iFixit gets an HTC One M9 to tear down. Low repairability score and questionable QC arise

iFixit gets an HTC One M9 to tear down. Low repairability score and questionable QC arise
The guys over at iFixit got their hands on HTC's brand-new (though, not in looks) flagship – the One M9. From there on, they did what they do best – took the device apart and meticulously recorded every little bit of the process for the do-it-yourself guys all over the world. So, what did the tear-down reveal?

Well, upon first sight of the unit, iFixit reports a scratch already being present on the display, out of the box (ouch). The actual packaging also has a small blemish, which is not a huge problem, but doesn't point towards stellar quality assurance when we are talking about a flagship device. To top it off, upon turning the handset on, iFixit found that there is a defective pixel towards the center of the screen (double ouch!).

Leaving discussions on whether the fixers were dealing with a bad lemon or not, they went ahead and continued the dismantling. At first, they were pleasantly surprised to see that HTC didn't use glue to enclose the One M9 like it did with the original One – opening the case up is a matter of removing a few screws and then carefully, but steadily prying the back half off of the front, as there are a few stubborn clips still holding them together.

Once inside, however, anyone who dares try to repair the device or at least change the battery is in for a surprise – the motherboard is glued over the battery. So, to replace the li-ion juicebox, one must first pry the phone's main circuit board off. Additionally, the battery is glued on the other side, too, meaning that if the repairman didn't damage it when pulling the motherboard off – they have a chance to do it again.

From there on, the camera panel, the BoomSound speakers, and the display panel are accessible – after some prying and heating where needed, as the display panel is apparently fixed in place with a very sticky adhesive.

Final fixability score? 2/10 – pretty much continuing the trend of the original HTC One, which was the first smartphone ever to receive a 1/10 on the iFixit scale. Thankfully, HTC now has the Uh-Oh Protection program, so, if you happen to break your One M9 during the first year of ownership, you just might get a new one instead of trying to get the old one repaired.


source: iFixit

Related phones

One M9
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 4 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2840 mAh(21.7h 3G talk time)

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21 Comments

1. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

None of this actually matters untill phone breaks. Although i would still prefer easy fix device , you never know. Big let down by HTC this year , they tought that M8 success will be enough to help them sell this year.

17. vincelongman

Posts: 5720; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Quality control doesn't matter?

18. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

HTC is starting to SUCK! I just received a notification from HTC that my sense remote will no longer be supported at the end of this month! & for a similar experience download Peel Smart Remote. Peel is garbage & aperantly everyone reviewing the app agrees. Wtf HTC?

2. Industriality

Posts: 131; Member since: Sep 08, 2014

HTC goes from One (lol) disappointment to another.

8. SamsungEU

Posts: 147; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

nice One mate(m8) !

13. JoshN

Posts: 202; Member since: Apr 01, 2015

Hahaha lol such a shame samsung have dobe the same i hope the noye series dont.loose the removable battery and micro sd ive never relly.lokednthebhtc ons but i loved htc one x when it vame oit

3. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 605; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

I always wait about a month or two before I order my phone specifically for this reason.

4. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Wow, this year's HTC One M7SS is just a complete failure...

7. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

This year's Galaxy SSSSSS is far better...

5. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

Looks pretty messy inside.. that's why I really find Samsung's internal structure so neat

12. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

"Neat" isn't fixing the point. It's still difficult and expensive to repair in an out-of-warranty situation. Is this what you demand in a device? John B.

6. Awesoman64

Posts: 292; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Hardware looks cluttered. This thing might need professional help. Next!

9. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

But out of warranty is what everyone should be concerned with. Here's a phone that only costs roughly $250 to build. Something goes wrong out of warranty, and you have to dish out $200 for deductible and you get a refurbished handset. You're still paying on the original device. The manufacturer gets your handset, repairs it and sends it out as another refurbished. The manufacturer has just sold your device twice, the carrier is still getting money for original and you are out $200 for just a possible battery issue. In the end, you paid double of what the handset cost to begin with. If you have a TV that costs $400 and the repair will exceed $650, you would throw it away. However, between the carriers and the manufacturers, the industry has the consumer spending far more on a product than ever should be done. Hence my rant on keeping the battery accessible. It accounts for 35% of device repairs. The industry is getting very rich on raking the consumers over the coals for this. HTC, makes a inexpensive to build product difficult to repair so it can make money on a normally would-be-considered, throwaway item.

14. JoshN

Posts: 202; Member since: Apr 01, 2015

Sooo true sooo true :-)

19. Kiwi21

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 03, 2015

I'm confused. Why not just take to be repaired same day for about $50. I'd never throw out something I bought for $650 because I didn't want to spend $50....

10. waddup121 unregistered

Jesus, take the phone instead of the wheel, will ya.

11. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Are you saying you don't care that you are the industry's B***h? John B.

15. CptPwn

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 20, 2015

Everything is just glued shut these days. 1-2 years and they expect you to just throw it away, we sure will have a mountain of broken high-end smartphones to leave behind when humanity is gone. ;)

16. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

HTC QC at its best. Just slap things together and glue it while ignoring heat disappation principles. Like I said before, they know most people will return their handset at least once so they try to cover it up with a free replacement program,

20. captivater

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 02, 2013

HTC uses thin layers of glass on their phones. The screens frequently shatter which could be a reason why they offer "courtesy" replacements. That particular specification (glass thickness) is persistently absent from review sites including PhoneArena.

21. captivater

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 02, 2013

Also noteworthy is HTC's employ of square edge glass, rather than rounded. From a Yahoo Answers thread about rounded glass windows on airplanes: "The sharp corners on square windows are places where stresses concentrate and multiply their effects, hence the term "stress risers." Cracks, buckles, and tears in the airplane skin tend to start at these points. The rounded corners in airplane windows are much less prone to this problem"

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