[GUIDE] Comprehensive OnePlus One Disassembly/Screen Replacement + Re-assembly Tutorial

  1. vantt1 Jelly Bean Nov 23, 2014

    vantt1, Nov 23, 2014 :
    Disclaimer: Perform the following repairs at your own risk. This thread is for educational purposes only. You will void your warranty if you proceed. But that's implied, right?

    Disassembly, part 1/2

    Many of you will already know how troublesome sending a phone back to the manufacturer for repairs is. This is especially the case for OnePlus, whose after-sales support isn't exceptional, and compared to the price of the OPO itself, their repair costs are by no means affordable. I've read that a number of OnePlus forum members have repaired their screens themselves using parts from the internet, but it wasn't all that well documented. So as a professional mobile phone repairer by occupation, I thought it would help a lot of people with broken screens for me to write up a detailed walkthrough/tutorial teaching them how to fix it themselves. Let's get to it!

    Note that this guide can be used to replace any modular component; the StyleSwap cover, camera, charging port, you name it - just disassemble your phone until you reach your desired step, replace the faulty/damaged part, then re-assemble it!

    Actually obtaining the replacement part? Well, that's another story :rolleyes:

    • Precision screwdriver set (cross-head/Phillip's head, flat-head)
    • Sharp craft knife/Stanley knife
    • Plastic pry tools
    • Fine-tipped tweezers
    • Stainless steel pry tools
    • Thin, rigid cards/guitar picks
    • Hairdryer/industrial hot air gun (recommended)
    • Air blower (use this to clean the cameras and lenses before closing it up)
    • A full screen assembly (not just the see-through glass digitizer)*

    *The screen can be bought from various sellers on the internet, ranging from anywhere between $70-$150, depending on postage and stuff. Given the exclusive nature of the OnePlus One, any seller that sells a "Genuine/Original/OEM" screen assembly is 95% guaranteed to be an original screen. It isn't profitable for third party manufacturers to produce aftermarket replacements or re-manufacture working LCDs with broken glass (glass broken but LCD still works, remove broken glass and re-laminate a new one onto it).

    I don't think I'm allowed to disclose sites that sell "original" OnePlus accessories/parts, so get Googling!


    Note: there's absolutely nothing wrong with my OnePlus One (well, except for a very mild case of ghost touch/grounding issue). If I were to wait until I actually break it (which is never in a million years), I'd never get around to writing this tutorial. Your experience may vary, depending on severity of damage.

    Step 1: Eject the SIM tray.


    Step 2: Remove the StyleSwap cover. Using a plastic pry tool, start by lightly wedging it underneath the SIM slot, and run it across the gap to release the clips. This ensures minimal/no damage to the battery, unlike using OnePlus' "Press and Peel" method. Never forget.


    Step 3: Using a knife with a sharp tip, remove the rubber screw caps covering the three screws in the middle of the camera lens cover.


    Step 4: Unscrew all the screws, and put them in a safe place where you won't lose them.

    Step 5: Using a plastic pry tool, pry off the camera cover from the corner near the power button or volume button. Caution! The battery flex may be stuck to the cover, so don't lift it up all the way.

    Step 6: Using the aforementioned method, do the same for the speaker assembly. Remove the rubber screw caps, unscrew all the screws and store in a safe place. Note how the screws covered with the caps are smaller.


    Step 7: Pry off the speaker assembly, starting from the USB port.


    Step 8: Use a plastic pry tool to detach the battery flex connector if it hasn't detached yet, then carefully wedge a stainless steel pry tool underneath the battery, starting at the bottom left corner. This side has less adhesive, so it's easier to start on this side. DO NOT PUSH DOWN INTO THE CHASSIS. Delicate flex cables reside here. Keep all pushing of the pry tool as horizontal as possible.


    Step 9: Once the left side of the battery has lifted enough, change directions of the pry tool. Use the left side of the chassis as a leverage point, and lift the battery out of the battery well. Be careful not to puncture or deform the battery. You can use a pry tool to cut the adhesive on the right side off the battery.


    Step 10: Unplug all the flex cable connectors off the logic board. There are 4 along the bottom edge and 1 to the left of the camera. DO NOT USE THE LOGIC BOARD AS A LEVERAGE POINT. There are delicate surface mount components on the logic board that can easily be damaged accidentally and are nearly impossible to replace. Hold down the logic board, and pull the flex connector up and away from the board.


    Step 11: Unscrew the screw holding down the logic board. IT is located next to the power button. Do not lose it for mix it up with the other screws. It is different in every dimension.


