Cell Phone Non Replaceable Battery Replacement Success

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
Hello,

I did my first non replaceable cell phone battery replacement. It was a success. I learned a lot from this 3 hour endeavor and thought i would share this experience with members here.

The first thing i learned was DONT replace your own battery. This might sound strange since i just did just that, but believe me if i knew it was going to be that difficult i would have never ordered a replacement battery. Since i did order, it was full on.

First, normally you have to heat the phone around the edges to loosen up the glue, but the internal battery already did that for me. It swelled to about two times it's normal thickness and pushed the back up near one corner. Seeing how the glue held it in place and that it was easy to grip after that, i managed to slowly pull the back away from the body of the phone. The glue does let go, but slowly. So if you lift one corner and hold it with a little force eventually the glue lets go and you can then lift it up a little more, and repeating that it comes off, without heating the edges of the phone. How you would do this if the battery did not swell im not sure, maybe start one corner with a heat gun and go from there. I didnt like having to heat my phone so i was kind of lucky the battery swelled up.

Ok so the back off, i can easily see the battery and how it comes out, or so i thought. The problem is, there is glue holding the battery to the case plastic. There are some tiny tiny tiny screws too but the screwdriver came with the battery. The screws came out easily so it seemed like it was going smooth, but then i had to get the battery out. Since it was glued in with some kind of glue that is stronger than anything i've seen so far, it was very hard to even lift one corner of the battery up. You are supposed to either heat it or use isopropel alchohol. I didnt want to do that either. So finally getting one end of the battery up about 1/16 of an inch, working around the edge i could get to, i was able to get that edge up, then eventually some hours later the battery let loose and it came away from the plastic.

Next came the connector. The tiny tiny tiny two prong connector. The whole thing is about 1/8 of an inch wide. It would not come out even with force that was a little more than reasonable. I looked at the connector on the new battery and noticed that it had two little nibs sticking out on each side. It was then clear that the sides of the connector had to be spread a little to get the connector loose. The problem is it is so tiny it is very hard to spread without wrecking the motherboard mating connector. Somehow i got it loose though. Now with the old battery out, the new battery goes in nicely with no problem, except that connector. It had to be plugged into the motherboard of course. That was a bit of a task too because of the size. It was very hard to line up correctly with the mating connector. Finally, it went in. Flipped the phone over and turned it on but it would not turn on. The connector wasnt quite in all the way. Pushing on it a little it made contact. Now turning on the phone and it started right up as usual. A little bit of relief when i saw the startup screen light up.

So that's the way that went, but along the way i saw that there are many ways this could have gone wrong. When removing the battery and the connector if you hit something on the motherboard you could kill the phone. Really you are supposed to remove the motherboard too but there are a plethora of connectors that you have to deal with and i didnt want to have to do that either. So when prying up the old battery you have to be very careful what you are prying against and there are very few places where you can stick the plastic pry tool. Oh and the pry tool got damaged because it was just thin plastic at the end. I think a wedge type tool would be better like the part of a clothespin where you squeeze it. Oh and there is a little bit of glue on the plastic that holds the battery in somewhat too, some other type of glue i think.

There is one big huge benefit from doing this though, and that is that once you replace the battery you dont really have to glue it back in like they do at the manufacturing plant. You can just tape it to hold it and once the back is on it cant move anyway. This allows you to be able to change the battery again in the future with almost no effort except for that tiny connector. That said, you might be able to ask the place where you get yours replaced if they would kindly NOT glue the battery back in just tape it, and dont glue the back on either. You can tape the edges. If they do that you can replace the battery next time yourself as long as you can deal with that tiny tiny connector. As far as waterproofing, the glue did not look uniformly applied enough to do that anyway. You may be able to waterproof it yourself though with some thought and a little silicone sealant.

