HTC One is Durable, But Near Impossible to Repair

Have you ever dropped a smartphone and had the rear cover pop off when it hit the ground? Well, that's not something you'll have to worry about with the HTC One, a durable handset that's incredibly hard to crack open even if you're specifically trying to do so. The wonderfully sadistic tech surgeons at iFixIt put the HTC One on its operating table and concluded that it's "very, very difficult," if not impossible, to peel open the device without damaging the rear case, leading to a woefully low "Repairability Score" of 1 out of 10.

This is partially by design. HTC wanted to create a seamless handset, hence the lack of any exterior screws on the unibody construction. To start things off, iFixIt lifted the front panel by heating it up and using a suction cup to pull it upwards. It can't be removed at the outset because it's still connected with ribbon cables that route strategically underneath the case assembly. That meant busting out a metal spudger and spending a half hour prying the handset open.

HTC One and Spudger
Image Source: iFixIt

"We won't lie, getting to this point was an arduous and daunting task," iFixIt states in its worklog. "The amount of work required to separate the rear aluminum case and the front case was immense."

Once inside, you'll find liberal use of copper shielding, even on the rear camera. This was one of the negatives that led to the low score, as the shielding is difficult to remove and replace. iFixIt also took issue with the battery being buried beneath the motherboard and adhered to the midframe, rendering it extremely difficult to replace.

HTC One Disassembled

Despite being a bear to repair, the delayed HTC One will likely find a wide audience due to its specs and durable construction. It has a 4.7-inch Full HD 1080p display with Corning Gorilla Glass 2.0, 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage, 2.1MP front camera, 4MP rear "Ultrapixel" camera that's supposed to catch 300 percent more light than a standard lens, 2,300mAh battery, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.