[GUIDE] Replacing the front glass on your smartphone; A Pictorial Guide

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hamsteyr

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UPDATE: After playing around with a few different phones (and breaking a few displays myself) I should note that working with an LCD display is a lot more fragile than working with an AMOLED display (i.e. Samsung mostly). LCD displays are a lot thinner, bend and break easier, and are less forgiving to slight amounts of pressure on the display.

I found that using the thin wire cuts the polarizing filter and destroys the LCD most of the times for me, while working with the LCD and glass detached from the body is generally not a very good idea without a separation machine, as the LCD is at the mercy of the glass you're trying to remove.

My current technique with LCD screens, involve working directly on the phone itself, and purposefully shattering any large shards of the top glass/ digitiser to make it easier to remove as opposed to a large chunk. Basically what I found is that there's less chance damaging the LCD when removing small shards of glass vs large ones, as you're at the mercy of the dry times of the glue between the glass and the LCD.

As an additional note, if you have a way to maintain it, you'd want to keep the glass heated to about 70-80 celcius. Any hotter and the LCD will discolour.


------------------

This was originally a reply that I posted on the N7000 General thread, but I feel that most of it's techniques apply to most modern smartphones, in particular most Samsung devices, so I feel that it's quite helpful if it's shared with the lot of you, in hopes that it makes your life when it comes to replacing your smart phone front glass (without Digitizer) ala DIY. I know for a fact that this works on the Note 2, S3, S4, Note 3 as I've worked on these devices before.

I'd like to chime in on this as someone who has managed to do this process successfully on a number of occasions. I've gotten good enough at it that I've taken on helping other people repair their phones for a fee, and am contemplating on just having an ad out there as side income for myself, so here goes.

The first thing I usually do, is with cracked displays, is to layer the top with packing tape, just to make sure that the shards of glass don't go anywhere.

From there, I use a heat gun set at very low heat and heat the phone evenly, moving around for about 30 seconds (do not stay at one spot, keep moving, either in a zig zag or circular motion. The display should be hot, but not overly hot till it burns you. All you're doing is just loosening the adhesive a little.

attachment.php


Start by lifting up the glass from the top edge of the phone, where the earpiece is, and slowly and gently try and lift it up. I use plastic phone opening tools as well as spudges. It should give way relatively easily with light pressure. If it gets difficult, again with low heat, run the heat gun over the next effective area of lifting. I do not recommend metal tools as they can and WILL (from experience) damage the LCD below if you're not careful.

attachment.php


Slowly and gently make your way down the phone to the capacitive buttons, and if you hit little shards of glass, be patient with them. It's patience that will get you your screen replaced hitch free.

Once you get the display edges off, don't get too happy and rip the rest off, because the capacitive buttons are glued onto the display as well, with adhesive. Slowly heat up that area as well, and I recommend this time, with a pair of thin long metal forceps, go in and slowly peel it off the glass

attachment.php


Once you have that off, you can easily separate the glass from the body, and from there what I do is I clean up the body and the display with isopropyl alcohol, to get the remaining glue residue off the display, and prep it for a new pane of glass to go over. It is at this stage that you should work in a dust free room, or at least no AC/ no FAN. Those are my rules anyway.

This is the part that I highly recommend doing, which is fully disassembling the phone, removing all the internal components until you're left with just the inner body and the outer frame. What I do is that I snap the inner body into the outer body, free of any of the internal components (cameras, sensors, anything that you can remove), such that any excess display glue will not seep into them and damage the components (again, I've had this happen to me)

attachment.php


If the replacement glass that you bought does not come with replacement adhesives for the body (not for the screen), then what I suggest you use, (which I use as well) is a combination of 1mm or 2mm, 3M 9448 Tape for Electricals. Normal tape is not nearly as adhesive or thin enough for the job.

