What the Manufacturer Smartphone Limited Warranty Covers

A smartphone is a significant investment. In 2020, the average smartphone cost $363. However, premium models easily cost $1,000 or more.
Given the propensity for smartphones to become lost or damaged, it’s important to make sure you’re covered if there’s an issue. The question is, what exactly does a manufacturer's smartphone limited warranty cover, and is it sufficient?
Let’s find out.

What’s Covered with a Smartphone Limited Warranty?

Warranties will vary from brand to brand, but most manufacturers will cover two main things — defects from poor workmanship and mechanical failure. That, admittedly, can sound a little vague. But as Ryan Haines of Android Authority explains, “...it means that if your phone arrives with a damaged display or you run into specific battery issues, you can file for a replacement unit.”
Basically, this protects you, the consumer, in case you end up with a dud. However, that’s where the coverage usually ends.

What’s Not Covered with a Manufacturer Warranty?

Pretty much anything else outside of defects and mechanical failure won’t be covered by a manufacturer warranty. Here are some issues that Samsung specifically mentions on their warranty policy that aren’t covered:
  • “Damage resulting from accidents, misuse, abuse, alteration, tampering, or failure of the purchaser to follow normal operating procedures outlined in the user’s manual;
  • Defects or damage due to spillage of food or liquids or wrong usage of electrical supply and voltage;
  • Damage, losses, defects, or malfunction as a result of fire, flood, or other acts of God, also animal or insect infestations;
  • Normal wear and tear, corrosion, rusting, or stains;
  • Defects or damage resulting from testing, operation, maintenance, installation, service, or adjustment not furnished or approved by Samsung”
And so on. That’s about half of what’s not covered, and you can see a full overview for yourself here.
The bottom line is that if it’s not a defect due to poor workmanship or a mechanical failure within a one-year period, it’s probably not covered by the manufacturer warranty. This brings us to our next question.

Should You Get an Extended Smartphone Warranty?

Given the significant cost of most smartphones, and the sparse coverage of a limited warranty, it is best to get an extended warranty. There are two main reasons why.
First, you get far more comprehensive coverage. Besides covering everything included in a regular manufacturer warranty, an extended plan covers much more, such as:
  • Accidental drops
  • Screen cracks
  • Liquid spills
  • Battery failure
  • Power failure
  • Touch screen failure
  • Camera failure
  • Headphone jack failure
  • Audio failure
  • WiFi failure
This truly runs the gamut and protects a smartphone from virtually any issue that could arise.
Second, it protects your smartphone for much longer than a manufacturer warranty. Upsie, for example, offers a Smartphone Scription Warranty that overlaps with the manufacturer warranty. Once the manufacturer warranty expires, Upsie then takes over full coverage, ensuring you’re continually protected.

How Much Does an Extended Warranty Cost?

It varies. While purchasing from a retailer can be pricey, newer options through a third-party provider like Upsie can be quite reasonable. In fact, many Upsie plans cost less than in-store offers.
For perspective, an Upsie Scription Warranty for a $1,099.99 iPhone 13 Pro Max is $9.99 per month. A similar plan through Verizon costs $408 and T-Mobile costs $432 per year. For the same amount of time, Upsie is half the cost.
As you can see, getting an extended warranty can be quite cost-effective if you get the right plan. Also, making a claim is extremely simple with Upsie, and you can do it 24/7/365 for a prompt repair or replacement. And if you ever want to make changes to your plans, you can easily do it through Upsie.com. You can also cancel your subscription at any time with no fees or penalties.
You can learn more about how Upsie works and how you can use it to get your smartphone protected for less.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.