back to article Google Nexus 5: So easy to fix, it's practically a DIY kit - except for ONE thing

The teardown team at iFixit has had a bad run of things lately, with Apple and Microsoft's shiny new fondleslabs earning very low ratings for reparability recently. But Google's new Nexus 5 has broken this trend, earning an eight out of ten rating for being easy to open and repair. Nexus 5 teardown The Nexus 5 in pieces …


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  1. dogged


    That one flaw aside however Google and LG should be rather pleased with iFixit's eight-out-of-ten score.

    Unless I've read it wrong, that flaw means "if you break the screen, you have to buy a new phone".

    Pretty certain that cracked screens are the single most common issue with smartphones.

    1. Joel Mansford

      Re: Really?

      Not quite 'buy a new phone', but rather buy a new front case / glass which hopefully will come supplied with screen already intact.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      Having to replace the entire assembly only makes the parts more expensive.


    3. JLV

      Re: Really?

      >Pretty certain that cracked screens are the single most common issue with smartphones.

      Amen to that.

      Seems like it's the same thing as with iPhones. If you crack the outer glass the problem is that it and the LCD screen are one component. The fix is to replace the glass and the LCD screen. Which doesn't come cheap, but usually drops to <$80 if you shop around repair shops and if your shiny is not the latest & greatest.

      So, not quite a new phone.

      This coupling of component is annoying, for sure, but I suspect part of it is that touchscreen glass is not quite as simple a piece of kit as it looks.

      1. Simon Westerby 1

        Re: Really?

        I replaced an iPhone 4s screen/digitiser for < £50 at around 18 months ago (6 months into an 18 month contract!) i would call that pretty shiny at the time and far better then a an £200 Apple repair cost (at the time!).

        The phone has since then been traded in / upgraded for an iPhone 5 and accepted for £250 cash back...

        Shop around and you can get a decent deal on spare parts.

        1. Rob

          Re: Really?

          Ditto, recently had a similar experience with my son's nexus 7, bought a screen/digitiser as he'd cracked the glass which had broken the digitiser. I didn't like the thought of tackling the glue holding the screen to the digitiser so just bought the whole unit for about £55. As good as new now.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge


            Rob, do you have supplier and instruction recommendations? Just about to start on the same job myself.

            1. Rob

              Re: @Rob

              I used an article from ifixit and androidcentral together and I bought the unit from a supplier on Amazon, it shows they only have one in stock pretty much all the time but I will post the suppliers name when I get home and the link to the android central article as well.

            2. Rob

              Re: @Rob

              Sorry it was Android Authority I got the other article from:


              My memory was clearly shot yesterday as it was eBay I got the unit from not Amazon, it was from a user called 'weloveaccess', they have good standing on eBay and they have more stock by the looks of it, the unit comes with some tools for prying.

              The trickiest bit I found was removing the silver plastic surround from the unit, a hair-dryer is definitely recommended to loosen the glue, if any gets stuck to the screen don't worry it is possible to peel it off and re-apply it to the plastic surround so you can stick it to the new unit. Almost forgot, have a pair of tweezers on standby as well ;-)

    4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Really? @dogged

      If the screen is damaged, then there is a good chance that the front glass/touchscreen will also be damaged anyway.

      And the rest is really just a plastic moulding, so won't add significantly to the cost.

      When I've replaced the screen on a couple of phones, I've always decided to replace the glass as a matter of course. If you're going to take the effort to dismantle a phone, replacing the class seems like a minor extra expense.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You don't tend to repair these things by doing anything with the components, you just switch the part.

    You get around 12-24 months manufacturers warranty and after 24 months the phone will be crap and worn out in many cases anyway.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      "after 24 months the phone will be crap and worn out in many cases anyway"

      If you get a 2GB quadcore phone today, it won't be carp and worn out in 2 years. Maybe you should change the battery, but that is it,

      It will be different when we all start using our phones as our main and only computer.. but we still lack the software...

    2. JLV
      Paris Hilton

      crap & worn out.

      Glad you are non-demanding customer. High end phones are easily $6-700, out of pocket. I don't know that many pieces of kit where people think it is perfectly OK to throw that kind of $ in the thrash after 2 yrs.

      I buy them direct to avoid contracts with mandatory data package gouging. Sure, it _looks_ cheaper if you get it subsidized...

      My only real beef with my 2.5 yr old phone is the battery. That, and the fact that its latest OS iteration is a bit tight on it.

      Paris - because your comment is like something she'd say.

  3. Steve Knox

    Just Wait

    In before fanbois claiming that Apple can use more glue in their phones because their glue weighs less...

    1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

      Re: Just Wait

      Apple have probably got a patent on using glue to hold phones together.

      1. Comments are attributed to your handle

        Re: Just Wait

        Not quite - In fact, Apple uses bits of phone to hold their glue together.

      2. Captain Save-a-ho

        Re: Just Wait

        Apple have probably got a patent on using glue to hold phones together.

        Your phone's glue is holding its components together wrong.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just Wait

      Why bother when a dickhead fandroid can say it first?

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Designed by grown-ups and professionals.

    While third-class wankers are reduced to spunking their pieces together.

  5. JaitcH

    What is the reason for using off-standard screws given they defeat no one

    Using non-standard screws is most common for petty minded reasons - occasionally they are for a good reason such as critical components involving safety.

    I usually insert a Notice into my property, printed on a piece of plastic that gives my name and a couple of contact points. It also states unless a certain document is shown, the unit has been likely stolen. I do this with all my high value equipment.

    The local Samsung Customer Service store, there are FIVE in Ho Chi Minh City alone, kindly unscrewed the inner backplate of my Note 3, under the battery, and squeezed it in. Quite honestly, I could have done it myself as none of the screws were non-standard.

    Thank you, Samsung.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the reason for using off-standard screws given they defeat no one

      "What is the reason for using off-standard screws given they defeat no one "

      Two reasons:

      1) Typically the standard Philips screws are less amenable to automated assembly, so you'd want to use a machine friendly alternative (which could have been a more standard torx).

      2) You and I might not be kept out, but I don't think we're the greasy-fingered hordes that tamper resistant screws are a defence against. So non-standard screws will defeat those who would use (for example) a Ph driver on a PZ screw. Those people you most certainly do want to keep out, and having a non-standard screw will work well.

  6. Mikel

    N5 creates UPS DOS attempt

    Well, I think maybe my pushing F5 on the UPS delivery status page several times a second might give that impression.

  7. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Looking good.

    Decent performance, well built, good price, now we just need all the "must have one" types to report on reliability and bugs after the first couple of months and I may even buy one. :-)

  8. Robert Grant Silver badge

    New parts

    The reason why cars are (were?) repairable isn't that you could take them apart and put them back together again, it's because you could do that and buy spares easily. Can you buy spares for these phones?

  9. James Pickett

    "virtually no bending"

    No unpleasant bending, surely?

    (you have to be a certain age..)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Gerald Ratner here.

    Yes, whilst others get to use the Gerald Ratner's Gold,its good to see that real quality still counts.

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