IR Sensor

20 Menu locks after 10 minutes Main Board

21)- No start-up after warm-up. Capacitors on Power Board

22)- Green horizontal line flashing across the screen intermittently Main Board

Hitachi Symptoms

Hitachi-LCD TV
Symptom- No picture, sound ok
Repair-Replace Main Board
Hitachi-LCD TV
Symptom- No sound, or intermittent sound
Repair- Pins on headphone socket grounded
Hitachi LCD TV
Symptom- Green horizontal line flashing across screen
Repair- Replace Main Board
Hitachi LCD TV
Symptom- Intermittent Color or no color
Repair- Replace Main Board
Hitachi-
Symptom- No sound or very low sound
Repair- Firmware Update-
Hitachi-
Symptom- Picture display problems-
Repair- Refit and clean both ends of LVDS Cable-

Philips/Magnavox–Manufactured by Hundai China

1. Inspect ALL Ribbons and connectors. Any tears or bad connections between boards must be replaced FIRST

2. If you have any of these boards, it should be the first board to be replaced
A) T-Con Board – Video Problems (No Video with standby light on, audio but no video, grainy, distorted, or color problems in screen)
B) X or Y Buffer Board (Plasma TVs only) – Standby light is on but no power
C) Backlight Inverter / LED Driver – No Video with standby light on

3. Main Video Board
– Standby light is on but no power
– Either video or audio does not work (if no T-Con in TV. If audio but no video it is T-Con)

4. Power Board – No power AND standby light does NOT turn on. If standby light is on try other boards above

5. Panel – No power, distorted picture, lines, slow motion, half screen, faded in / out. Panel problems are usually not worth replacing the panel.

Rca LN52A630M1FXZA LCD TV Blurry Screen

Theres a few reasons all the way to panel failureAlthough I dont think thats your problem. I my self think its your cable box Cable connectors.

Could also be a resolution problem-

Some things to try-

1)-Reducing the picture size to 4:3

2)-Using the Sharpness functionGo into menu and Select Custom, and then adjust sharpness-

3)-If you have a cable box, by changing the connections.

4)- Try connecting your LCD TV to your cable box using the Component (Pb, Pr, and Y) connections

Extra info-

A blurry image on a high-definition LCD TV is typically the result of a mismatch between the TVs resolution capabilities and the resolution of the signal that is coming from connected devices, such as a DVD player or satellite TV receiver. Typically, blurry pictures result when a peripheral device connects to the TV through non HD cables and jacks.

Capacitor help

T-Con failure–no picture but has audio and backlights, washed-out color and solarized image.

Smartphone buying guide

illustration of a cell phone store

Whether you’re thinking about purchasing your first smartphone or just upgrading from an older model, you might feel overwhelmed shopping for a new smartphone. With so many options to choose from, it’s difficult to know if you’re getting the right phone at the right price.

That’s why we’ve created this page: to guide you through the process of buying a new smartphone with as little stress as possible.

What is a smartphone?

illustration of a smartphone

A smartphone is a more powerful version of a regular cell phone. In addition to the same basic features, including phone calls, voicemail, and text messaging, smartphones can connect to the Internet over a cellular network. This means you can use a smartphone for the same things you would normally do on a computer, such as checking your email, browsing online, or shopping.

Wireless providers will require you to pay a monthly fee, usually called a data plan, to access the Internet with a smartphone over their cellular network.

Most smartphones use a touch-sensitive screen, meaning there isn’t a physical keyboard on the device. Instead, you’ll type on a virtual keyboard and use your fingers to interact with the display. Other standard features include a high-quality digital camera and the ability to play digital music and video files. For many users, a smartphone can actually replace things like an old laptop, digital music player, and digital camera in the same device.

Do I even need a smartphone?

woman looking at a smartphone advertisement

Because of these convenient features, smartphones have become increasingly popular over the past several years. Smartphones can also be very expensive, however; some high-end models cost even more than a new laptop or desktop computer!

If you’re happy using your existing devices separately, you may not need a smartphone. But if you want to use just one device to access the Internet, make phone calls, take photos, and listen to music, a smartphone is probably a good option for you.

