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Replacing of iPhone X display assembly usually won’t affect Face ID. However, we get complaints from our clients that Face ID on the phone failed after replacing of the display assembly. We have done some researches and our guess is that the problem might be caused by improper operation during the replacing process, which results in damage of flex cables or other components.

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  1. The iPhone X shows an alert that says it is ‘unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone’.
    • The iPhone X shows an alert that says it is ‘unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone’.

    • When trying to setup Face ID on the iPhone X, we get the message 'Face ID is Not Available, try setting up Face ID later'.

    • Also, according to the feedback from our client, Face ID on the phone is available after being dropped. However, Face ID is not available after replacing of the display assembly.

    • Unavailable Face ID might be caused by improper operation when replacing the display assembly.

  2. Check the Infrared camera and dot projector module under Microscope. Nothing goes wrong.
    • Check the Infrared camera and dot projector module under Microscope. Nothing goes wrong.

    • Let’s move to the Flood illuminator module on the earpiece speaker and front sensor assembly.

    • We can see clearly that flex cable next to the Flood illuminator module is damaged.

  3. Now, we need to separate the earpiece speaker from the assembly.
    • Now, we need to separate the earpiece speaker from the assembly.

    • Remove the ambient light sensor module flex cable afterwards.

  4. Turn the flex cable upside-down and secure it again. Remove the Flood illuminator module.
    • Turn the flex cable upside-down and secure it again. Remove the Flood illuminator module.

    • Prepare a new flex cable. Apply some Paste Flux to the bonding pad and solder the detached Flood illuminator module.

  5. Solder the detached ambient light sensor module flex cable.
    • Solder the detached ambient light sensor module flex cable.

    • Now we need to solder the earpiece speaker back to flex cable and get it installed to the display assembly. Secure with screws afterwards.

  6. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Reset Face ID. Face ID can be setup successfully
    • Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Reset Face ID. Face ID can be setup successfully

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To fully understand Face ID, you can also check Face ID Teardown here.

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Phryne

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Why not just buy a new cable? They’re $10-$15 on eBay. Soldering seems like it’s take way more time and possibly even cost more money than just buying a new cable.

brian - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Face ID will no longer function if the original flex connectors are damaged or replace with new ones. Even if the flex connectors are properly soldered just as they were originall it will still fail. There is some marker in the cables which the module is checking for and if the cables are changed then the marker (most likely the serial number of the flex) will mismatch and fail to work. The same was true with Touch ID as well

James Sassu -

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