Introduction

Follow this guide to replace the motherboard in a Motorola Moto Z Play.

Power your phone off before you begin.
  • Power your phone off before you begin.

  • If possible, drain the battery before disassembly. When the battery is charged, there's increased risk of a dangerous thermal event if the battery is overheated or damaged during repairs.

  • If your display is cracked, completely cover it with packing tape to contain the glass shards and avoid injury.

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Prepare an iOpener and heat the front of the phone along its left edge for about two minutes, or until it's slightly too hot to touch. This will help soften the adhesive securing the display.
  • Prepare an iOpener and heat the front of the phone along its left edge for about two minutes, or until it's slightly too hot to touch. This will help soften the adhesive securing the display.

    • You may need to reheat and reapply the iOpener several times to get the phone warm enough. Follow the iOpener instructions to avoid overheating.

    • A hair dryer, heat gun, or hot plate may also be used, but be careful not to overheat the phone—the display and internal battery are both susceptible to heat damage.

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  • In the following steps, you will separate the display assembly from the Moto Z Play's chassis.

    • For reference, refer to the first image, showing the back of the display assembly (right) after it has been removed from the phone (left).

    • If you plan to re-use the display assembly, pay particular attention to the side edges. When slicing through the glue in this area, you must be careful to insert your tool less than 2 mm, or your tool will come in contact with the display panel and damage it.

    • Playing cards are a safer, but much slower, prying tool. The soft paper cards are less likely to damage the display panel, which is good news if you plan to reuse it.

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  • Apply a suction cup to the display, near the middle of the left edge.

  • Pull up on the suction cup with firm, constant pressure to create a slight gap between the front panel and rear case.

    • If the screen is cracked, the suction cup may not stick. Try lifting it with strong tape, or superglue the suction cup in place and allow it to cure so you can proceed.

  • This may require a significant amount of force, but you only need to open a very slight gap with the suction cup to insert your tool.

  • If you have trouble, apply more heat to further soften the adhesive, and try again. The adhesive cools very fast, so you may need to heat it repeatedly.

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  • Insert an opening pick (or playing card) into the gap you opened behind the display.

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  • Slide the tool all along the left edge of the phone to slice through the adhesive securing the display.

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  • Heat the front of the phone between the display and the lower edge to soften the adhesive underneath.

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  • Slice through the glue under the lower bezel, being careful not to damage the fingerprint sensor.

  • Slide or roll your tool past the lower edge of the fingerprint sensor and continue to the other side. Do not pry directly underneath the sensor.

  • If you plan to re-use the display, be careful not to slice or pry at the display panel. Refer to this image to help identify the glued areas while avoiding the display panel (highlighted in red).

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  • Continue separating the glue underneath the rest of the lower bezel.

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  • Heat the right edge of the phone to soften the adhesive securing the right edge of the display.

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  • Slide your tool along the right edge of the phone to separate the glue securing the display.

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  • Heat the front of the phone between the display and the top edge.

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  • Insert your tool at the top right corner of the phone, and begin to slide it underneath the top bezel to separate the glue.

    • As before, if you want to re-use the display, don't insert the tool far enough to touch the display panel.

  • When your tool just passes the left edge of the earpiece speaker, stop.

  • Slide or roll your tool over the top of the flash module for the selfie camera to avoid damaging it.

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  • If the display remains stuck, re-heat and slice the adhesive repeatedly as needed.

  • Lift the display from the left edge and swing it open, away from the phone.

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  • While holding the display open, use the point of a spudger to pry up the locking tab on the fingerprint sensor cable's ZIF connector.

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  • At the opposite end of the phone, use your spudger to flip open the locking tab on the display cable connector.

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  • Gently pull the fingerprint sensor cable to slide it out of its socket, disconnecting it from the motherboard.

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  • Gently pull the display cable to slide it out of its socket on the motherboard.

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  • Remove the display assembly.

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  • Remove the SIM card by firmly pressing the 0.8 SIM eject tool into the SIM card removal hole on the top left edge of the phone until the SIM slot pops out of the phone.

  • Completely remove the SIM card from the device.

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  • Remove the five 3mm T3 screws from the camera cover at the top of the phone.

  • Pry the camera cover up with your fingers to pop the camera cover clips loose.

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  • Remove the remaining three 3mm T3 screws holding the motherboard in place.

  • Lift the motherboard up and out of the frame of the phone.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Reminder: Use 3M VHB Double Sided Tape to stick the screen back onto the phone.

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Kaitlyn Fisher

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Cal Poly, Team S15-G4, Livingston Fall 2017 Member of Cal Poly, Team S15-G4, Livingston Fall 2017

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