After having done so, this is the part where unless you have an autoclave unit lying around, you're going to be using LOCA (Liquid Optical Clear Adhesive) and not OCA (Optical Clear Adhesive). This is the adhesive layer in between your display and the glass. Apply the Loca on the display in sort of a Y shape on both ends, while leaving plenty of space on the borders

attachment.php


Above is how I apply the LOCA on my display, and I don't go too generous with it, otherwise you have to deal with a lot of leakage later. Remove all protective plastic from the new glass pane, and slowly lower it, bottom first, then top, such that the bottom becomes like a hinge for lowering the display on to. Do not be bothered if the liquid doesn't spread evenly at this point. Even a bit of air bubbles can be solved later. For now, press the glass down onto where you placed the 3M tape before, securing the glass on the body. This also helps the glue from coming out of the edges later. The glue will naturally spread a little after doing this.

I usually start by pressing the center of the display, to try and spread the glue out onto the whole display, and this process may take some time, especially if you're trying to get those pesky air bubbles out. What I do is that I slowly but surely get them into the edges, and make sure they don't appear again.

attachment.php


I then go over the display with a UV Flashlight of 365nm, on places like the corners where I'm happy with the results (i.e. no airbubbles), for about 15 seconds. The purpose of this step is to harden the glue a little there such that when you're doing your final bake, they don't suddenly creep up on you. Do this for edges where you have problematic air bubbles as well, and once you're done, it's time for the final bake.

attachment.php


I use a 48W UV light that I got off the internet, and I bake the top of the phone for about 20 minutes, then I remove the outer frame, leaving only the inner body + glass, and I bake the other side of the display as well for a further 5 minutes. This is to harden the excess glue as well, that way it's easier to remove and clean up.

attachment.php


When all that is done, it's time to put the phone back together, so I hope you remembered which component goes where and how, and where each screw goes as well.

The final results? A happy phone that's ready to be used again :)

attachment.php


Note: If you get a gummy/ Sticky home button with a bit of the glue seeping out, what I do is that keeping the phone upright at about a 45 degree angle, I drop about 3 drops of isopropyl alcohol down the home button, and let it go in a little, and using a cotton pad, keep mashing the button until the solvent thoroughly gets in and dissolves and excess underneath.

Sorry if this post was long, but I thought that my experiences would be helpful to others (y). Feel free to chime in on your own experiences/ thoughts on the process, as well as maybe some important information that I may have missed out that you feel should be added to the first post.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT: A bit of an addendum to add to this topic as I feel I need to address a few questions or concerns

FAQ
Q: Why would you want to repair the screen yourself? Why not just send it over to a shop to have it repaired for you?
A: The answer is quite simple. Cost. Over here where I am, Malaysia, the cost of getting a screen repaired via 3rd party repair shops is about 600 ringgit, or 200 USD. Consider that if you have the patience, skills, and materials to do so, you can do it at a fraction of the cost. For starters the glass itself can be acquired for under 10 USD if you're a smart shopper. Plus you're having fun!

Q: What do you need to perform this repair?
A: Here's a list of things that I use for repairs
- Packing Tape (prevents loose glass shards from going into your skin while you're working)
- Heat Gun (A hair dryer may do the job just fine as all you need is to heat up the glue to remove it)
- Plastic tools/ Spudges (chances are if you ever ordered replacement glass or what not, you should have some lying around)
- Forceps (thin metal tweezers. I use this to separate the capacitive buttons with greater precision, though if you have any suitable alternative, it could work just fine.
- Acetone (Isopropyl Alcohol. I use this to clean up the area after all the glass has been removed, to prepared for a new optical layer. I do not recommend the usage of thinner, as it's not very plastic friendly, neither should you use nailpolish.)
- 1mm or 2mm 3M 9448 Tape for Electricals (in the off chance that the glass that your order doesn't come with replacement adhesives to stick the glass to the body, this comes necessary. Standard double sided tape isn't adhesive enough so I wouldn't recommend it, though VHB tape could be an alternative; you just have to cut it into thin strips)
- LOCA (Liquid Optical Clear Adhesive. This is the glue layer in between the display and the glass. I do not recommend proceeding without it. It may look like a good idea at first, but once your phone gets exposed to the elements, or even pressure on the glass, chances are moisture is going to form in between the glass and the LCD, creating unsightly newton rings, and trust me, it's ugly; I've been there.
- UV Light for curing the LOCA glue (I use a 48W light. I tried using a UV flashlight to cure it before, but it didn't manage to cure the glue well, even after hours of exposure.)