    Step 12: Using a sharp knife, peel the button flexes off the chassis, making sure the bottom edge comes off first and be careful not to cut the flex.


    Step 13: Push the digitizer flex away from the logic board so it doesn't get caught, and lift the logic board up from the chassis in an arc motion, starting from the top left corner. Rotate it clockwise while doing so.


    Step 14: There is still one connector still connected to the logic board on the underside, and that's the cellular antenna connector. Pull the antenna slightly out of its groove.


    Step 15: Detach the antenna connector from the logic board using a plastic pry tool. You can rotate the pry tool and use the logic board as the leverage point here, since there aren't any delicate components nearby.


    Step 16: Using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, remove the plastic block that sits next to the digitizer flex connector.


    Step 17: Carefully, using a flat-head screwdriver, remove the earpiece. This prevents the diaphragm from being damaged later on, when the hot air gun is used.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014

  2. vantt1 Jelly Bean Nov 23, 2014

    vantt1, Nov 23, 2014 :
    Disassembly, part 2/2

    Step 18 (optional if doing a screen replacement): Peel the speaker/antenna/vibrate motor flex and USB port flex from the chassis, and remove them.


    Step 19: Evenly heat the bezels of the screen using a hairdryer on high heat setting or a hot air gun on a med-high heat setting (~300 °C/~600 °F) on low airflow setting. This softens the adhesive holding the screen in place, making removal easier. Caution! The chassis can become very hot, as it is metal. Do not heat one area for a prolonged period of time, as it can permanently deform the plastic bezel surrounding the screen

    This step I do not have exact instructions for, because my screen isn't broken. I had to be careful not to break it, as it was my only screen. You can use a knife to pry off broken pieces of glass.

    WARNING: If you are removing a working intact display, do NOT separate any of the LCD layers from the glass. As it is laminated, separating it will result in permanent damage to the display assembly.


    I don't know what this copper does. It doesn't seem significant. Also note that the screen is a single piece assembly.


    Step 20: Scrape off the copper bits and the old adhesive from the bezel using a tool of your choice, making sure to not damage anything else.


    Step 21: Clean up your work area to prepare for re-assembly! Be careful of broken glass bits.

    Obligatory exploded view pic:

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014

  3. vantt1 Jelly Bean Nov 23, 2014

    vantt1, Nov 23, 2014 :
    Re-assembly, Part 1/2

    Now might be a good time to fix your grounding issues, too!

    To re-assemble it, it pretty much is just going through the steps in reverse order. When the phone is fully disassembled and nothing is adhered into place, now's the time to test your replacement screen assembly. You can do so by fitting the screen into the frame without using any adhesive, connect it to the logic board along with the battery and turn it on, or if you're lazy like me, just connect it up like this:

    It is not recommended to keep the phone powered on for any longer than a few minutes like this, because the logic board effectively has no heatsink.

    Step 1: As mentioned before, the old glue can no longer be reused, so we'll have to apply some adhesive tape, cut by hand. If this were a mainstream phone, it'd be pretty easy to get machine-cut 3M tape that fits the bezel perfectly, to ensure an optimal fit.

    Sadly, this isn't the case, so we'll have to resort to rolls of that tape of various widths. You can buy these from eBay by searching "3M double sided repair tape".


    I used 1 mm for the side bezels, and 3 mm for the top and bottom. Make sure you don't cover any sensor holes. Usually, this tape in roll form isn't adequately thick, so double up and use two layers.


    IMPORTANT: Check that there aren't remnants of broken glass on the bezel when you install the screen or tape. They can cause the screen to easily break.

    Step 2: Thread the flexes through their respective holes, and fit the screen into the chassis. Lightly heat the bezels (not too much; you don't want to damage the new LCD) to soften the adhesive, and place the screen face down on a clean, flat surface. Push down on the chassis with moderate force.


    Step 3: Replace the rubber block that sits in the digitizer flex slot.


    Step 4: Make sure the proximity sensor, light sensor and front camera holes are clean and aren't covered by tape.


    Step 5: If they were removed during the disassembly, replace the speaker/antenna/vibrate motor flex, then the USB port flex. Watch out for that weird bit that sticks out on the left ide of the speaker flex. Don't forget to reconnect the cellular antenna.


    Step 6: Put the earpiece back into the chassis. It should be oriented such that the two contact points are next to the digitizer flex.


    Step 7: Reconnect the cellular antenna at the logic board. Do not push hardly unless you're absolutely sure it's aligned correctly.


