Fixing the digitizer on a Samsung Rogue

My touch screen on my wife’s Samsung Rogue U960 recently stopped working. There were no cracks or other visible damage, but it didn’t recognize touches on the left third of the screen. Because the phone was designed to be used almost exclusively by touching the screen, this made the phone pretty much useless for anything other than receiving calls or calling people already in her address book. She couldn’t set alarms, browse the web, or use any of her phone’s other fun features.

Samsung Rogue Digitizer

I decided this would be a fun time to learn how to fix a broken cell phone. With the help of Google and eBay, I discovered that cell phone touch screens have something called a digitizer that lays on top of the normal LCD screen. It is thin, clear, and is what actually “captures” your touches. The LCD screen itself is just a screen. Without the digitizer, touching it will just leave smudges. Turns out my wife’s digitizer was broken.

So I ran to eBay and found a US seller that had replacement digitizers for the Samsung Rogue for only $12.99. The price was right and I enjoy not having to wait for shipping from Hong Kong, so I bought it.

The picture on the right is what arrived. No instructions. No tools. Just the digitizer. Hmm. What to do with it?

I decided step 1 had to be “rip apart my wife’s cell phone while she was in the other room so she couldn’t freak out about said ripping apart of cell phone”. So that is what I did.

It was harder than I thought it would be. The Rogue has a piece of plastic on the back that covers/surrounds the camera. It is easy to get under the edge of it at the bottom, and really really hard to get under the edge of it from the top. What I didn’t know at the time is that it can only be removed from the top, so I’m pretty surprised I didn’t break anything trying to pry it off incorrectly.

The rest of the case came off pretty easy with the help of my trusty New Haven Public Library card. It easily slipped under the case and unlatched it without breaking anything.

Eventually I got the phone fully apart, took off some screws, and had the phone in 5 or 6 pieces sitting on my desk. With some effort, I removed the old digitizer. It was glued in pretty good. I put the new digitizer in place, but it didn’t quite fit right. Upon further inspection, I discovered that the cell phone had a plastic bump that my new digitizer didn’t have a hole for. “Stupid American parts. I should have ordered from Hong Kong,” I grumbled.

So I found a razor blade and started shaving off the plastic bump. It didn’t look like it was actually needed anyway.

This is when my wife walked in. Pro tip: Don’t let your wife walk in until you are done taking a razor blade to her phone!

After a few minutes of carefully removing the plastic bump (very carefully once my wife started watching), I was able to attach the digitizer, connect it to the appropriate daughter board, and screw everything back together. I put the battery in, hit the power button, and….

IT WORKED! Woohoo! I didn’t crack the screen or lose any screws or end up with too many screws or completely break the touch screen capability. I was pretty excited. Becca was, too, because it was like getting a brand new phone for only $12.99.

So before you suffer with a broken cell phone or ditch it for new one, consider searching eBay for replacement parts and fix it yourself.


  1. Ashley Lumpkin


    I’ve also got a samsung rogue, the screen is cracked. I’ve got a couple questions about that for you: (I know you aren’t an expert here or anything, but I can’t find answers anywhere so I thought i’d see if you knew anything since you had taken apart and successfully fixed this phone before.):

    1.) I don’t “feel” the cracks, as in the screen feels smooth to the touch, even when you run your fingers over the cracks. The touch screen itself works great still (i’ve tasted it my touching icons directly under the cracks and they still work perfect)
    I was under the impression that since the screen isnt all scrambled or blacked out in parts, that it was for sure the digitizer, but all things considered im not so sure anymore. Do you think this is the digitizer that is cracked? (maybe the cracks just didnt go very deep and only the under side of the digitizer is cracked?) or do you think it’s the LCD that’s cracked? (Would the screen still look normal if the LCD were cracked?)

    2.) I’m sure that when you disassembled your wifes rogue you saw the LCD screen sitting in there, in your opinion, from what you saw, would that be something that a person could just fix if need be? (i.e. I install it rather than taking it to a professional to have it installed?)

    I dont know if you’d be able to answer either of these questions, but like I said I cant seem to find any information on this sort of thing anywhere and I figured you’d have an idea on it considering you’ve dealt with fixing this phone before.


    • Like you said, I’m not an expert, but I don’t think the LCD is broken if the picture isn’t messed up. From what I remember, the digitizer has multiple layers, so perhaps only one layer is cracked on yours and that is why you can’t feel the cracks. It seems odd that it would still work though. My guess is it is the digitizer.

      If it is the screen, it too is easily replaceable, but the part costs a lot more.

  2. Hey Jacob,

    Thanks for posting this site. I wish I could just mail my phone to you and let you fix mine. Haha.

    Anyway, my question for you is did you have problems taking out any of the screws? Only one screw was able to come right out for me. Two others I was able to shake out of the phone. All the other screws just won’t come out.

    You know the cap on medicine bottles for child safety? You turn the cap and it clicks and goes back down. The only way to get the cap off is to press down on it and turn it. That’s pretty much what the screws do.

    My other question is how did you take out the screws right in the middle of the phone where the battery lies? They seem to be a little smaller than the others, and I can’t get a screwdriver in them. I guess I need a smaller screwdriver that fits right?

    My last question is what’s the case you’re talking about when you slipped your library card underneath? Is that the part on the back that the screws are holding in?

    Thanks a lot!

    And yes, people should definitely learn to look on Ebay for any parts they need. I can’t believe how much shops charge for parts whether it’s cell phone parts or automotive parts. I took my phone to a local computer repair shop. They had found the digitizer for $35 and then they would charge $20 to put it in. So like you, I found mine on Ebay for $12, and hopefully I’ll be able to put it in for free.

    • The screws came out without any issue for me, but I have small magnetized screwdrivers so perhaps that helped. You can get a screwdriver magnetizer for ~$5 on Amazon (like this one). Radio Shack used to sell a great mini screwdriver set for about $10, not sure if they still do. You could probably use an eyeglass screwdriver if you don’t want to bother buying a whole set.

      Yes, the case I’m talking about is the back of the phone that the screws are holding in. You don’t want to break the clips that hold the phone together, so it is important to use a sharp (as in thin) plastic utensil of some kind to gently pry it open (like a library card or one of the plastic cell phone repair tools available on eBay). You definitely don’t want to use metal of any kind because you don’t want to mangle the plastic on your phone. You’ll hear and feel the clips releasing. If you can’t get the clip to release, make sure you have all the screws out and try again with more pressure. You probably won’t break a clip, but even if you do, the phone is screwed together so it isn’t the end of the world.

  3. Thank you so much for posting these helpful hints and directions. I ordered my new digitizer which arrived yesterday and after working on my phone and looking at a couple of other blogs about this topic I was able to take my phone apart and switch out the digitizer and put my phone back together. I have no experience in doing things like this but at this moment I feel like a superwomen. I feel like I have conquered Verizon in some way. While I do like their service, I wasn’t looking forward to buying a new phone at full price. I can’t thank you enough for posting this and for being the springboard to my success!

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