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IFixit gives HTC One smartphone worst-ever 'repairability' score

March 29, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • IFixit praises the HTC One for its solid external construction, but the One received the lowest repairability score ever given out for a smartphone by the company.
IFixit praises the HTC One for its solid external construction, but the… (iFixit )

Despite praise for its external construction, the HTC One is a very difficult smartphone to repair, according to do-it-yourself website iFixit.

The upcoming HTC flagship smartphone is set to go on sale in the U.S. as early as next month. The device has been praised for its top-of-the-line design, high-resolution screen and front-facing dual speakers

But iFixit gave the smartphone a score of 1 out of 10 in its repairability rating. It is the worst rating ever for a smartphone.

IFixit, a California company that sells repair kits for electronic devices, is known for its "tear-downs," which is where the company opens up devices and examines how repairable devices are. A score of 10 means the phone is very repairable.

After tearing down the HTC One, iFixit said it is nearly "impossible" to open the device and repair it without damaging the phone's case. That's because rather than using screws, HTC has assembled the bulk of its new flagship with adhesives.

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"It turns out that the HTC One's guts are glued into the machined aluminum casing. So if you want to replace anything inside, "at best you'll just disfigure the perimeter of the device," iFixit said Thursday. "Even worse, you may inadvertently mangle a speaker or cable during the opening process."

Another major reason for the HTC One's low score is how tough it is to replace its display. To do that, users have to remove the phone's entire rear case first.

"This will make the most common repair, a damaged screen, nearly impossible," iFixit said in its tear-down of the device. 

For comparison, iFixit also recently tore down the BlackBery Z10 and gave it an 8 out of 10 rating. That's because the phone is assembled with screws, and its parts can easily be accessed and replaced. The Z10's battery, in particular, can be replaced by anyone just by popping off the phone's back cover.

The HTC One's battery, on the other hand, is hidden away beneath the phone's motherboard and glued to the device's midframe.

"Less than a week after the BlackBerry Z10 wowed us with its user-installed battery, the HTC One shatters our dreams of widespread repairability," iFixit said. 

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