Q: What are the costs of performing this repair?
A: The consumables in this repair don't cost much at all, though you will need to make a small investment in the tools. They still come up cheaper than sending it for repair however. Here's a list of my cost breakdown:

=Consumables=
- Replacement Glass, 5-10 USD : If you know where to look, you can get it for under 10 USD each time, sometimes even below 5 USD.
- LOCA, 9-10 USD: Good for at least 6 repairs, even if you decide to leak it all over the place.
- 1mm & 2mm 3M 9448 Tape, 6.50 USD: Good for more than a few dozen repairs. mine came in rolls of 50M in length.
- Your time. If you're experienced, you can get it done in 3 hours or shorter, depending on severity.

=Tools= (these can be reused for future repairs)
- Plastic Tools, 5 USD (Again, if you have anything similar that you would like to use to pry open the display, go ahead. I recommend them being flat and wide however.)
- UV Curing Light, 35 USD
- Heat Gun, 20 USD (Free if you decide to use a hair dryer).
- Packing Tape, 2 USD (again, free if you have any of them laying around.

Q: Why do you need to use LOCA?
A: Unless you have an Autoclave machine lying around, you can use OCA. Chances are you don't and an Autoclave machine is around 3,000 USD. Let's not go there. LOCA sits in between your LCD and the glass. I won't pretend to know what exactly it's purpose is, but I'll tell you that your phone looks a LOT better with it, has less chances of breaking your Glass + LCD as there's less chance for it to flex and crack inwards, and prevents moisture from forming in between your LCD and Glass (which is bad!), forming unsightly newton rings. It also prevents dust from getting in where you can't reach it, and trust me, it's irritating as hell if that happens.

Q: Does LOCA come preapplied when the phone comes straight from the factory and does that means that my new glass is forever bonded to the LCD?
A: When your phone is made in the factory, it has OCA instead, which is a pre-cured version of LOCA. The only difference between OCA and LOCA is that one is pre-cured, i.e. OCA, and LOCA needs to be cured with UV lights. LOCA is not highly adhesive, so you can easily remove it after being applied, so no it doesn't take down the LCD with it.

Q: Do you need to use the UV Lights?
A: The answer to this is sort of a yes and no. The world around is is full of UV light, so if you're up to the task and it's a sunny day, then you could technically leave it out in the sun for a while, for it to work it's magic. I don't recommend it, but it's possible. If you however live in the clouds, or have 24/7 winters, I suggest you get the UV light. LOCA does NOT cure with heat, or being left alone. It specifically cures in UV light as I know it.

Q: This all looks hard and difficult! I don't know if I can do it :(
A: As with many things in life, patience and perseverance rewards you. I admit that this is not for everyone, but for those who do attempt it, I will assure you that you will learn something new, feel accomplished with yourself for fixing your own phone, and have possibly developed a new skill set that is capable of bringing you a source of income.

Q: If I send you my phone will you do it for me?
A: If you live in Malaysia, and do not mind meeting up with me/ sending your phone over (and of course, waiting), I'd be more than happy to help you fix your phone, though I do have to incur my own costs on top of raw materials. Feel free to message me for more details
 

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Rayan

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Great article...

But as an FYI, baking a functional AMOLED screen with UV light is not the greatest idea, since UV light degrades it just as bad as sunlight... Better cover it or use a heat-gun instead.
 
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hamsteyr

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Thanks for the reply, but I don't think that's possible either as LOCA only specifically cures with a UV light. From testing things out it may not be necessary to cure it for 20 odd minutes, but the UV light IS necessary.
 

billa

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This kind of homebrew fix is analogous with fixing your own car... sure you can, but is it worth the time and cost of the tools required?
That's why they have car and cellphone repair shops. But each to their own I guess...just my opinion...
 

hamsteyr

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This kind of homebrew fix is analogous with fixing your own car... sure you can, but is it worth the time and cost of the tools required?
That's why they have car and cellphone repair shops. But each to their own I guess...just my opinion...
Well, its a homebrew solutions thats a lot cheaper than the offerings here in Malaysia. They charge 200 USD, but a diy solution comes in at just under 30 for me.

