Let me guess–the one day you take your beautiful Galaxy S II out of its case, you drop it right onto the bottom right corner, dinging the bezel and chipping or even cracking the glass. I feel your pain:
Fear not readers, for your Galaxy S II’s beautiful looks are still salvageable. Sure you could live with a nick here or a ding there, but if you display is cracked… I mean c’mon, you’re looking at it all day after all. You can buy replacement part by searching on Ebay or get the housing (bezel) here and the digitizer (display) here.
As for the disassembly and replacement process, our friend over on the XDA forums, Mr. Prostheta, has gone out of his way to detail his experience step by step with illustrations, which we will be annotating and sharing for your viewing pleasure. With no further ado, let’s begin! (Remeber kids, perform this disassembly at your own risk–CareAce takes no responsibility for damaged or broken phones due to this procedure!)
1. Pop off the back cover and remove the battery, SIM card and microSD
The donor housing:
And the replacement display:
2. Make sure all the ribbon cables are free of damage or kinks, should look something like this:
3. Remove the seven screws securing the back panel of the phone. Careful when you are removing the screws, don’t want to damage any of the gadgets and gizmos attached to that mainboard–a magnetic tipped screwdriver can be your best friend!
4. Now that you’ve removed the screws, you can separate the rear frame from the main body. To do this, you need a thin, non-marring (don’t use a flat head screwdriver!) separator to wedge between the two halves–we suggest something like a guitar pick. Take care to perform this operation in a clean and controlled environment as the hardware buttons can easily be lost as they fall out of the phone as the rear panel is removed:
Start at the top right corner
Slide the pick all the way down the right side to the bottom…
around the bottom of the phone…
and back up the right side to the top of the phone
Voila! The two halves should separate like so
5. Now familiarize yourself with the pieces of the phone you will need to transplant into the new housing; the L-shaped mainboard, and the front facing camera/proximity sensor. The rest is attached to the new digitizer unit.
6. Now we must disconnect the aforementioned parts so we can begin the transplant. Working counter-clockwise, gently pop off the ribbon connectors with your nail. Emphasis on the gently because it is easy to damage these delicate contacts.
7. Finally, remove the antenna connection; getting it off should be easy, however putting it back in place will take some extra care–more on that later:
8. Now we have to remove the two screws that hold the mainboard to the chassis. Make sure you have the right sized screwdriver and that it has fully engaged the screw–a single slip can permanently destroy any one of the numerous micro SMDs or PCB tracks that make this $500+ piece of machinery function.
9. The hardware buttons are secured to the chassis using thin double-sided tape. Gently separate them using a thin piece of plastic and then push them upward from underneath. This will take some time as again, you will need to be gentle. Do NOT try and separate the buttons by pulling them up with the mainboard!
10. Now that you have fully disconnected the mainboard from the chassis, you can lift it out and transplant it! The ribbon cables might catch as you lift the board up, so push them aside as you do.
11. We’re almost to the halfway point! The final parts we need to remove are the front-facing camera and proximity sensor. In order to do so, you need to remove the tiny metal backing plate/pad combo. This can be pried up from the top using a knife, but we would recommend using something less obtrusive such as a pin.
The camera and proximity sensor are connected and can be seen in the top right corner as a black and grey square
Gently remove the small metal backplate and padding…
Camera and proximity sensor assembly should easily come out!
12. Now we can begin the reconstruction process. Essentially, do steps 1 through 11 in reverse. First, take the new housing and drop in the camera/sensor unit and replace the backing:
13. Now, carefully place the mainboard into the new chassis, taking care to make sure that none of the ribbon connectors get folded under or scratch the board.
14. Begin placing the switches back where they belong (hopefully the tape still has enough tack to hold them), making sure they line up as close as possible with their slots.
15. Now you can screw down the mainboard using the two screws from step 8:
16. Now for the trickiest part of the installation: reattaching the antenna. Smooth the antenna down the groove in the frame using your plastic tool. The difficulty comes in properly aligning the antenna connector to the PCB attachment point–don’t force it! You’ll know when it works because it should take relatively little effort to properly seat.
17. Finally, reattach all of the ribbon cables once again taking care to make sure they are properly aligned. Reconnecting them should take no more force than when depressing the phone’s volume or power buttons.
18. Finally, we can now attach the rear frame. Insert the captive buttons as you come up to their respective sides (versus putting them both in at the same time and trying to close the case around them):
Start with the bottom right (when the back is facing you) corner and clip the frame on
Now work your way up to just before the volume rocker opening: insert the buttons and continue closing up frame
Close up to the top right corner and we are half way there!
Now move to the bottom left corner (once again, while the back if facing you) and begin working your way up
Once again, insert the button before continuing to the top…
Power button inserted, case closed up…
Presto! Now just pop on the back cover and you are done!
19. Install the battery, SIM and microSD cards and power up. Congratulations, you just repaired your phone! Give yourself a pat on the back and admire the great work you’ve done ^__^