So that's the story and after that i can only recommend that you take your phone to a repair shop if you need to change the battery. That extra $20 is worth it.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
Oh it's on now!
I bet you I could do it in 2 hours,after reading your post of course.
Great info thank you sir. :)
Oh you are welcome.

A couple other things i should have mentioned...

1. Wear safety goggles in case the old cell blows up or catches fire or both, and gloves preferable fire resistance gloves.
2. Have an avenue of safety arranged so that if it does catch fire you can chuck it outside or extinguish it, or just do it outside. You could do it on top of something that doesnt burn too.
3. Watch at least one video of a Li-ion (or similar) cell blowing up. That shows you what could happen.
4. Get a tool kit that includes very very thin plastic. These are typically just small rectangles of very thin plastic used to cut through the glue from the sides. That makes everything easier to get apart.
5. Be so careful because there are many small parts inside and if just one of them becomes damaged it could wipe out your phone forever.

Good luck to you and anyone else who wants to replace their own cell. It's kind of interesting and fun but you have to use great care in every step and there is always a slight chance that the phone will become damaged and never turn on ever again, so make sure to have your data contents stored on another device or some backup somewhere.
 

Delta Prime

Joined Nov 15, 2019
1,326
Wear safety goggles in case the old cell blows up or catches fire or both, and gloves preferable fire resistance gloves
That's cool I'll put it on my laminar flow bench with a fume Hood fire extinguishers always at the ready.
;)
As for the fire resistant gloves I have no more nerve endings in my fingers because of all the soldering I have done incorrectly. Sometimes you got to pay the hard way for an education.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
That's cool I'll put it on my laminar flow bench with a fume Hood fire extinguishers always at the ready.
;)
As for the fire resistant gloves I have no more nerve endings in my fingers because of all the soldering I have done incorrectly. Sometimes you got to pay the hard way for an education.
Oh sorry to hear that. i am not sure what the damage would be to the hands though if the cell blew up. It could be very bad for the palms and back of the hand too and maybe even the arms a little bit, so be careful with this.

It is somewhat rewarding too though to get through this. I see now though that there are differences in phones where some phones will be easier to work with and others more difficult. Once you get the back off you can see what you have to do, but of course before that you should watch a video for replacing the battery for your exact model phone. I see a lot of them now for a lot of different phones.

Take care,
Al
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
Hello again,

I've watched some more videos for different phones and i see that they all mention some pitfalls but none of them mention everything that could go wrong. For example, yesterday i read for the first time that when removing the battery you should not bend it. There is a special wide blade tool that allows us to pry the side of the battery all along the edge rather than just in one place like with a screwdriver. That keeps the battery from bending lengthwise while removing it.

The battery is the most dangerous part, the connector is the most technical part. Mess up the battery and it's big trouble. Mess up the technical aspect and the phone never works again.

For the battery, full head protection gear maybe gloves too and maybe a fire blanket underneath and one ready to throw on top just in case.
For the connector, maybe it would be a good idea to look up the type and find out how to disconnect it properly. The contacts are incredible small. The two pins on mine were about 1/2 of a millimeter apart, and about 1.5 millimeters long. That's tiny. Mess up the motherboard connector and it will be much harder to get working again.

I'd say go out and buy a new phone, but i know many of us dont like to do that because we have everything we need already right there in that one package so why give that up if you dont have to. I'd also say give it up if you can get some really good extra technology out of it, but otherwise it's not as nice unless maybe you get a good price. Once you buy a phone, the price starts to go down on other models like yours, and that means that a year or two later you can get the same phone for maybe 1/2 the price. That's something to think about too. The only drawback then is you would miss out on all the fun :)
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
4,906
I would pay someone $40 to do it (I have,) if only so they are responsible for destroying my phone instead of me.

Bob
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
I would pay someone $40 to do it (I have,) if only so they are responsible for destroying my phone instead of me.