Besides, its in the pursuit of knowledge! And just tinkering with things and getting things done :D I enjoy repairing things, and smart phones are no different. I'm sure not everyone shares the same passion as me, but its still worth something. :)
 
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Adreaver

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This kind of homebrew fix is analogous with fixing your own car... sure you can, but is it worth the time and cost of the tools required?
That's why they have car and cellphone repair shops. But each to their own I guess...just my opinion...
If you have access to the heat gun and UV lights, absolutely. I have seen S3 glass only sell for as little as $12. I have not seen screen repair services priced less than $100.

Even purchasing the heat gun and UV lights you can come out less expensive than the repair provided you shop around a bit. And then you will have the tools in case you break another phone, or if (like the OP) you want to repair other people's devices for a fee.
 

wmfaiz

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I agreed with you. repairing cost of smartphone at shop is totally expensive in malaysia. buying a new one will be a smarter way than repairing at shop
 

hamsteyr

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For those who are actually wondering, LOCA is used for mobile phone screen repairs, and yes, it is made to be cured under UV Light, as per below

attachment.php


Translated text says "UV Curing Adhesive"
 

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deathblade

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I would like to state that having the adhesive around the edges and using a heat gun and a few tiny clamps work just as well as described, holds just fine, repaired this guy's iPod touch that way a few years back ran into him a few weeks ago and its still as good as new

Heat gun and clamps cost $11 total not sure how much the liquid adhesive and uv light to cure costs

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app
 

ecparts

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You have the LCD Screen Separator Machine, SO you can separate the lcd with the broken glass. And you have the UV Glue, so you can make the new glass with lcd together. But we are common people, we can not afford to buy the machine. And we are not repair technical person, how can we do it ourself ? I think this job is very difficult for our common people...:eek:
 

biscuitownz

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This kind of homebrew fix is analogous with fixing your own car... sure you can, but is it worth the time and cost of the tools required?
That's why they have car and cellphone repair shops. But each to their own I guess...just my opinion...

Knowledge is priceless. I'd rather pay a little extra the first time and learn something so I know how to help myself or others later on.

Teach a man to fish...
 
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hamsteyr

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I would like to state that having the adhesive around the edges and using a heat gun and a few tiny clamps work just as well as described, holds just fine, repaired this guy's iPod touch that way a few years back ran into him a few weeks ago and its still as good as new

Heat gun and clamps cost $11 total not sure how much the liquid adhesive and uv light to cure costs

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app

I think you're mistakened though. As the liquid adhesive actually sits in between the display and the front panel glass. You could go without it, and trust me, I've tried, but that makes it susceptible to physically touching the display below it, leaving newton rings that are unsightly. :/
 
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hamsteyr

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You have the LCD Screen Separator Machine, SO you can separate the lcd with the broken glass. And you have the UV Glue, so you can make the new glass with lcd together. But we are common people, we can not afford to buy the machine. And we are not repair technical person, how can we do it ourself ? I think this job is very difficult for our common people...:eek:
There is no separator machine, just a heat gun :) it doesn't cost much, you can get one for about 20 USD, and the same goes for the UV curing light, and its glue which totals about 30. All in all, its about 50 for raw materials, most of which are tools you can reuse again, and not just for this occasion :)

Again, some people who are hardware enthusiasts do have it lying around :D
 

hamsteyr

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The very best way to do this is use .08 wire. You can buy a roll for $10 and it'll cut through the glue like butter with a little heat. And since your not lifting on the glass the chances of breaking the lcd are alot slimmer.
Thanks sir. A good alternative. I use plastic tools and I'm quite careful so I'm sure I'm on the safe side, though that wire method does sound a boatload faster.
 
