In the comments to many previous articles on smartphone repair, you asked how to disassemble Samsung Galaxy S series waterproof smartphones to replace the back cover, and how difficult it is. Today I will try to describe this process in detail, indicating the nuances and possible pitfalls that may arise during the analysis.
Given the abundance of glass in the design of modern phones, the most common reason for parsing is not the need to repair the electronics, but a banal replacement of the back cover, which often breaks when the phone is dropped.
Looking ahead, I can reassure the owners of the Galaxy S7 / 8/9 that even with a broken back cover and a broken protective glass of the display, your phone is most likely water-resistant thanks to the laminated film on the inside of the glass. This is clearly visible after removing this very cover. The film is surprisingly strong, and even shards of shattered glass will rarely damage the film. This is a very big advantage of Samsung phones.
If, in spite of this, replacement of the rear cover is required, a new one must be selected. Therefore, we will not start with the analysis itself, but with the choice of the back cover, which can be of very different quality, ranging from very inexpensive plastic ones to very expensive 100% original ones.
The easiest way to buy an original cover is to find an ad on Avito or Yulia selling the model you need for parsing. In this case, you will receive, though used, but the original cover, the quality of which will be significantly better than analogues. How much it might cost is hard to say. It depends on the seller's appetite. Approximately for such a cover they ask from 500 to 1,000 rubles.
Another option is to order from online platforms such as AliExpress or eBay. In the first case, you will most likely get an analogue, the quality of which can range from excellent to terrible. In the case of eBay, it is better to look at the lots of sellers located in the United States, but then you will have to use the services of an intermediary, which will increase the purchase price. On average, it will be possible to keep within 1,000-1,500 rubles.
You can buy a spare part in the 'store around the corner' for 300-500 rubles. The advantage of such a purchase is the ability to evaluate the quality and appearance before giving the money. The downside is that, most likely, it will turn out to be the same Chinese spare part.
There is another, the most uneconomical option – buying the original from the official service centers (if sold). The cost of such pleasure can go up to 3,500-4,500 rubles. If you are a perfectionist, then this is your option.
After we bought the spare, it's time to start disassembling our patient.
From the tools we need:
- Plastic connectors. Guitar picks or even thick plastic packaging from something are perfect for this role.
- Sucker. It is highly desirable to have it for these purposes. The usual plumbing is also suitable.
- Wide tape
- Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. A syringe or jar with a spout as a container. It is more convenient for me to use a jar of hydrogen peroxide, since it is easier to control the dose with it?
- Ordinary household hair dryer as a heating tool. By the way, instead of a hair dryer, you can use a canvas bag filled with salt, preheated in a pan to 90 degrees. This option is preferable to a hair dryer, as it will allow the smartphone to be warmed up better and more evenly, which means that it will soften the adhesive tape holding the lid more.
- Construction gloves to protect your hands from scalding (phone will be hot).
Once everything is ready, it's time to get started.
We turn off the phone and proceed.
First you need to roll up the broken back cover in duct tape. This is necessary so that when parsing glass fragments do not remain on your fingers and do not fly into your eyes.
If you disassemble the phone not to replace the cover and at the time of disassembly the cover is intact, then you still need to glue it – it's not a fact that you can open the phone without breaking the cover.
Please note that it is necessary to seal the lid with tape as carefully as possible, preferably without bubbles, and most importantly, without jams and joints. Otherwise, the suction cup will not stick to the cover, and it will become more difficult to open the phone.
Then we heat the phone with a hairdryer or a bag of heated salt.
When the phone is warmed up (so that it is difficult to touch it with your bare hand), glue the suction cup closer to one of the lower corners.
Then we drip alcohol into the joint between the lid and the case and begin to pull the lid off by the suction cup, at the same time trying to push a pick or a plastic strip into the gap between the case and the lid.
If you open a whole lid, be very careful at this stage and do not try to push the pick too deep, as the voltage is too high and the lid can easily burst.
Never use a metal tool for this purpose, otherwise you will almost certainly split the cover.
The most important thing is to achieve the appearance of a small gap between the lid and the body. This may require several approaches of warming up, dripping alcohol, and pulling back the lid by the suction cup. If the lid is already broken and the purpose of disassembly is to replace it, then you don't need to worry too much – pull harder and try to push the pick inside.
Alcohol in this case is needed to make the adhesive tape easier to stick to surfaces. Also, alcohol will prevent the tape from grabbing back. Don't pour too much, but don't worry too much – alcohol will not harm the insides of the phone. The optimal dose is three / five large drops per joint.
After the lid opens slightly, we continue to drip alcohol into the joint and go around the entire perimeter, peeling off the adhesive tape. Take your time and remember to warm the lid where you peel it off.
An important caveat – do not push the connector deep inside in the middle of the right edge. There, the outer turns of the wireless charging coil run very close to the edge, and there is a danger of damage to them.
Please note that in addition to the adhesive tape around the perimeter, sticky white seals are glued inside the lid, which must be saved. After the old cover is removed, you need to carefully re-glue the seals either on the new cover or on the inside of the phone in the same position as on the old cover. This will prevent the new cover from sagging and make the structure more assembled and tighter.
Then it is necessary to peel off the block of protective glasses of the camera and sensors from the old cover.
The glasses are in an aluminum frame, which bends very easily, so before you peel it off, warm it up well and remove it carefully. This frame is glued to a ring of duct tape on a dense basis.
It is best to peel off with a flat thin tool. I am using a blade.
To maintain water resistance, it is best to glue the frame with glue on a new cover. For example, B7000.
Once you've prepared the new cover for installation, it's time to get it clean. Namely – to clean the perimeter of the metal frame from the remaining adhesive tape, on which you will glue the new cover. Cotton buds and alcohol will help us with this. We slowly clean the frame, achieving absolute cleanliness, without lumps of old glue and tape. This is especially important if you want to maintain water resistance.
If protection from water is not important, then we take the lid, align it with the case and, gently pressing along the perimeter, glue it in place.
If you need to restore the protection from water, then, in addition to the scotch tape, which will most likely be on the new lid, you will need to glue the lid around the perimeter with glue or sealant. I recommend glue, as the sealant in a confined space without oxygen will take a very long time to dry.
After the lid is glued, you need to put it under the oppression for a couple of hours. Do not overdo it. A large book is enough.
That's all, our phone is ready. It remains to remove from the table, and you can use the new thing.
In this case, I specifically showed as an example an inexpensive Chinese cover, which can be bought in most spare parts stores, and also which will most likely come to you from AliExpress. The color difference with the original is striking.
Therefore, it is worth considering whether this option suits you. If you are not satisfied, then you should look for other options, which I wrote about at the beginning.
Pay attention to the color of the tape in the original and in the Chinese. This is the easiest way to distinguish an original from a fake – in the original there is scotch tape, it is a thick white tape with neat edges. If the tape is of a different color, this is a fake or analogue, which may also be good, but less often.
As you can see, if you are not in a hurry, then with the proper skill and patience, opening such a device turns out to be an easy and exciting task that you can do at home.