HTC One gets a terrifying one-out-of-ten for repairability after teardown

If you are planning to buy an HTC One, then you better handle it with kid gloves. Smartphones can be extremely painful to repair, but thankfully, there are handy guides all over the place for someone wanting to take the DIY route. One such guide, and perhaps the most renowned, iFixit has rated the HTC One a lowly one in terms of repairability.

The HTC One, as we saw in our first impressions with it, is a stunning piece of design. The all-aluminium body and the sleek lines stand out among other contenders. About the phone, iFixit said the One is “capable of almost anything," except easy repair.

"The HTC One earned a 1 out of 10 for reparability, a first-ever for a cellphone," iFixit tweeted.

The HTC One post the Herculean teardown (Image credit: iFixit)

The HTC One post the Herculean teardown (Image credit: iFixit)


The teardown treatment started off easily, but the lack of hidden screws meant the team had to pick apart the phone's internals from "the dungeon-esque aluminum case." The teardown revealed it took some “gutting” to cajole the front and the back to part. Eventually, they were separated but not before the shell could be saved from permanent damage.

From then on, the motherboard and the battery were tackled. Turns out, you need to be a skilled surgeon to replace the battery of a damaged HTC One. “The battery is buried beneath the motherboard and adhered to the midframe, hindering its replacement,” iFixit said.

The team then went on to tear apart the phone with the display panel, daughterboard, cameras, dual-speaker, USB port and microphone, all coming off in pieces. Damningly, the test also showed that the One’s display assembly cannot be replaced without removing the rear case, which, as previously revealed, will most likely damage the body.

Thanks to the complexity of the whole operation, coupled with the fact that body damage is a near certainty, the HTC One was given a score of one out of ten. While the site praised the solid external construction of the smartphone, it said the sheer difficulty in just opening the device without damaging it outweighed the benefits.

HTC no doubt will encourage its users to take their damaged Ones to an official service centre to get fixed. However, it is not in the interest of HTC's consumers to have a flagship device that is so hard to fix at home or at a neighbourhood repairman.

Published Date: Mar 30, 2013 03:57 pm | Updated Date: Mar 30, 2013 03:57 pm