HTC One Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

Who's gonna save the world tonight? Who's gonna bring you back to life? That's right ladies and gentlemen, the HTC One is here to save the world tonight. Machined from one solid block of aluminum, the HTC One is the One smartphone capable of almost anything. Join us as we disassemble the One phone to rule them all.

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Edit Step 1 HTC One Teardown  ¶ 

  • Some people spend their whole lives looking for "the one." We found a suitable candidate and decided to court it the only way we know how: piece by piece.

  • Tech Specs:

    • All-aluminum unibody construction

    • 4.7" display with a resolution of 1920x1080 (468 ppi)

    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core 1.7 GHz CPU

    • 2 GB DDR2 RAM

    • 4-megapixel UltraPixel Camera

    • HTC BoomSound

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • It's no surprise that HTC appears to be taking a cue from the iPhone 5's design pattern in creating a sleek aluminum-bodied phone.

  • Whereas Apple went with a flat backside to keep the iPhone's overall thickness down, HTC wanted a more ergonomic curved back.

  • HTC has said over and over that they wanted to create a seamless product, and the absence of any exterior screws is a testament to that.

  • Unlike the iPhone's volume buttons, which protrude from the case, the One's buttons lie flush with the sides so as not to interrupt the body lines.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • To get things started, we dive into the one part of the HTC One that isn't aluminum: the 4.7" 1080p HD display.

  • A small amount of heat and a suction cup were all that was required to create a gap in the One's zero gap construction.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • While the display can be lifted, it can't be removed as it is still connected via the display ribbon cables, which are routed underneath the case assembly.

  • In hopes of discovering any hidden screws, we remove the large foam padding adhered to the top of the case assembly.

  • No dice.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • With no clear path to entry, we decide to get a little more creative with our approach…for a good half hour.

  • Utilizing the steady hands of a seasoned device surgeon, we free the One's innards from the dungeon-esque aluminum case with a metal spudger.

  • Last time we checked, "gutting" is not a term that shows up very often in the service manual of a repair-friendly device.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • We won't lie, getting to this point was an arduous and daunting task. The amount of work required to separate the rear aluminum case and the front case was immense.

  • Nevertheless, we present to you the contents of the One.

  • Our diligent spudgering appears to have permanently mangled the plastic bezel surrounding the aluminum case. It's possible that prying at a snail's pace while applying heat could minimize this damage, but we're not too hopeful. This phone was not made with open-ability in mind.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The number one standout feature of the One is certainly the aluminum unibody, which required much custom tooling on HTC's part to achieve the perfect fit and finish.

  • Around the camera bezel we find the near-field communications (NFC) antenna and its pressure contacts. NFC has recently become pretty standard in the smartphone industry, something that might have helped the Nexus Q gain more traction last year.

  • With the rear case off, we find the One's report card. It looks like straight As, although at this point we are not sure the repairability score will fare so well.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • The back of the One is covered in a sea of copper tape and ribbon cables, and only after a diligent search are we able to locate the battery connector—although no clear path to the battery itself.

  • The battery connector is secured to the motherboard with screws. After a couple of turns with our 54 bit kit's precision driver, it's released and ready for removal from the device... but not yet.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • 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 aluminum foil once it's been crinkled.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • All ICs are located on the front side of the motherboard:

    • Elpida BA164B1PF 2 GB DDR2 RAM + Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU

    • Samsung KLMBG4GE2A 32 GB NAND flash memory

    • Qualcomm PM8921 power management IC

    • Qualcomm MDM9215M 4G GSM/UMTS/LTE modem

    • Synaptics S32028

    • TriQuint TQM7M9023 multi-band power amplifier

    • Broadcom BCM4335 single-chip 5G WiFi™ 802.11ac MAC/baseband/radio with Bluetooth 4.0+HS & FM receiver

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Now that the motherboard has been removed, we're finally able to access the sandwiched-in battery. After some prying and peeling, we slowly extract the well-adhered battery from the midframe.