What type of smartphone should I buy?

illustration of different smartphone types

Even if you know you want a smartphone, it can be challenging to know where to start. There are different smartphones to choose from, including Windows Phone and Blackberry. In this guide, however, we’ll focus on the two most popular options: the iPhone and Android smartphones.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so we’ll try our best to provide the information you’ll need to make the decision that’s right for you.

What is an iPhone?

The iPhone is a smartphone from Apple, which also produces the Mac line of computers. The iPhone is available in a few different models, starting at $450 and going up to $950. It’s powered by the iOS operating system, which is also used by Apple’s iPad and iPod Touch devices.

What is Android?

Unlike the iPhone, which is only available in a few different models, there are hundreds of Android devices to choose from. This is because Android is not one specific smartphone. It’s actually an operating system designed by Google. Many different companies make devices that are powered by the Android operating system, including Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola.

Each of these manufacturers produces different Android smartphones, each with their own custom hardware and features. As a result, Android smartphones are available in a much wider range of prices than the iPhone, starting as low as $100 for an entry-level device.

Android or iPhone?

Should you get iPhone or an Android? If you try searching for advice on this topic, you’ll find no shortage of opinions on both sides; iPhones and Android phones have strong groups of supporters, and most people place themselves firmly on one side or another. There are definite advantages and disadvantages with either option, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest factors you should consider.

Click the buttons in the chart to see our rankings, then read more about each category below.https://e.infogr.am/android_vs_iphone?src=embed

Affordability

illustration of a cellphone with dollar signs

In terms of cost, the iPhone simply can’t compete with Android models. If you don’t want to spend more than $200 to $300 on a smartphone, you’ll want to choose Android over iPhone.

Unfortunately, the actual cost of a smartphone may not be immediately obvious. For example, your wireless carrier may offer certain smartphones for free if you sign a two-year contract, or allow you to spread the cost across small installments instead of one single payment. Regardless of how you pay, an iPhone will almost always be more expensive than an Android smartphone.

Winner: Android

Support

Because the iPhone is produced by one company instead of several manufacturers, it’s often easier to get answers and help directly from Apple’s customer support. By contrast, most Android phones work a bit differently from one another depending on the manufacturer and wireless provider you choose, which can make it more difficult to know where to look for help.

If you’re worried that you’ll need a lot of extra help once you get started, you might consider choosing an iPhone over an Android (if your budget allows).

Winner: iPhone

Apps and app stores

Both iPhone and Android allow you to download applications, which are commonly known as apps, to add extra functionality to your smartphone. The Play Store for Android and the App Store for iPhone provide a huge selection of apps for you to download. Although some apps are available exclusively for one platform, most are available on both. Unless there’s a specific app you want that’s only available on one device, this shouldn’t be a significant factor in your decision.

However, if you already have another device that uses Android or iOS, such as a tablet computer, you might want to consider purchasing a smartphone that runs the same operating system. This way, you’ll be able to install any apps you’ve purchased on both devices.

Winner: Tie

Customization

illustration of an accessorized cell phone

Android smartphones allow for a lot more customization than iPhones. Whereas the iPhone offers a few customization options (like your phone’s wallpaper and ringtone), Android allows you to change just about everything on your device, including themes, notification widgets, and default applications.

For some users, this might not be a very important distinction. But if you want to have more control over the way you’ll use your device, we’d recommend choosing an Android over an iPhone.

Winner: Android

System updates

Remember how we said before that Android and iPhone use different operating systems? Like desktop and laptop computers, these operating systems are updated just about every year. These updates usually include new and useful features, as well as security upgrades.

But upgrading an Android phone to the latest version can be pretty complicated. In many cases, it actually depends on when your wireless provider decides to push the update to your device. By contrast, the iPhone can be updated as soon as updates are available, regardless of your wireless carrier.

We should note that there’s nothing especially bad or dangerous about using a slightly older version of your phone’s operating system. But if you know that you always like to use the latest software as soon as it’s available, you might consider choosing an iPhone over an Android (if your budget allows).

Winner: iPhone

There are a few Android models, like the Google Nexus, that allow you to upgrade to the latest version of Android more easily; however, they also tend to be more expensive than other Android smartphones.

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