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Essential Phone Teardown – Complicated and Pointless

Essential Phone Teardown – Complicated and Pointless


It’s been a while since the release of the
Essential Phone, but with the recent price drop it’s worth delving into and taking a
second look. My Essential Phone has been durability tested
and dropped a few times to test the ceramic back panel. And while the screen isn’t alive anymore,
it’s time to take this Essential Phone apart and analyze it from the inside. [Intro] Rumor has it that this is a very difficult
phone to repair and I found that to be true – kind of. It’s one of those phones that’s glued shut,
which means that the screen is most likely going to be sacrificed if you ever need to
open it up to access the battery or charging port. But in my case, where the screen is already
destroyed, I don’t have too much to worry about. It came off just fine – since I wasn’t trying
to save it. Prying isn’t too dangerous to the internal
components either though, cuz once the screen lifts up, there’s a large metal plate protecting
the insides from damage – kind of like what we’ve seen on the Pixel phones. Heat is going to be your best friend. Unlike the Pixel phones though, this Essential
phone has zero replacement parts for sale…even now, four months after its release. There are 2 Phillips screws holding down the
Lego-style connector for the LCD panel. I would link to the replacement parts in the
video description, but they don’t exist, which is unfortunate for anyone who breaks their
phone or needs a battery replacement in the future. As Apple could tell you, batteries don’t last
forever. Speaking of batteries, the battery is under
this metal plate held down by 6 screws. There’s a cute little heat pipe on the bottom
of the metal panel – not even close to the monstrosity we saw inside the Razer Phone. It’s interesting that the back of the camera
unit also gets to rest up against some copper. I wonder how hot that gets. The 3040 milliamp hour battery has a metal
bracket over it’s Lego-style connector, and two magical pull tabs underneath holding it
in place. Thumbs up for those. Now the rest of this phone is pretty unorganized,
but I’ll try to make sense of it all. There are a ton of brackets holding down each
of these little connectors – like this one over the camera connectors. And this one over the front facing camera. And two screws hold down this clear plastic
bracket. Another screw over here for the volume ribbon
bracket, and there’s a little bit of black tape over the loud speaker ribbon. This just tucks into a latch style connector. And, of course, the SIM card tray needs to
be removed as well and the whole motherboard can pull up and away from the phone body. It’s a bit disappointing to see the USB-C
charging port soldered onto the main board, making it not replaceable. But to be honest, now that the charging ports
are reversible, there are less physically damaged charging ports from people accidentally
plugging it in the wrong direction. So an attached charging port is not as big
of a deal as it used to be. Still not ideal though. The fingerprint scanner is replaceable, but
no wireless charging anywhere to be found. Dual rear facing cameras have 2 screws holding
them in place. I’ll remove those and we get a close up look
at the 13 megapixel lenses. No wide or telephoto, and no optical image
stabilization on this phone. My 8 megapixel front facing camera popped
out with the earpiece – kind of an interesting looking contraption. It’s still kind of disheartening that no one
will ever actually use this video to fix their phone since replacement parts don’t exist. And the screen is most likely going to get
obliterated during any removal process. But at least we get to see the inside of the
Essential Phone. It’s going to be a complex process to get
this thing back together. I’ll start with the front facing camera, and
the dual rear cameras, and the screws that hold them both in place. Before I set the motherboard all the way down,
let’s take a look at the loud speaker and vibrator here at the bottom of the phone where
the headphone jack isn’t. One screw holding down yet another bracket
over the vibrator motor, which seems rather redundant. The loud speaker can come up from the frame. It has some of that water resistant mesh covering
the speaker hole. It is nice of Essential to add a little bit
of protection, even though the phone itself isn’t IP water-resistant rated. Now that we’ve got those back into place we
can get the motherboard situated. With the ribbon cables plugged back in, the
loudspeaker ribbon and it’s little latch cable, and the front and rear facing cameras get
plugged in like little Legos. And of course, all of their little corresponding
metal and plastic brackets. There are a total of 9 extra little bits and
pieces inside of this phone holding it together, making it one of the more complicated phones
to repair this year. The screws are different sizes as well, adding
yet another level of complexity. I wouldn’t recommend repairing this phone
to anyone…which is good because without replacement parts available, it’s going to
be impossible anyway. The next video you see on my channel will
be the 2017 smartphone durability and repair-ability awards. 2017 has been a great year, and I’m looking
forward to all the sweet technology we’ll get to see the insides of in 2018. The metal plate is back on the phone. But since the screen is obliterated and there
are no replacements available, it’s not turning on. Hopefully Essential organizes their guts next
year with the Essential 2. Hit that subscribe button if you haven’t already. And thanks a ton for watching, I’ll see you
around.

