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Samsung A777 flaw

A777User 20 Dec 2011, 01:57 posted on

I have this slide-type phone. It uses a flex cable to connect the top and bottom halves together. The flex cable forms a large loop mid-way as you slide the unit open or close. When you release the top half, its spring snaps the phone open or close, depending how far you had slid the top half. Anyway, the spring is strong enough to cause the flex cable to slap against the edge of a metal cutout within the internal frame of the unit. Over time, as you open and close the phone, the metal edge starts to scrape the surface of the flex cable, and eventually cuts through the insulation, shorting out the wires. The cable connects the I/O lines for the display, function keys, speaker, camera, and vibration, so these features start to behave incorrectly. For example, my unit would display the screen correctly for less than 2 seconds, and then fade to all white; additionally, it would vibrate non-stop at arbitrary times. It worked for 2 days, although I had to blind dial. Later, the function keys stopped working, and eventually all of those top-half functions failed. Upon opening up the phone, I found that the flex cable had been cut completely through, perhaps half of the I/O lines. I'm surprised that Samsung exposed that metal edge to the flex cable; they should have covered it with plastic, beveled the edge, or cut a larger hole to mitigate this design flaw.
Anyway, I ordered a new flex cable for $4, but am having a hard time figuring out how to fully separate the top half's metal casing from its back -- the end with camera and speaker is opened (~2 mm), but the end with the nav/select keys is still firmly attached. I cannot locate a tab or screw that is holding the pieces together. I have applied enough force to separate the adhesives, but any more force may actually break a tab or strip a screw hole. BTW, I have removed all the screws I can see, including the 2 on the top half's back exterior and the 10 within the bottom half. I also unhinged one flex cable connector (radio module) and lifted another (cable b/t top & bottom), and removed the main PCB with radio module and CPU. Any of you out there have experience with opeing this unit?
AT&T lists the unit at $230 or $0 with 2-year contract, yet you can get an unlocked one on Amazon for $60. I'd rather spend the $4 and 15 minutes for repair.

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