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It's alot easier. If you have a heat plate to keep the temp up on the phone it only takes about 1 minute to remove the whole screen.
Also a tip for anyone wanting to try this. After you get the lcd off your not finished. Be VERY carefull cleaning off the lcd. My first time I got solution on the edge of the lcd and it got under the lcd and washed out the color on half of it. Also when you add the loca to the lcd. Be very generous with it. I was being stingy my first time and wasted a good half bottle trying to get enough glue in there. You can always remove extra glue but you can't add it.. Plus you dont wanna be squeezing the crap out of your lcd and risk damaging it. And finally with people like me that have pets so a clean air room is pretty impossible. What you can do is take a large tub. Flip it upside down and cut two holes for your arms and clean the inside out with lysol. It makes a still air box and should keep a good majority of dust away as long as you don't lift it.
 
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deathblade

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I think you're mistakened though. As the liquid adhesive actually sits in between the display and the front panel glass. You could go without it, and trust me, I've tried, but that makes it susceptible to physically touching the display below it, leaving newton rings that are unsightly. :/

I understand to purpose for the liquid adhesive I'm just speaking from experience I've never had an issue with no adhesive in between the LCD and glass also I'm just saying you take proper procedures to get the job done but while you have these tools that not everyone would like to pay for or knows exists there are cheaper ways of doing it with just a little more hassle but the outcome is the same(again from my experience ) but the tutorial you wrote up is nice and very detailed great job, only thing I would suggest is to post links to where you can get these tools so if someone wants may look into doing thus a little easier

Sent from my SGH-I997 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app
 
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bwthor20

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LOCA ?

So, this adhesive isn't used from the factory, correct?

I'm also assuming that once you use it, if your digitizer breaks again, you will be replacing the LCD as well since they are bonded.
 

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    UPDATE: After playing around with a few different phones (and breaking a few displays myself) I should note that working with an LCD display is a lot more fragile than working with an AMOLED display (i.e. Samsung mostly). LCD displays are a lot thinner, bend and break easier, and are less forgiving to slight amounts of pressure on the display.

    I found that using the thin wire cuts the polarizing filter and destroys the LCD most of the times for me, while working with the LCD and glass detached from the body is generally not a very good idea without a separation machine, as the LCD is at the mercy of the glass you're trying to remove.

    My current technique with LCD screens, involve working directly on the phone itself, and purposefully shattering any large shards of the top glass/ digitiser to make it easier to remove as opposed to a large chunk. Basically what I found is that there's less chance damaging the LCD when removing small shards of glass vs large ones, as you're at the mercy of the dry times of the glue between the glass and the LCD.

    As an additional note, if you have a way to maintain it, you'd want to keep the glass heated to about 70-80 celcius. Any hotter and the LCD will discolour.


    ------------------

    This was originally a reply that I posted on the N7000 General thread, but I feel that most of it's techniques apply to most modern smartphones, in particular most Samsung devices, so I feel that it's quite helpful if it's shared with the lot of you, in hopes that it makes your life when it comes to replacing your smart phone front glass (without Digitizer) ala DIY. I know for a fact that this works on the Note 2, S3, S4, Note 3 as I've worked on these devices before.

    I'd like to chime in on this as someone who has managed to do this process successfully on a number of occasions. I've gotten good enough at it that I've taken on helping other people repair their phones for a fee, and am contemplating on just having an ad out there as side income for myself, so here goes.

    The first thing I usually do, is with cracked displays, is to layer the top with packing tape, just to make sure that the shards of glass don't go anywhere.

    From there, I use a heat gun set at very low heat and heat the phone evenly, moving around for about 30 seconds (do not stay at one spot, keep moving, either in a zig zag or circular motion. The display should be hot, but not overly hot till it burns you. All you're doing is just loosening the adhesive a little.

    attachment.php


    Start by lifting up the glass from the top edge of the phone, where the earpiece is, and slowly and gently try and lift it up. I use plastic phone opening tools as well as spudges. It should give way relatively easily with light pressure. If it gets difficult, again with low heat, run the heat gun over the next effective area of lifting. I do not recommend metal tools as they can and WILL (from experience) damage the LCD below if you're not careful.

    attachment.php


    Slowly and gently make your way down the phone to the capacitive buttons, and if you hit little shards of glass, be patient with them. It's patience that will get you your screen replaced hitch free.

