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[INFO] Successful Glass/Lens Replacement - GSM Model

OP drooff

20th October 2012, 05:13 PM   |  #1  
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Yesterday I managed to successfully replace just the glass part of my Galaxy Nexus screen, without having to replace the entire AMOLED screen and digitizer. I figured I should share this since all the other posts I've seen about doing it have been people saying it's not worth it and to just replace the entire screen, at the cost of about $180.

Back story: I dropped my GNex on a concrete floor, and it landed perfectly face down (just like buttered toast ). There happened to be dirt and sand on the floor with a couple of pebbles just big enough to still contact the screen, despite its curve. These pebbles caused pressure points on the glass, and it was enough of an impact that those pebbles chipped the glass and started a spiderweb of cracks across about 40% of the screen. Needless to say I was pretty pissed off.

The AMOLED screen still worked, and all touch functionality was still there, so I figured it must be an easy fix. As I'm sure you are aware, I was grossly mistaken. I didn't find a single forum post or youtube video of anybody replacing just the glass on a Galaxy Nexus. The general consensus was that you would ruin your digitizer if you attempted to do the repair, as it was fused to the glass. I was almost ready to buy a whole new screen when I found this video. I saw the video was for doing the repair on a Galaxy S3, but watched it anyways. A friend of mine had recently shattered the glass on his S3 and had told me he couldn't repair it because the digitizer was fused to the glass. When I watched the video and saw it could be done on an S3, I figured I would give it a shot on my Nexus anyways, with the worst outcome being replacing the entire AMOLED screen.

I bought a replacement glass/lens (not sure of the proper term) off eBay, along with some new adhesive. Total cost for parts was $35.96 USD including shipping from Hong Kong, and delivery to Canada (Toronto area) was surprisingly quick - about 4 business days.

Replacement Glass
New Adhesive

I don't own a heat gun, so I substituted it with a hair dryer instead (high heat, low blower setting).

A few lessons learned:
  1. Go slow, don't rush yourself. I ended up knicking the digitizer in a couple places because I went too fast (I was excited!). It didn't end up causing any functionality problems, but I can see a couple of small permanent marks under the new glass (not a big deal to me, but annoying nonetheless).
  2. Use a slim knife blade to separate the glass from the frame. I used a small paring knife which was probably a bit too big. A standard utility knife/box cutter should work.
  3. Make sure to remove ALL of the old glue before applying the new adhesive and glass. I didn't have any issues, but I can see how it would cause problems if you don't. The youtube video said to reuse the old glue - not recommended on the Galaxy Nexus. My new adhesive did not have glue for the transparent part of the glass, only the edges, but it doesn't cause any problems.
  4. The digitizer is NOT fused to the glass. This rumour needs to be killed. It is fused to the AMOLED display.
  5. The glue between the glass and the digitizer is similar in consistency to the glue used to stick credit cards to the letter they are mailed on. It's very rubbery and rolls up in a ball quite easily. This makes for fairly easy removal. Use a plastic scraper for this process (I used the green tools that came with the new glass - see the eBay item for details).
  6. You can use nail polish remover (acetone) to clean off the remaining glue residue from the digitizer. It does not leave any of it's own residue. Clean with a lintless cloth, like a glasses cleaning cloth.
  7. Do this whole process in the cleanest environment you can, every little bit of dust or pet hair will cause you grief! Make sure you completely clean and dust the digitizer seconds before applying the new glass, or you will see the dust permanently embedded in your screen. I didn't have this problem, but it could be easily done.

I started taking pictures of the process after I had removed the glass (sorry, forgot to take some before I started). My damaged screen was basically like the S3 in the video, and the glass removal process was about the same. Here's an album of all the pictures.

If I've missed anything, feel free to post any questions! I'm quite happy with my revived Galaxy Nexus.
Last edited by drooff; 24th October 2012 at 12:19 AM. Reason: Added links.
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20th October 2012, 05:54 PM   |  #2  
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Thanks so much for the post. My screen has been cracked for ages (touch input still works though), and I've been constantly told that because the glass is fused to the digitizer, it'll cost 160+ to replace. I'll definitely try this Also, could you check your PM?

EDIT: Here are the links :



http://imgur.com/a/4N6s4

Not sure if this is the screen replacement kit you bought but : http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...#ht_1290wt_958

EDIT 2 :

Not sure if this is the youtube vid either but : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4Gx5fLy0NQ
Last edited by KennyG123; 18th November 2012 at 01:14 PM.
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20th October 2012, 11:47 PM   |  #3  
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Oh man where were you 3 days ago?!?!?!?!

I wanted to do the same after a slight crack on my screen, Got a 20$ glass off ebay and tried to remove it.. However I wasn't careful enough and broke the digitizesr!..

I now have a broken Gnex and I dont know what to do.. Even the connector got ripped of..

l-(
21st October 2012, 07:07 AM   |  #4  
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Nice!

Beamed from my Grouper.
21st October 2012, 04:04 PM   |  #5  
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Thanks drooff for this very timely post. I cracked my screen this morning and was getting a bit frustrated as I researched
this today, with most people saying that this can't be done. I was about to give up on the idea of just replacing the glass,
but I decided to search the web one more time and that is when I found your message here!

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your detailed instructions and for the photos!!!
21st October 2012, 05:56 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekela

Oh man where were you 3 days ago?!?!?!?!

I wanted to do the same after a slight crack on my screen, Got a 20$ glass off ebay and tried to remove it.. However I wasn't careful enough and broke the digitizesr!..

I now have a broken Gnex and I dont know what to do.. Even the connector got ripped of..

l-(

You can buy a new AMOLED display assembly (display, digitizer and glass) for around $160, the connector comes attached to it and all you have to do it snap it on to the mainboard.
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21st October 2012, 06:16 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drooff

You can buy a new AMOLED display assembly (display, digitizer and glass) for around $160, the connector comes attached to it and all you have to do it snap it on to the mainboard.

Some people can't justify that 160.

Will the next nexus have a longer screen?
21st October 2012, 06:16 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steevo1

Thanks drooff for this very timely post. I cracked my screen this morning and was getting a bit frustrated as I researched
this today, with most people saying that this can't be done. I was about to give up on the idea of just replacing the glass,
but I decided to search the web one more time and that is when I found your message here!

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your detailed instructions and for the photos!!!

Glad I could help. If you're going to try the replacement and have any questions, just post here and I'll do my best to help.
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21st October 2012, 06:20 PM   |  #9  
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Aw really I wish this post would've been made by the 12th of this month. My phone broke on my birthday :'(
21st October 2012, 06:21 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach3.2

Some people can't justify that 160.

Will the next nexus have a longer screen?

$160 for a new screen is better than $500+ for a new phone.... just my opinion. I have no idea what the next Nexus phone will have, but as with all Nexus-branded products, it's guaranteed to be awesome!

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