Bob
Hi there,

Yes very very good point. I think maybe we should ask before we turn over our phone to someone else to break for us. Get a firm written guarantee that if the phone breaks you automatically get a new one or the cost of the phone. Also, you should be able to stay there an wait for it to be done.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
There is at least one where this, and most other repairs, are really easy - Fair Phone.
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Fairphone+3+Battery+Replacement/125674
Hi,

Dont want to be deceived however, i have seen videos of replacing a battery that make it look much easier than it actually is. One video obviously had used a phone for demonstration that had already been opened and the battery removed. They showed a 5 second battery removal once the back was opened by simply spraying one side of the battery with some sort of (unspecified) spray, then lifting the battery out . That's just not going to happen. It takes effort to get the battery out in one piece, and it could take an hour just for that.
Also, some heat the battery and others say dont heat the battery use some sort of glue solvent, but never mention what kind of solvent except for isopropyl alcohol which i am not sure yet if it works or not.

I will say one thing though, a lot more people are doing this than i originally thought.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,660
There is at least one where this, and most other repairs, are really easy - Fair Phone.
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Fairphone+3+Battery+Replacement/125674
The Fairphone is a excellent idea and I would love to be able to buy one, but I use iOS, iPadOS, TVOS, and MacOS and I am very happy with the OS/Softwate platform and consider the pitfalls of Apple hardware a price I pay for that.

I am hoping, though, that the right to repair movement will have an impact on Apple's designs for the better.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
I have a FairPhone and I can tell you that it is not glued together. All modules can be removed and replaced individually using only a small screwdriver - supplied with the phone.
Oh you are lucky then many of the new phones have the battery glued in and the back cover glued on.
I had an old LG phone that had a back cover that snapped off, then the battery slides out. Slide a new one in and good to go.
I went through 3 batteries with that phone.
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
422
Thankfully, the European Parliament is going to make user-replaceable batteries in portable electronic devices mandatory by 2024, which should mean replaceable batteries for everyone. It would be awesome if they also applied pressure towards standardizing battery formats as well. Perhaps an onerous process for testing and registering new battery form factors, which would make it more attractive to use an existing standard.
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news...s-want-more-environmental-and-social-ambition
 
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Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
Thankfully, the European Parliament is going to make user-replaceable batteries in portable electronic devices mandatory by 2024, which should mean replaceable batteries for everyone. It would be awesome if they also applied pressure towards standardizing battery formats as well. Perhaps an onerous process for testing and registering new battery form factors, which would make it more attractive to use an existing standard.
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news...s-want-more-environmental-and-social-ambition
Hi,

Wow that's great i just hope they follow that in the US too. It's stupid to encase batteries inside when they know they dont last that long really.
My old LG was so easy to do i used to have a spare battery ready to go. Less than 1 minute to swap out. I miss that.
One of the other nice things about that is you could carry a spare battery so if the main one dies down you can pop the spare in and dont have to charge anything right there and then. I miss that too.
 
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bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
422
Well, nearly all things that aren't Apple have USB charging sockets now, and that's largely down to the EU making that a rule for phones over there.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,989
Well, nearly all things that aren't Apple have USB charging sockets now, and that's largely down to the EU making that a rule for phones over there.
God bless the EU :)

Happy something is being done about the battery replace issue.
I just read an article you might find funny. It was titled:
"Why replaceable batteries will never come back".
I thought that was funny after what we talked about, and then right after that i ran into an article about what you were talking about with the EU pressing to get replaceable batteries back into phones.
They brought up some interesting issues about the con's of having a battery that was not removable.
For one thing, how do you recycle a battery if it is stuck inside a phone?
Cant expect everyone to break open their old phone and try to rip the battery out with all that glue holding it in there.
If you recycle the whole phone, then whoever gets it has to break it open and try to get that battery out. Not nice either to put that on the municipality.
So there are other issues besides just wanting to be able to change the battery at home quickly without too much trouble.
Now we have to wonder if the manu's might find a loophole in the legislation.
 
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