the phone was switching on (I could feel it vibrate when it was powered on), but nothing appeared on the screen. Then the owner showed me why – turning the phone over allowed the screen to just fall gently out. The ribbon attaching it to the logic board was snapped.
Undeterred by the lack of understanding of the phone (I assumed it was a budget smartphone, possibly from China) I set about finding a new screen for the phone to fit. Ebay had lots of them available all for around £30. My suspicions about the origins of the phone appeared to be confirmed as all the sellers where from China. Free delivery though, so that was a bonus.
I informed the owner the repair would likely take 4-6 weeks to complete due to the new screen having to be shipped from the other side of the world. And with that I ordered the screen and waited.
Delivery only took 3 weeks, which was great. As soon as the new screen arrived, I set about fitting it to the phone. Thankfully, a difficult part of the repair, removing the old screen, was already done for me, so all I had to do was take the phone apart from the back to attach the ribbon.
I heated up the back with a heat gun for a few moments, and then slowly peel it off with a knife around the sides. There was a fingerprint sensor ribbon attached, so I had to careful not to snap or cut it.
Next, I unscrewed the plastic cover from the frame and removed a plastic cover for the fingerprint connector and the sim card tray.
Using a blunt ended prying tool, I had to find a gap in the side of the plastic cover and lever it out of the phone frame to release it from the rest of the phone body. Working around the edge of the phone gently I finally released it and had access to the electronic components within.
The hardest part was next. I had to disconnect the battery ribbon and gently pull the battery out to slowly release the battery without damaging it. This gave me access to where the screen ribbon had to be fitted. It was a slow and drawn-out process as I did not want to stress or damage the battery in any way, but with a small amount of gentle persuasion at a time the battery did come out.
With the phone dismantled enough to fit the screen it was time to glue the new screen down. I applied some soft adhesive to the inside of the phone frame, on the side the screen will be attached, around the edge and middle. Before positioning the screen, I feed the ribbon through the hole in the frame so that I could attach it to the logic board.
Now I had to work moderately quickly to get the phone back together. The adhesive works best when it is clamped to allow it to set. To clamp it I had to get everything perfectly back in so that it all fitted back together.
I attached the screen ribbon and then place the battery back in the frame before re-attaching the battery ribbon. Then I swiftly clicked the phone frame back into position around the edge of the phone and screwed down with all the screws, apart from the one holding in the fingerprint sensor connector.
Moving onto the fingerprint sensor I gently put the ribbon back in place, being extra careful not to damage this rather fragile ribbon. It was then protected by a small cover that needed to be screwed down.
Finally, I was able to put the phone back in position and reinsert the sim card holder.
At last, I could finally put my phone clamps around the phone to allow the screen adhesive to set. I left it overnight and took the opportunity to charge the phone too.
After a good seven hours sleep, which I highly recommend you all attempt to have, I woke up excitedly to see if the phone screen worked.
It did, the repair went perfectly. I was delighted. One more fixed phone to return to its owner.
New Oppo CPH1941 screen @ £30
3 hours work to repair, test and charge @ £30
Total cost of repair: £60