  • The 3.8 V battery is rated at 2300 mAh and weighs 38.3 g. For comparison, the iPhone 5 has a 3.8 V, 1440 mAh battery, and the Galaxy S III has a 3.8 V, 2100 mAh unit.

  • Less than a week after the BlackBerry Z10 wowed us with its user-installed battery, the HTC One shatters our dreams of widespread repairability.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • The HTC One's 1080P, 468 ppi resolution rivals today's HDTVs and the 10.6" Surface Pro, but in a 4.7" size.

  • Nine steps after prying the display assembly up from the case, we finally get a look at it on its own. Just like we saw earlier with the battery, this component can't be replaced without removing everything from the rear case…and then first taking out the motherboard.

  • There are a number of strange markings on the back of the display panel that we can only identify as the signatures of family physicians.

  • Aside from the inspection notes, the cable is labeled XT6088C07B_FPC REV: 8 DATE: 2012.11.30, indicating that at least certain parts of this phone have been in the works for quite some time.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Off comes the 2.1 MP front-facing camera.

  • This teeny-tiny unit is labeled H1X1305 067521.

    • Chipworks took apart their HTC One and found OmniVision die marks inside.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • There is no respite for the weary—even the rear camera is coated in copper shielding.

  • This is the HTC UltraPixel camera, a f/2.0 aperture, 28 mm lens unit with a dedicated HTC ImageChip™ 2.

    • Chipworks found it to be a 4MP backside-illuminated sensor made by ST Microelectronics.

  • With the rear camera out, we find two small ICs hiding on the camera's ribbon cable:

    • 515M 2L22 JP

    • IY21 3001D1 L1250A

  • Manufacturing such a small camera that can do so much is a hefty task, and a shortage of these units is a big reason why HTC has had to delay the official launch.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • The daughterboard remains, but there is still a mystery left unsolved.

  • No phone operates without antennas, and antennas don't transmit signals well through metal walls. Considering that this daughterboard is on the receiving end of the motherboard's antenna cables and sits directly under the plastic bezel at the top of the phone, we're thinking it has something to do with wireless signals.

  • See those three spring contacts along the top of the board? They meet the rear case in an area obscured by the plastic bezel. If we had to guess, that's where HTC put the antennas.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Again with the lack of surprises, our dual-speaker HTC One comes with—wait for it—two speakers.

  • HTC has been using Beats Audio in its mobile devices for a while now. Whether the choice is based on actual performance or fueled by brand recognition, Dr. Dre's company again got the call—this time to tune, tailor, and approve the One's stereo speaker design and throw in a software equalizer.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • We've come to the stern conclusion of the midframe. We find the USB port and microphone. This little I/O is not the star-board but it is helpful if you need to ask for directions.

  • On the flipside we see the connector for the speaker. It looks like most of the audio runs through this little board.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • 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.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Metal Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Small Suction Cup

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

It appears that the plastic bezel is the structural component between the glass and the back. Given that the aluminum doesn't appear to come in contact in any way with the display, how does that constitute "all-aluminum unibody" construction? It seems to me that the "body" is composed of two distinct components: the aluminum back (stamped?) and the plastic bezel. Or is the bezel not considered part of the body, and therefore structurally insignificant? Or just not part of the body?

ecafsub, · Reply

I've been a machinist for 4 decades and I don't believe the aluminum body is stamped. In step seven the interior of the back has multiple steps machined. The exterior shape would be impossibly hard to maintain during a stamping process. And further, aluminum is notorious for breaking and cracking under pressure unless closely controlled heat is applied. I do wonder about the phrase "all aluminum body" because of the plastic pieces.

Ross McCauley,

Can you calculate what the HTC One costs in the Production or what the individual components costs?

hax, · Reply

No, iFixit doesn't perform BOM cost estimates.

Kyle Wiens,

all i want to know is can HTC themselves repair my HTC one if anything happens? or if i need to change my battery ?

sandmancbt02, · Reply

It is perfect to use HTC One with this to add extenal storage!!!

http://goo.gl/lfEXI

jgfei, · Reply

For this reason I would not buy the phone.

zneumann66, · Reply

I called HTC and asked what it would cost to replace the battery. I was given a price of $50.00 to $70.00. I was told they have a special machine which will open the phone allowing the replacement of the battery. Sprint stores have been telling me their policy has been, if off warranty, $50.00 for battery replacement.

