Note: The transcript below comes from a shooting script; it may not perfectly represent the dialog in the finished video.
If you’re thinking about repairing your own Samsung phone, we want to do anything we can to help you. But before you begin, you might want to know what you’re getting into. Here are five things you need to know about fixing Samsung Phones
1) They’re relatively easy to repair (once you’re inside)
First up, most Samsung phones have pretty much the same layout and are relatively easy to repair (once you get into them).
Once the rear panel is removed, they have a mid-frame that is usually home to the wireless charging coil. Underneath that, you’ll find a motherboard at the top, a daughter board at the bottom (usually home to the speaker), and a battery in-between.
You’ll only need a single standard Phillips driver to remove all the screws you find, and most components like the cameras can just be disconnected and lifted right now, but there are some notable exceptions.
2) Curves plus glue are a tricky barrier
The second thing you’ll need to know is there are no screws holding your phone together from the outside. That’s because most Samsung phones are glued shut.
The point of entry for Samsung Phones is the rear panel, which is not only glued down but also made of delicate curved glass. To remove the rear panel you need to use a time-consuming process of heating the rear panel’s glue to soften it, then gentle prying to lift it off.
And while those curved edges might make the phone feel nice in your hand, they make the rear panel more difficult to remove and more likely to crack when removing it. Especially if you try to rush through the heating and prying process.
3) The battery is also real glue-y
If you thought your rear panel was tough to get off, just wait until you try budging the battery. Samsung’s phone batteries are held in place using very strong adhesive, and simple prying won’t be enough to get them out.
In fact, if you pry the battery too hard, you can puncture it and can cause a thermal event (also known as an explosion).
To remove these batteries you need to either use some heat on the display side of the phone, or our favorite method, insert some isopropyl alcohol or adhesive remover underneath the battery to soften the adhesive, then use a suction cup to lift the battery out. Whichever method you choose, you risk damaging your display if you do the removal incorrectly.
And because of the effort involved in prying the battery out, you’ll need to replace the battery with a new one any time you remove it, even if you’re doing a repair on some other part.
4) Getting the screen off without damage is not a good bet
The next thing you’ll need to know is Removing the display from a Samsung phone is extremely frustrating even for people experienced with phone repair. The displays are thin and fragile, and the tolerances between the glass and the phone’s frame are extremely tight. Combine those complications with adhesive that is super-strong, and you can see why glue frustrates us so much.. Our go-to heat source, the iOpener, might not get hot enough to handle the glue securing the display, so you may need to use something more powerful like a heat gun. While they’re generally safe for electronics, it still adds a risk of overheating to a common repair.
5) Putting the bad glue back on
Lastly, once you’ve fought through all the difficulties getting your Samsung phone apart, you have to put it back together, and that means reapplying all that adhesive that you removed.
One step of device reassembly that you probably weren’t expecting is thoroughly scraping and cleaning off all that stubborn leftover adhesive. If you leave any behind, your new adhesive won’t apply properly, leaving you vulnerable to water and dust getting into your phone. The process of cleaning your phone isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming, with lots of isopropyl alcohol and gentle scraping.
Once you’ve got your phone spic and span, it’s time to reapply your new adhesive strips. As with all things glue-y, rushing this task will make it tricky, especially when dealing with the display and extremely thin rear panel strips.
While there are many tricky parts to repairing your own Samsung phone, we think you can handle these problems yourself! We’ve got step-by-step and video guides that will walk you through the process, and all the parts and tools you’ll need to get your repair done at iFixit.com.