    Step 8: Tuck the antenna back into its groove.


    Step 9: When reseating the logic board, ensure that the flex connectors stay clear from it. You don't want to have them end up underneath the logic board. Check that the board is flush with the screw holes.


    Step 10: Make sure the front camera is also sitting flush. If it isn't, the camera cover may not fit, and the front camera will not be centered.


    Step 11: Reconnect all the flex cables, and replace the logic board screw.


    Step 12: Stick the button flexes back down onto the chassis.


    Step 13: Straighten all the flex cables by lifting them up and stretching them towards the logic board, the stick them back down.

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

  4. vantt1 Jelly Bean Nov 23, 2014

    vantt1, Nov 23, 2014 :
    Re-assembly, Part 2/2

    Step 14:
    Put the battery back in, then reconnect the flex.
    Step 15: Replace the camera cover and screw it back into place.


    Step 15b:
    Replace the tamper seal/water damage indicator :p


    Step 16: Put the speaker assembly back in, and screw it into place.
    Step 17: Replace all the rubber screw caps.


    Step 18: Repalce the StyleSwap cover, and put the SIM tray (with card) back in.


    Step 19: Turn the phone on, and enjoy the results of your efforts!

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

  5. fgaurano Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 23, 2014

  6. Thimo Jelly Bean Nov 23, 2014

    Thimo, Nov 23, 2014 :
    Did you know...

    That you're a ******* genius? Thank you so so much for this.

    BassVity and stephenlotus like this.
  7. corchea Jelly Bean Nov 23, 2014

  8. ibrahimnadir1 Honeycomb Nov 24, 2014

  9. big4pets Cupcake Nov 24, 2014

    big4pets, Nov 24, 2014 :
    Where did you put the double sided tape to fix the grounding? It wasn't super clear for me in the other post :/

    light24bulbs and rabarkar like this.
  10. zack0386 Cupcake Nov 24, 2014

    zack0386, Nov 24, 2014 :
    I just reassembled mine yesterday, and I read a post on XDA advising to use 1mm double sided tape to reattach the screen. Well now the screen barely sticks. Its enough to hold it in place but not seal it. I will tear it apart again tomorrow because I recently read your grounding issue thread and I am having the same issues with replacement screen. I will post pictures for proof on your other thread. Anyhow, what adhesive did you use? Standard 2mm? And thanks again for your contribution

  11. vantt1 Jelly Bean Nov 24, 2014

  12. vantt1 Jelly Bean Nov 24, 2014

    vantt1, Nov 24, 2014 :
    Use single sided tape to cover the recessed area in the chassis that corresponds to the location of the digitizer flex.


    It's best to stick one layer on, peel the backing off and then apply another layer. I'll eventually have to do mine again, because I only used one layer and it can be lifted using a suction cup too easily.

    rabarkar likes this.
  13. zack0386 Cupcake Nov 24, 2014

    zack0386, Nov 24, 2014 :
    Yeah that's exactly how mine is, oh well going to tape the digitizer flex cable tomorrow so I'll try again.

    Abdulhafiz likes this.
  14. manosome Jelly Bean Nov 24, 2014

    vantt1 likes this.
  15. vantt1 Jelly Bean Nov 28, 2014

  16. Bro I Own Honeycomb Dec 2, 2014

  17. ashutoshmn Ice Cream Sandwich Dec 2, 2014

  18. Bro I Own Honeycomb Dec 2, 2014

    Bro I Own, Dec 2, 2014 :
    All right, I'm about to take off the screen but you didn't include much description about it... I understand i should heat the area but how do I wedge it out of the chassis? @vantt1

  19. vantt1 Jelly Bean Dec 9, 2014

    vantt1, Dec 9, 2014 :
    Sorry for the late reply, I don't think I ever got notified by those mentions :confused:

    You have to gradually heat and pry the screen out. Starting from the corner where the front camera hole is, heat it until you can feel the screen come out when you wedge a guitar pick or card underneath it. Slowly continue to wedge the card in while slowly heating the screen. You don't want to pry the screen out; you want to heat it and wedge the prying tool so the screen comes loose on its own. Don't overheat the LCD, as it may be damaged, and don't slide the pry tool too far in, because that may damage the digitizer or LCD.

    sufirocker likes this.
  20. ahighfield Jelly Bean Dec 9, 2014

    ahighfield, Dec 9, 2014 :
    Thanks! BTW, did you disassemble the phone once more for these posts?!