HTC One M9 teardown shows how difficult it is to repair a broken display [VIDEO]


HTC One M9 teardown

HTC’s “Uh Oh” protection policy for the HTC One M9 is just another way the manufacturer is giving you peace of mind during your first 12 months of ownerships. Should you crack the display, drop the device in the toilet, or run over it with a car — HTC’s got you covered. The problem? They’ll only do it once.

Those who are little more accident prone — or perhaps just have really bad luck — you may be wondering what happens if you break your HTC One M9 again during this 12-month time frame. Well, you can always pay out the nose to have someone repair it, or you can save a few ducats by attempting to do it yourself.

For anyone thinking about going the DIY route, you may find repairing something as common as the display on the HTC One M9 is a lot more trouble than it’s worth. At least that’s what this handy teardown video brought to us by the folks at pwrdbykyank is showing us.

The lengthy 35-minute video shows that while removing the back of the HTC One M9 is easy peasy, it’s getting at the the display that’s much more difficult. First, you’ll have to remove a variety of screws and tabs, then the main board, and then the battery. It’s only after that you’ll be able to remove the display connector connecting the LCD display. Once that’s been disconnected, you’ll need to heat up the screen (to loosen the adhesive) and use a standard plunger tool to pop out the display from the frame (18:50).

Exhausted yet? We sure are. To be fair, the Samsung Galaxy S6 was no cakewalk either. We have to admit, we’re certainly glad HTC is willing to repair the device completely free of charge during the first year. Whether or not that’s incentive enough to choose the HTC One M9 over the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is up to you.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. The insides look a lot like the M8.

    1. of course it does, lol. Its essentially the same phone with upgraded innards.

      1. Y’all say it like it’s a bad thing, the M8 was one of the best performers

        1. Didnt mean for it to sound like that. I had the M8 and wish i hadnt have given it up for the Nexus 6. I never broke away from HTC and im sorry i did for a phone made by Motorola

          1. Dam fareal, I thought motorola had a solid experience

  2. FWIW. there’s no way of removing the LCD screen from the frame without destroying it. The glass on the phone is super super thin and the adhesive is much too strong to come off in 1 piece. Plus, the frame is plastic, so if you apply too much heat to loosen the glue, it will melt and warp the frame slightly. Once parts become available, I imagine we will see the screen and frame as a single assembly. That’s typically how you replace them on the M8. The only thing I dislike about the HTC M8 and M9 is that the battery is fairly hard to get to compared to other phones with non-removable batteries.

  3. I’m about to do a Nexus 5, and that looks difficult enough!

    1. A friend of mine removed his Nexus 5’s backplate relatively easily and replacing it wouldn’t be too difficult either, according to him.

  4. does anyone ever actually DIY ? They have shops and places for that. Personally id rather just get a new phone.

    1. Same here, i just sell on eBay and buy a new one

    2. Lol, for those of us that have the knowhow and can’t drop absurd amounts of money on a new phone outside of our upgrade cycle, we will definatley do it ourselves. I can’t tell you how many phones I would have had to buy for my wife if we had to get a new one every time she broke her screen. I swear she averaged about 4 or 5 screen replacements a year till I put my foot down and demanded she get a case. It’s also a handy skill to have to help friends and then get some free beer.

      1. I could make a joke about someone not being right for you if they don’t use cases on their prized devices…

        1. Lol, that’s not where the problem lies. It’s that she’s on team iPhone!

          Honestly though, I hate cases and don’t just one. They hide the beauty of design that goes into these devices. I’m just lucky enough to not be so clumsy and have only ever cracked a screen once since owning my first smart phone in 2008 [yes, the G1 B-) ]

          1. Oh well, if it works for her, it’s all good, right, haha.

            I do get what you’re saying about the design and the cases. I have a Nexus 5 and if I wasn’t worried about something unexpected happening I wouldn’t have a case on it. It may cost half of what other flagships cost but I like its design quite a lot!

            Truth be told a case saved my S3 twice, once from water and once from a fall I took on concrete. My Nexus 5 got conked on the side against a desk and the case might saved it.

            Those were 3 incidents over about 2-1/2 years and they were admittedly just clumsiness but not really carelessness.

          2. Haha. We’ll, if it works for her you take it in stride that she isn’t on the Android team, right?

            I get your feelings about not using cases to appreciate the design of the phones. I wouldn’t put a case on my Nexus 5 if I wasn’t worried about an unexpected incident. It may be a low-cost device but it’s design is very appealing to me.

            Unfortunately I’m kinda clumsy. I got a clear case that does show it off that I’ve switched to on occasion from my black Ballistic case so that kinda helps me find a balance.

      2. After only 4-5 screens, you decided to tell her she should get a case?

        1. I should probably elaborate that she had these “cute cases” which were the plastic clip on ones that did nothing for protection. Made she get an otterbox, a real case.

          1. Makes sense. Say, how much does it cost , and how much time does it take to fix (fixing on your own) ?

          2. IPhone screens tend to be pretty inexpensive since there is such an abundance. Little over $30 for an iPhone 5 display. I took about an hour first time, like I do on most phones I do for the first time. Gotta go slow and learn the internals. Got down to about 20 min or so after changing a few for her and friends.

          3. Did you do it as a newb, or are you doing it at work too?

      3. That is the problem we fix it for free, I’m on the same boat my wife and I are very careful with our devices her family not so much, I gave my mother in law my g2 and 5 days later was broken because she didn’t like the quick Window case, I fixed it my wife charged her 60 dollars and boom she got a case right away, and more broken phones.

    3. Repairability is important, especially on expensive devices.

      Don’t be so quick to be proud of being wasteful and contributing to the e-waste problem.

    4. Just fixed my wifes Nexus 5, the power switch went out. I fixed it for $6 vs paying $60 + at a repair store, or whatever price a new phone is. Not all of us feel the need to throw money away. If you do, please throw some my way.

    5. I used to work at a cell phone repair shop. This is more or less for those people that work in those shops.

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