Tips and Tricks: Repair a Camera Phone Edition

Tips and Tricks: Repair a Camera Phone Edition

An early smartphone.


As anyone who has a phone- especially a smartphone- can tell you that these devices are packing more and more functionality into their small shells with each new generation.  Cameras, GPS, and music players are some of the most common features.  Unfortunately, the more a phone can do generally means the more expensive it is to fix or replace.  Back in the days of simple brick or flip phones, damaging a phone usually meant the phone was done for and required replacement.  Nowadays, we have a new problem: lost functionality on a phone that isn’t severe enough to warrant replacement, but is a constant annoyance, especially on commonly used features.

I have an HTC EVO 4G, which I love.  For those not familiar, it is a smartphone, and like all smartphones it is can be vulnerable to heavy wear.  Sparing the unnecessary details, I work in the construction field, where my phone is constantly exposed to dirt and grime, and periodically a fall from some height.  Constant exposure to sand has left the camera lens on my phone scratched and abraded to the point that all photos are blurry and the camera is nearly useless.    While a nonfunctional camera is not the end of the world, I am constantly sending photos of damaged equipment parts or details about a construction site, so this problem is a serious inconvenience for me.  Like anyone, the I am loathe to spend a significant amount of money in this economic downturn, so I developed a quick-fix.

  1. Using Scotch-brand “Transparent Tape”, cut a small piece of tape somewhat larger than the camera lens (be careful not to get any fingerprints or dirt on the tape!).  The tape used must be clear; translucent “Magic Tape” won’t work.
  2. Smooth the tape slowly over the lens of the camera, taking care not to wrinkle the tape or trap any air bubbles.
  3. VOILA!  Enjoy a functional camera; the adhesive on the tape has filled in the scratches, making the camera lens works again.  It may not be perfect, but it’ll take a photo that is recognizable.
Photos of the same tape, before the tape-lens fix (left) and after (right)


If you have a particularly useful trick to make a broken device work again, or a clever use of an ordinary item in a tech-related way, email it to me at, and I’ll share your idea with the interwebs.

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