    Once you get the display edges off, don't get too happy and rip the rest off, because the capacitive buttons are glued onto the display as well, with adhesive. Slowly heat up that area as well, and I recommend this time, with a pair of thin long metal forceps, go in and slowly peel it off the glass

    attachment.php


    Once you have that off, you can easily separate the glass from the body, and from there what I do is I clean up the body and the display with isopropyl alcohol, to get the remaining glue residue off the display, and prep it for a new pane of glass to go over. It is at this stage that you should work in a dust free room, or at least no AC/ no FAN. Those are my rules anyway.

    This is the part that I highly recommend doing, which is fully disassembling the phone, removing all the internal components until you're left with just the inner body and the outer frame. What I do is that I snap the inner body into the outer body, free of any of the internal components (cameras, sensors, anything that you can remove), such that any excess display glue will not seep into them and damage the components (again, I've had this happen to me)

    attachment.php


    If the replacement glass that you bought does not come with replacement adhesives for the body (not for the screen), then what I suggest you use, (which I use as well) is a combination of 1mm or 2mm, 3M 9448 Tape for Electricals. Normal tape is not nearly as adhesive or thin enough for the job.

    After having done so, this is the part where unless you have an autoclave unit lying around, you're going to be using LOCA (Liquid Optical Clear Adhesive) and not OCA (Optical Clear Adhesive). This is the adhesive layer in between your display and the glass. Apply the Loca on the display in sort of a Y shape on both ends, while leaving plenty of space on the borders

    attachment.php


    Above is how I apply the LOCA on my display, and I don't go too generous with it, otherwise you have to deal with a lot of leakage later. Remove all protective plastic from the new glass pane, and slowly lower it, bottom first, then top, such that the bottom becomes like a hinge for lowering the display on to. Do not be bothered if the liquid doesn't spread evenly at this point. Even a bit of air bubbles can be solved later. For now, press the glass down onto where you placed the 3M tape before, securing the glass on the body. This also helps the glue from coming out of the edges later. The glue will naturally spread a little after doing this.

    I usually start by pressing the center of the display, to try and spread the glue out onto the whole display, and this process may take some time, especially if you're trying to get those pesky air bubbles out. What I do is that I slowly but surely get them into the edges, and make sure they don't appear again.

    attachment.php


    I then go over the display with a UV Flashlight of 365nm, on places like the corners where I'm happy with the results (i.e. no airbubbles), for about 15 seconds. The purpose of this step is to harden the glue a little there such that when you're doing your final bake, they don't suddenly creep up on you. Do this for edges where you have problematic air bubbles as well, and once you're done, it's time for the final bake.

    attachment.php


    I use a 48W UV light that I got off the internet, and I bake the top of the phone for about 20 minutes, then I remove the outer frame, leaving only the inner body + glass, and I bake the other side of the display as well for a further 5 minutes. This is to harden the excess glue as well, that way it's easier to remove and clean up.

    attachment.php


    When all that is done, it's time to put the phone back together, so I hope you remembered which component goes where and how, and where each screw goes as well.

    The final results? A happy phone that's ready to be used again :)

    attachment.php


    Note: If you get a gummy/ Sticky home button with a bit of the glue seeping out, what I do is that keeping the phone upright at about a 45 degree angle, I drop about 3 drops of isopropyl alcohol down the home button, and let it go in a little, and using a cotton pad, keep mashing the button until the solvent thoroughly gets in and dissolves and excess underneath.

    Sorry if this post was long, but I thought that my experiences would be helpful to others (y). Feel free to chime in on your own experiences/ thoughts on the process, as well as maybe some important information that I may have missed out that you feel should be added to the first post.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    EDIT: A bit of an addendum to add to this topic as I feel I need to address a few questions or concerns

    FAQ
    Q: Why would you want to repair the screen yourself? Why not just send it over to a shop to have it repaired for you?
    A: The answer is quite simple. Cost. Over here where I am, Malaysia, the cost of getting a screen repaired via 3rd party repair shops is about 600 ringgit, or 200 USD. Consider that if you have the patience, skills, and materials to do so, you can do it at a fraction of the cost. For starters the glass itself can be acquired for under 10 USD if you're a smart shopper. Plus you're having fun!

