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HTC One Teardown: 'Impossible to repair'

Posted: 10 May 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone  aluminium  components 

The motherboard of the HTC One is pretty much encapsulated within copper shielding. Two flat pieces of copper adorn each side of the motherboard. Here's the thing about copper shielding. It dissipates heat and provides electrical grounding. However, copper shielding is a pain to deal with during reassembly—kind of like trying to straighten out aluminium foil once it's been crinkled.

HTC One teardown

Copper shielding. Courtesy of iFixit.

Prying out the vibrator motor frees the daughterboard for its escape from the midframe. There's a lot going on with this board—it's a host to the front—and rear-facing cameras, headphone jack, ambient light sensor, volume switches, and several spring contacts.

HTC One teardown

HTC One dismantled. Courtesy of iFixit.

HTC One Repairability Score: One out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair). Very, very difficult (possibly impossible?) to open the device without damaging the rear case. This makes every component extremely difficult to replace. The battery is buried beneath the motherboard and adhered to the midframe, hindering its replacement. The display assembly cannot be replaced without removing the rear case—this will make the most common repair, a damaged screen, nearly impossible. Copper shielding on many components is difficult to remove and replace. Solid external construction improves durability.

- Kyle Wiens

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