Whether it’s cracked or just badly scratched, your iPhone’s rear-facing camera can be saved. Clean it and try using it with the original camera app as well as with one or two third-party camera apps. If this doesn’t fix the problem however, you’ll have to replace it.
If the damage isn’t limited to the rear-camera lens but extends to the camera bracket, you’ll have to replace that as well. In most cases, it’s more convenient, not to mention cheaper, to replace the camera than to buy a new phone.
You can do the work yourself, provided that you buy a replacement camera (and bracket) and get a few handy tools.
Things You’ll Need
- Rear camera replacement – You can buy it online for as low as $60 plus shipping. Keep in mind that not all replacement cameras available are of the same quality.
- Rear camera bracket replacement – If the original bracket is damaged, you’ll need a new one, too. It’s best to buy the replacement bracket and camera together, to make sure they fit.
- P2 Pentalobe Screwdriver
- Phillips #000 Screwdriver
- Phillips #00 Screwdriver
- Suction handle
- Plastic opening tool
Replacing Your Camera
- Power off your iPhone.
- Replace the two screws next to the Lightning connector on the bottom side of your iPhone.
- Use a suction cup to remove the front panel. As you gently pull up the panel, use the plastic opening tool to separate the front panel from the rear case.
- Swing open the front panel assembly, opening it to a 90 degrees angle and prop it on a bottle or something else at hand.
- Remove the two screws from the battery connector bracket using your Phillips #000 screwdriver and Phillips #00 screwdriver.
- Remove the metal battery connector bracket and battery connector. Handle them with care.
- Remove the five Phillips screws that hold in place the front panel assembly cable bracket and then the bracket.
- Use a spudger to disconnect the camera sensor cable connector, the home button cable connector, display data cable, and digitizer cable connector. These are one next to the other, so you can’t miss them. Once all four cables have been removed, you’ll be able to remove the front panel assembly and start working on installing the new camera.
- Remove the black tape covering the camera screw.
- Remove the camera connector with the spudger.
- Remove the two Phillips screws to remove the camera.
- Take out the camera bracket.
- Remove the rear-facing camera.
- Follow this guide backward to resemble your iPhone.
- Take a few shots with your new iPhone camera and record some video to make sure it works well.
The Front Facing Camera
If your front-facing camera is the problem, you can replace it as well. First of all you’ll need a replacement front-facing camera and sensor cable, and maybe a corresponding bracket, if the original is damaged. Front-facing cameras are cheaper, and can cost you less than $30. Again, look for a quality replacement. Follow the guide above up to step 8. Follow then the next few steps.
- Remove the two screws holding the front-facing camera in place.
- Remove the ear piece speaker bracket and then the ear piece speaker.
- Pry out the camera cable out of the display assembly.
- Remove the camera and microphone.
- Replace the damaged camera with the original.
- Follow the steps backward to reassemble your phone and test the camera.
Not that hard, was it?