While not every smartphone owner has the time, patience or tools for DIY repairs, other take great pride (not to mention save some significant cash) fixing devices on their own.
The new Essential Phone may prove to be a hassle for those handy handset-havers, as a teardown of the high-end Android handset reveals some design choices that could complicate simple repairs, according to iFixit.
iFixit’s extensive piece-by-piece tour of the modular Essential Phone proved a major challenge for the professional tinkerers, with the phone needing to be flash-frozen just to get a look at its innards.
From there, it appears that Essential wasn’t joking when it wanted to cut the fluff, as the PH-1 is densely packed with tech and even featured some repair-friendly choices like standard Phillips/JIS fasteners and stretch-release adhesive for the battery.
However, one major issue iFixit encountered with the Essential Phone’s design (besides needing Iceman’s mutant powers just to open it) was the decision to solder the USB-C port onto the motherboard.
Should the charging-and-accessory port need replacing, it will first have to be painstakingly removed from the board or have the board replaced altogether — neither of which are cheap or easy procedures.
Additionally, since the Essential Phone is also ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack iPhone 7-style, the port could see a lot of wear and tear, compounding the issue.
While all this won’t be a deal breaker for Android fans that don’t plan on taking apart their phones anytime soon, the complexity of Essential’s high-end, higher-efficiency design could mean that even minor repairs could require a lot more work than Google and a screwdriver — but hey, that’s what warranties are for, right?