    Q: What do you need to perform this repair?
    A: Here's a list of things that I use for repairs
    - Packing Tape (prevents loose glass shards from going into your skin while you're working)
    - Heat Gun (A hair dryer may do the job just fine as all you need is to heat up the glue to remove it)
    - Plastic tools/ Spudges (chances are if you ever ordered replacement glass or what not, you should have some lying around)
    - Forceps (thin metal tweezers. I use this to separate the capacitive buttons with greater precision, though if you have any suitable alternative, it could work just fine.
    - Acetone (Isopropyl Alcohol. I use this to clean up the area after all the glass has been removed, to prepared for a new optical layer. I do not recommend the usage of thinner, as it's not very plastic friendly, neither should you use nailpolish.)
    - 1mm or 2mm 3M 9448 Tape for Electricals (in the off chance that the glass that your order doesn't come with replacement adhesives to stick the glass to the body, this comes necessary. Standard double sided tape isn't adhesive enough so I wouldn't recommend it, though VHB tape could be an alternative; you just have to cut it into thin strips)
    - LOCA (Liquid Optical Clear Adhesive. This is the glue layer in between the display and the glass. I do not recommend proceeding without it. It may look like a good idea at first, but once your phone gets exposed to the elements, or even pressure on the glass, chances are moisture is going to form in between the glass and the LCD, creating unsightly newton rings, and trust me, it's ugly; I've been there.
    - UV Light for curing the LOCA glue (I use a 48W light. I tried using a UV flashlight to cure it before, but it didn't manage to cure the glue well, even after hours of exposure.)

    Q: What are the costs of performing this repair?
    A: The consumables in this repair don't cost much at all, though you will need to make a small investment in the tools. They still come up cheaper than sending it for repair however. Here's a list of my cost breakdown:

    =Consumables=
    - Replacement Glass, 5-10 USD : If you know where to look, you can get it for under 10 USD each time, sometimes even below 5 USD.
    - LOCA, 9-10 USD: Good for at least 6 repairs, even if you decide to leak it all over the place.
    - 1mm & 2mm 3M 9448 Tape, 6.50 USD: Good for more than a few dozen repairs. mine came in rolls of 50M in length.
    - Your time. If you're experienced, you can get it done in 3 hours or shorter, depending on severity.

    =Tools= (these can be reused for future repairs)
    - Plastic Tools, 5 USD (Again, if you have anything similar that you would like to use to pry open the display, go ahead. I recommend them being flat and wide however.)
    - UV Curing Light, 35 USD
    - Heat Gun, 20 USD (Free if you decide to use a hair dryer).
    - Packing Tape, 2 USD (again, free if you have any of them laying around.

    Q: Why do you need to use LOCA?
    A: Unless you have an Autoclave machine lying around, you can use OCA. Chances are you don't and an Autoclave machine is around 3,000 USD. Let's not go there. LOCA sits in between your LCD and the glass. I won't pretend to know what exactly it's purpose is, but I'll tell you that your phone looks a LOT better with it, has less chances of breaking your Glass + LCD as there's less chance for it to flex and crack inwards, and prevents moisture from forming in between your LCD and Glass (which is bad!), forming unsightly newton rings. It also prevents dust from getting in where you can't reach it, and trust me, it's irritating as hell if that happens.

    Q: Does LOCA come preapplied when the phone comes straight from the factory and does that means that my new glass is forever bonded to the LCD?
    A: When your phone is made in the factory, it has OCA instead, which is a pre-cured version of LOCA. The only difference between OCA and LOCA is that one is pre-cured, i.e. OCA, and LOCA needs to be cured with UV lights. LOCA is not highly adhesive, so you can easily remove it after being applied, so no it doesn't take down the LCD with it.

    Q: Do you need to use the UV Lights?
    A: The answer to this is sort of a yes and no. The world around is is full of UV light, so if you're up to the task and it's a sunny day, then you could technically leave it out in the sun for a while, for it to work it's magic. I don't recommend it, but it's possible. If you however live in the clouds, or have 24/7 winters, I suggest you get the UV light. LOCA does NOT cure with heat, or being left alone. It specifically cures in UV light as I know it.