Also, there must be a way of replacing the screen without buggering the phone, right? Frankly, I am skeptical but surely they thought this through, didn't they?

oldpalmguy,

I reckon the lack of SD slot and non-removable battery, plus repairing is stupid difficult and HTC's lousy track record of after release support drove tons of people away from this phone.

I for one will NOT buy a phone with a battery isn't user removable at all, especially if I'm locked into the 2 year contract. Batteries usually start to go bad after a year and I also don't want to worry about how to maximize my battery lifespan when I can simply go Samsung and replace the battery when it goes south.

J87,

I can't tell from the pictures but is the camera glass easily replaceable? From what I can see it is attached to the back of the phone and should be able to come off without opening the WHOLE phone. Is this correct

Johnny Ilca, · Reply

I would like to know this as well. The glass (or plastic) becomes scratched easily and I'd like to know if it's possible to replace it without opening the entire device.

Kevin Zorn,

What's that saying.....Wouldn't touch that with a 10ft pole??? lol I fix iPhones and other electronic devices but no chance in h$!! I'm touching this phone. You lost me after prying the thing apart. Would've been killer if the ribbon cable was directly underneath screen but nope let's not make it possible at all to fix a cracked screen or really anything that goes wrong with the phone. I wouldn't trust any shop to work on it let alone wireless stores. Sad only option is a refurbished unit or pony up for a new "One".

Michael Kurdziel Jr, · Reply

couple of important questions ? 1.Is the facecover is hot glued or pinned to the battery cover?

2. That technique is used for gluing digitizer to LCD?

Gedis D, · Reply

Unfortunately my screen was shattered, HTC asked for $300 to repair it!!! I am wondering if they can do it without causing any damage to other parts.

ruofanjin, · Reply

Will most definitely need a new housing. Wow This was harder than it look but didn't damage any Major parts. Thanks for the Preview, as it was helpful to look at where you all got started.

Quick question, when assembling the one back together, did you experience some miss fits because of all the bending and stretching?

Carlos Villanueva, · Reply

How hard would it be, in you opinion, to separate the glass from the LCD without damaging the LCD?

kodie wininger, · Reply

I dropped my One a mere 6 inches onto ceramic tile. The display did NOT break upon impact. However, a minute or two later I laid it down on my counter and it literally spiderwebbed right there in front of my eyes and I could hear the Gorilla Glass cracking! I didn't have insurance so I called HTC and they quoted me $180 to repair it. I paid it and now I'm waiting to get it back. $180 is still better than a $200 deductible. I got mine on a trade and not thru a carrier or retailer. $180 is still better than selling a broken phone that most likely no one can repair other than HTC.

Colin Simone, · Reply

Nice guide, can u add more pictures of the process of taking out the screen??? and what would be the procedure to change the digitizer and the LCD screen??? thanks

Luis Enrique Calanche Arias, · Reply

From my experience so far, I'm not sure even HTC can fix these phones. I have sent mine away as I had some strange pitting in the metal finish seemingly caused by my approved HTC flip case.

After sending some photos to HTC, they agreed to replace the case under warranty. They have had my phone 3 weeks now, and I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the response I am getting. Apparently there is only one "machine" that can repair these phones in the entire country.

Andy Cohen, · Reply

Were there any water damage indicators found, either internal or externally visible?

Chris, · Reply

Im going to attempt to replace the screen, would like to know weather the lcd and digitizer flex cables can be removed without removing the mother board?

A One Mobiles Enquiries, · Reply

I don't understand what the fuss is al about with repairing this phone; Just replaced the display module of one and wasn't that difficult at all. I dreaded doing this repair because of ifixit's low repairability score and ordered a new back cover as well, just in case.

