Introduction

Xiaomi's Mi 5 handset earns some points for modularity, but scores a middling 6 for overall repairability— mainly due to an unnecessarily fussy display replacement procedure.

Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Reference shots

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Image 1/2: Looks like we can see the battery, but need to pull off some midframe components to reach the connector. Image 2/2: Looks like we can see the battery, but need to pull off some midframe components to reach the connector.
  • Rear cover is lightly clipped in. Comes off super easily.

  • Looks like we can see the battery, but need to pull off some midframe components to reach the connector.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Midframe comes out no problem, although we needed to punch through two tamper-evident screws.

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Image 1/3: We're used to seeing these at this point, but we love their convenience and won't get tired of them any time soon. Image 2/3: We're used to seeing these at this point, but we love their convenience and won't get tired of them any time soon. Image 3/3: We're used to seeing these at this point, but we love their convenience and won't get tired of them any time soon.
  • The battery is held in with adhesive pull tabs.

    • We're used to seeing these at this point, but we love their convenience and won't get tired of them any time soon.

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Image 1/2: The modular front- and rear-facing cameras come with the motherboard, but the headphone jack is soldered to the board and not going anywhere. Image 2/2: The modular front- and rear-facing cameras come with the motherboard, but the headphone jack is soldered to the board and not going anywhere.
  • Next out is the motherboard. It's secured by a single Phillips screw and a handful of press connectors.

    • The modular front- and rear-facing cameras come with the motherboard, but the headphone jack is soldered to the board and not going anywhere.

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Image 1/2: Daughterboard (including cable) Image 2/2: Coin-cell vibrator
  • Now we can just start picking out the stragglers:

    • Daughterboard (including cable)

    • Coin-cell vibrator

    • Ambient light sensor

    • Earpiece speaker

    • Volume buttons

      • All three buttons are on a single highly-delicate flex cable assembly that tore during removal.

  • All these components came out fairly easily—the daughterboard was secured with screws while everything else was held in by friction (and the previously-removed motherboard).

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Image 1/3: The display finally separates from the midframe, but this design is a pain: Image 2/3: The LCD is held in place exclusively with glue, so reassembling the device means purchasing new adhesive designed for this unit. Image 3/3: Even though the screen is removed from the front, the LCD and digitizer connectors are not accessible without disassembling the back side.
  • The screen has no visible fasteners, so we reluctantly use a suction cup and opening pick to start prying from the front.

  • The display finally separates from the midframe, but this design is a pain:

    • The LCD is held in place exclusively with glue, so reassembling the device means purchasing new adhesive designed for this unit.

    • Even though the screen is removed from the front, the LCD and digitizer connectors are not accessible without disassembling the back side.

    • The home button is trapped between the front panel assembly and the midframe, so replacing this (commonly failing) part will require removing and re-adhering the display.

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Image 1/2: The motherboard and battery can be replaced independently and easily. Image 2/2: Most components are modular and can be replaced independently.
  • The Xiaomi Mi 5 earns a 6 out of 10 on our repairability scale (10 is the easiest to repair):

    • The motherboard and battery can be replaced independently and easily.

    • Most components are modular and can be replaced independently.

    • All screws are standard Phillips screws, but removing them will void your warranty.

    • The display is difficult to replace, requiring complete disassembly and purchasing consumables.

    • The manufacturer does not provide user-accessible repair documentation.

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Finish Line

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Evan Noronha

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