Choose one of the following: A) You dropped your phone on the sidewalk; B) You left the phone on top of the car and pulled out of the garage only to watch it slide off the roof and onto the pavement; or C) You let your phone slip out of your pocket into the toilet. There are myriad reasons to need a replacement phone before you're ready to buy a new one, but you must first determine if your phone is still under warranty, or if your particular damage voids the warranty.
Find your purchase invoice and the manufacturer's warranty booklet in the box in which the phone came. (If you do not typically save these materials, remember to do so going forward.) Most manufacturers honor a limited phone warranty for up to 12 months from the purchase date.
Visit the website of your phone's manufacturer to determine if your phone is still under warranty if you are unable to locate your paperwork. The manufacturer may ask for something called the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification) number, which is typically found underneath the phone's battery or on a sticker underneath the backplate. This number identifies your specific phone and helps the manufacturer determine for you if your phone remains under warranty.
Call the phone manufacturer to determine your phone's warranty availability if you do not have access to the Internet or if you prefer a telephone conversation. You will still need the IMEI number for the manufacturer.