All I can say is that the people at ifixit kinda used the wrong approach and most likely did not have the proper tools. I'll explain shortly how to repair this phone:

0. You need a putty knife, as thin as you possibly can get, needs to be nice and bendy. Look at ifixit guides for ipod classic to know what kind of tool I mean. Also, buy the display with frame, not just the lcd+digitizer. Also I suggest to use a wide opening tool, about 4cm wide, they are also much stronger the small ones.

1. Use putty knife between edges of back cover and display. Try to wiggle the putty knife in between the display frame and the back cover. Start at the sides. Watch your new display module to see where there are cables present, so you don't damage these.

Fixandinstall, · Reply

2. With some wiggling it should be easy to get about half a mm of space between front and back. Once you can fit in your plastic tool, run it along the edges, apply some pressure when necessary and slowly seperate the front with motherboard and everything attached from the back cover. This whole process took me a good 5 minutes and there was no damage to the back cover whatsoever.

3. Follow any tutorial you can find online to disassemble further. Basicly it comes down to disconnecting the cables, removing vibra motor and antennas, removing mobo, removing usb board at the bottom and sister board at the top (watch out with the volume buttons), powerbutton also at the top, and mounting al these in the new display assembly.

4. When front is completely assembled, just click it back in the back cover. Start by sliding in the top, much like an iPhone 5, and apply pressure to fit the rest in. Check the edges. Put sim tray back in. Test. Done.

EDIT: forgot to mention in the beginning: REMOVE SIM TRAY before you start prying!

Fixandinstall,

Can i change top cover without unmounting anything else?

jano, · Reply

was there a separate LED Backlighting Unit or a LED controller/driver...and could you determine the manufacturer and model numbers for either?

mike gagnon, · Reply

no 2014 comments for a long time, but I would still like to ask. Any ideas to why the display is not working on my HTC ONE. There was water damage and it the screen no longer turns on. The screen works, I tested it with a different motherboard. When I reinput the water damaged mother board the power turns on and I can hear it power on with the opening intro, but no display. It's the motherboard for sure, but I just can't figure what it is. The screen strip is firmly inserted and nothing. No flickering nothing shows up on the screen. Any suggestions?

junkmails327, · Reply

Hi,

Would anyone know about the DAC and the Audio amplifier used for the headphone jack ? I was hoping this teardown would have some details, but maybe not enough people care about such minute details. I'd like to read the specs of the DAC and the audio amp, before investing in an external USB OTG DAC/Amp. Would be much appreciated,

Thanks,

karthik

Karthik Shivram, · Reply

Don't want to nitpick but HTC had a lot old phones that are made of aluminum. They didn't take the cue from Apple.

DroDro, · Reply

Does the digitizer separate from the LCD? The repair shops say that it comes as one unit, yet you can find the digitizer online by itself. Its a bit confusing. I appreciate it if someone could shed some light on the subject :).

Cameron A, · Reply

It's a huge pain in a butt to remow digitizer from LCD waisted 2 hours and wrecked it at the end. You can get it from seperate parts and stick them with tape but it won't be the same. Start to open case from corners of top speaker, there are 2 big clips, after that credit card should do the job to get it opened.

Gediminas Daubaras,

The plastic bezel damaged in step 6: would this part generally come as part of the rear housing or the front housing? If I need to order replacement parts.

Looks like the front housing...

Tom Burke, · Reply

My htc one wifi stoped working, just shows turning on and does nothing else. And sometimes returns with a plain error message on the turn on slider. I have does all that can be done relating software so it has to be hardware related. Is this possible to repair and does anyone have some suggestions for me.

Thanks

Pieter van der Merwe, · Reply

The blue mark on the back side of the display should be the reliability test mark, for example:high temp operation test of the display,we call it ORT,but the mark should be cleared before packing...

Watson wang

Watson wang, · Reply

I need a daughterboard for htc one m7 can some one help me to by

albing, · Reply

ebay, search for audio jack.

Jeff Troyer,

One of the three spring contacts is broken what can I do?

traini unkown, · Reply

Can I buy this spring contacts?

traini unkown,

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