100 thoughts on “Essential Phone Teardown – Complicated and Pointless”

  1. There are now replacement lcds for the Essential phone. My phone is unresponsive and if you could revisit this phone with the screen, that'd be awesome.

  2. I don't know why the people mostly YouTuber hate this phone . In this country a lot person upgrade the phone every 6 months . So what is the point worry about battery replacement or charging port . Is the phone broke buy a new and that is . Please don't make a money destroy a good device point less review.

  3. It would've be good to chang that life is a DIY project everyday to somthing new like quotes and stuff idk its just my opinion

  4. I took one of these on trade and even tho I have a not8 I threw my sim in and been using it for a week. The phone is a joke, end of story. Got it up for sell for 250.

  5. You only ever really need to mmaayyyybe change is the screen and the battery, which are both very easy to swap out. The screen is tough to get off but nowhere near as difficult as this video makes it seem. Lots of negativity surrounding this phone because of the competition.
    Also, replacement screen is only $70. I had to replace mine and opted to do it myself over paying essential $200 for another phone.
    Awesome Pixel 2xl/Oneplus alternative with better design and screen.
    Also has awesome xda dev support along with Android P working flawless

  6. Might even get it since I really like the design but it's almost two times more expensive in Europe than in USA. Taking about fairness…

  7. I contacted Essential to ask about authorized battery replacement center recommendations. That's because I heard about the parts not being readily available. This is the response I got:
    ______________
    Hello,

    Thank you for reaching out! 

    The battery is not replaceable in itself due to the way the phone is designed.

  8. I hate they build bottom board one piece with upper, replacing port & sim tray will be pain in the butt, when the phone bend in right side, it will be unrepairable

  9. I don't know why you call it complicated when everything is well organized. Brackets are a measure of quality to ensure unfailing alignment/connection. HTC and LG phones from a few years back were complicated because of everything being done in layers that were difficult to get back together once opened up. The Essential Phone is a dream compared to those, haha.

  10. Can anyone tell me if they have found a housing replacement because the ceramic sides on my phone is breaking off and I want to. Replace it

  11. This phone and the entire company is an example of investors throwing money at anything they think will become the next big thing. This company was valued at $1.2 billion before shipping a single product.

  12. I replaced two essential lcds this week found it very easy to work with even though I didn’t take it it fully apart. Cool phone none the less.

  13. Not sure about the battery but Amazon has screens and essential said they will replace battery for $100, so.. this is not true at all.. plus essential said there is a much easier way of opening. You did succeed to destroy it though so plus marks for that!

  14. Jerry – my phone's backlight has died, and I think it might be the backlight fuse rather than just the backlight unit. I've asked Essential to help me locate the fuse, but they've refused saying it's "proprietary". Do you have any tips from your tear-down knowledge? (I've watched the video and know it isn't mentioned). Thanks!

  15. ive been able to find screen replacements for the essential phone off ebay, are those fake? mine has a deep scratch i want to fix, also the battery does drain a bit faster but it also charges in 15-20 minutes to 100%, so its something i can live with lol still an amazing phone,

  16. It's essentially an essential phone with essential features. Makes you think that the headphone jack should of be an essential feature.

  17. I was able to repair my phone very easily… got the screen online in ebay, bought a heat gun at harbor freight for $12 and bought a suction cup for dents on cars there for $4…. used e6000 glue from walmart for like $4 however i should have bought the black glue instead of the clear version…. all in all i spent $60 bucks maybe and maybe an hour to repair as a first timer… the hardest part was installing the glue before i found out it was drying quick lol… once screen was installed wrapped it with rubber bands tightly since i didnt have a clamp used it 2 days later and its been working perfectly. its my daily driver. i wish i had a longer lasting battery but i am very pleased with my phone again. this time ill have a case on

  18. Peice of shit phones are like this, 1000 dollars and no repair, live in china repair yes live in USA? Fuck you.

    Not to anyone but serious.

  19. Sir I am using this phone small problem nights normal but morning cell switch off when problems please answer tell me u answer I am waiting now Chennai city in indian

  20. Replacement screen parts are available from many sellers on Google such as ifixit. As well as on amazon, For $50-$100.

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