    Q: This all looks hard and difficult! I don't know if I can do it :(
    A: As with many things in life, patience and perseverance rewards you. I admit that this is not for everyone, but for those who do attempt it, I will assure you that you will learn something new, feel accomplished with yourself for fixing your own phone, and have possibly developed a new skill set that is capable of bringing you a source of income.

    Q: If I send you my phone will you do it for me?
    A: If you live in Malaysia, and do not mind meeting up with me/ sending your phone over (and of course, waiting), I'd be more than happy to help you fix your phone, though I do have to incur my own costs on top of raw materials. Feel free to message me for more details
    5
    I'd like to add some information in hopes of helping others with this. I will hopefully be replacing the glass on my S3 and Note3 this weekend.

    Ive run into several threads covering this subject and have not seen where anyone really mentions any specifics about the LOCA. In particular the viscosity. The lower the viscosity, the easier it will flow, which means you need less to cover the screen, fewer bubbles should form, and the bubbles that do will be easier to press out.
    From what I have been able to find, many of the generic glues out there will have a viscosity rating about 3000-5000. Here are a few that I found with much lower:

    XFactor Sticky Icky - 2000
    Octopus Glue - 1400
    APS UV-346 - 2000

    Note that there are 2 by APS that you will see a lot of on ebay. The other is APS UV-340, which is rated at 3500. So you want the UV-346 instead. I remember running across one that was rated at 1700, but cannot remember the name or where. I personally have bought the XFactor glue to keep my cost down. (unlike the pictures you will see on the ebay or amazon pages, it came in an APS tube, but where it would normally say UV-346, it said Xfactor Sticky Icky. So I think the two may be one and the same.)

    Also, a warning that I have read several accounts where using generic/cheap/older versions of LOCA people claimed that it would have bit of a yellowish tint. Just trying to point out that not all LOCA is created equal!

    There are also other factors which make these glues different from one another. This would include Hardness, Tensile Stregnth, Elongation at Break, etc. Unfortunately this is hard to find info for all glues, but I doubt that we would really notice much difference in our day to day use. Note that in regards to hardness, once cured, harder is not necessarily better. As I understand it, softer allows for some flexibility, adding to overall durability.

    For those who claim that there is no noticeable difference in using LOCA vs just the 2 sided border tape, there is a video advertisement from Octopus Glue which demonstrates the difference between fixing a device with LOCA vs one without. Check it out if you are undecided on what you want to use.

    Why LOCA Glue for Phone Glass Repair? VIDEO

    Oh, and I also found one place that mentioned approximately how much to use. If I find it again, I will try to remember to add a link for you. But if I remember right, the S3 should get roughly 2.0-2.5ml, while the Note3 should get about 3.0-3.5ml. Some manufacturers sell the LOCA in measured syringes, so if you get one of these it can help take some of the guesswork out of it.

    I hope this helps some of you out, or at least proves interesting enough to not have been a waste of your time! Good Luck Everyone! :cowboy:
    3
    This kind of homebrew fix is analogous with fixing your own car... sure you can, but is it worth the time and cost of the tools required?
    That's why they have car and cellphone repair shops. But each to their own I guess...just my opinion...

    Knowledge is priceless. I'd rather pay a little extra the first time and learn something so I know how to help myself or others later on.

    Teach a man to fish...
    2
    This kind of homebrew fix is analogous with fixing your own car... sure you can, but is it worth the time and cost of the tools required?
    That's why they have car and cellphone repair shops. But each to their own I guess...just my opinion...
    Well, its a homebrew solutions thats a lot cheaper than the offerings here in Malaysia. They charge 200 USD, but a diy solution comes in at just under 30 for me.

    Besides, its in the pursuit of knowledge! And just tinkering with things and getting things done :D I enjoy repairing things, and smart phones are no different. I'm sure not everyone shares the same passion as me, but its still worth something. :)
    2
    The very best way to do this is use .08 wire. You can buy a roll for $10 and it'll cut through the glue like butter with a little heat. And since your not lifting on the glass the chances of breaking the lcd are alot slimmer.
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