For about two weeks I won’t post too much, since being healthy again means I am playing catch-up with my garden. More on that later, perhaps. Lets just say for now that after six weeks spent mostly in bed, two hours of manual work feel like ten and the results are underwhelming. So this week is it work and next week I am on holiday in a hotel which has, from experience, crappy internet connection.
So today instead of a Slavic Saturday, which always takes a lot of time to write, just a short anecdote.
Whan I was sick, I dropped my phone on concrete floor. It hit it with one edge and a plastic corner component chipped off. I wanted to glue it back as soon as I get well – but I dropped the phone again and it fell on that very same edge second time. And due to the lacking plastic part to soften the blow, the display cracked. Phone dead, Charly sad.
I bought a new phone immediately, but I loathe throwing things just away so I looked into if the old one can be repaired – either to keep it asa spare, or to use it as camera in workshop so as not to damage my actual camera with dust and humidity. I requested an offer from company specializing in repairing smartphones, but their answer was “sorry, we do not support this type”. Not wanting to waste too much time asking around, I googled just a bit more and coincidentally and I found that for 60,-€ I can buy a new display and special glue. I also found some videos about how to replace the display. So I decided to try my hand at repairing it myself. 60,-€ is not exactly little money – for perspective, it is about 6-8% of median net income in CZ – but it is little enough for me to be willing to risk it.
First thing was to remove the glued-up back cover, which was achieved with the use of brute force and an old screwdriver. I have managed it without damaging any of the innards. Which is lucky, because I have done this actually before I decided to try to repair the phone, at a time when I was resigned to toss it – I just wanted to look inside for curiosity’s sake and thus I was not very careful.
Second step was to carefully unclip the battery connector (which is surprisingly tiny) and carefully remove the battery. This proved difficult, because it was held in place with double-sided adhesive tape. I have scratched the black paint over the printed circuit behind it a bit, but luckily not too much and without damaging the conductors. After the battery was removed, I had to carefully untangle the intricately folded cables at the bottom near the charing connector, where the display cable connector is clipped onto them. Very, very intricate work, and there were some very tiny screws that did not want to budge – especially since I do not in fact own the right screw driver for those. But I managed it in the end.
After losing about half an hour searching for our hair dryer, which nobody in the family uses much, I managed to find it and I have used it to heat up the edges of the display to soften the glue a bit. More brute force was used to pry it off, damaging it even more in the process. Once it was removed, I have taken one of my sharp tiny flat screw drivers and I cleaned away thoroughly any residual glue on the phone itself.
I inserted the new display in, connected it and the battery and tried whether it works or not. It did, so I unplugged it again and applied glue on all the places where it previously was applied. The glue had to harden for three hours under slight pressure, so I have put some plastic clamps on it and went bout other business. After three hours, I folded back all the intricate cables, clipped back all the clips, screwed all the screws, connected the battery and glued back the cover. And left it again for a few hours with clamps.
And success! It works. There are some funny coloured spots on the display, whether because it is a cheap non original spare or because I applied too much pressure during the repair I do not know, but apart from that it seems to work perfectly well and all funcionalities are there – the camera is cameraing, the speaker is speaking, the telephone is telephoning and the display is displaying.
I actually really felt like I did something worth doing.