HTC

Gadget Review – HTC U 11 Teardown Pressure Sensor Reveal!

HTC U 11 - Teardown - Pressure Sensor Reveal!

The HTC U11. This poor guy just went through one of my
smartphone durability tests. And while most phones survive… This one
didn't.

His death is not in vain though as this autopsy
will show how to repair most everything inside the device, AND how the pressure sensors for
HTC touch sense work since that feature is unique to this phone. And maybe we'll see if a transparent back
glass panel is possible at the end of the video. Lets get started. (Intro) Normally I would turn off my phone first but…

I cant. Long pressing the home button doesn't work
at this point either. Since the back glass is not embedded into
the frame like on a Samsung it is a relatively simple process to remove. As long as you don't slice too far into the
device with your tools.

After the glass is just barely too hot to
touch comfortably, Ill slip my thin metal pry-tool between the aluminum and the glass,
and work my way around the edges. After the glass is up, I'll Stick my green
prytool under the panel to keep it from re-adhering back to the frame again. And continue the cycle of heating the phone
and slicing through the black adhesive. The black stuff is what helps keep the phone
water resistant.

So definitely don't trust your phone around
water anymore after you've done any repairs. On the top black plastic panel there are 5
little screws, I'm going to spice things up a little during this video with some arrows
I downloaded from graphicstock, they are doing a #Creator2Creator challenge And since video
is a big part of what I do, I'm animating the .PNG images I got from their website. There is a free 7 day trial waiting for you
in the video description. Only now after that panel is gone can i turn
off the phone by disconnecting the battery.

There are no pull tabs on the battery, but
at least the adhesive is pretty forgiving. And will allow the battery to pop out of the
frame without too much effort. Under the battery we get our first glimpse
of those pressure sensor ribbons on both sides of the phone. I'm taking special care not to puncture anything.

The battery is a 3000 Mah. Ill link these in the video description as
soon as they become available. There is one screw holding on the motherboard
in the bottom right hand corner. Ill set that off to the side making sure to
all the screws organized.

Ill pop the right pressure sensor ribbon off,
it can unsnap like a little lego, Along with the other three ribbon cables along the bottom
of the board. And the left pressure sensor, and lastly the
power and volume button can also unsnap like lego connections. There are two signal wires, the black and
white one, on the right side of the motherboard, and… Then…

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If for some reason your sim
card trey is still installed, you can remove it. It has the same rubber ring around the tip
to help keep water out. And the mother board is free to pull from
the phone. The front and rear cameras snap off easy enough,
Its really nice that HTC has finally organized their cabling inside the phone.

If you watch my HTC 10 teardown, All the different
unorganized connections made repairing that phone a nightmare. This little guy on the left is a 16 megapixel
front facing camera. And the main rear camera has a 12 megapixel
sensor with optical image stabilization. HTC opted to not include the OIS on the front
facing camera this year.

Last years HTC 10 was unique in having OIS
on both cameras. Hopefully they go back to that with next years
phone. OIS is great for video.. Down here at the bottom of the HTC U11 are
7 more screws.

The adhesive around the center hole is the
water proofing for one of the 4 microphones this phone uses for its multi directional
audio recording. Removing that top plastic shield exposes one
more screw, and finally the loud speaker can be removed. It still has the black signal wire attached
to it, and interestingly enough it has the water resistant mesh screen built into the
speaker itself. With Samsung and iPhone devices the waterproofing
mesh is a separate unit usually resting on the frame of the phone.

So that's interesting. The charging port has 4 of the little lego
style ribbon connections on the top, These are for the front capacitive buttons. And for the extension ribbon to the mother
board. As I was removing the charging port from the
board, there was a ton of adhesive holding it into the frame, which definitely helps
with the water resistance.

The little metal circle thing you see is the
vibrator motor. There is also a clear rubber washer that rests
around the USB C port to keep the seal tight when it is all screwed in and held in place. The screen itself is replaceable, using a
lot of heat and patience it can be removed just like we did with the back glass panel. It Definitely wont survive the process and
is not as easy to replace as the Google Pixel.

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But it is still possible. Ill toss a link in the description for replacement
screens. Ill have to get one for myself as soon as
they are available. And now for the part that is completely unique
to this phone…

There is no phone manufacture that has ever
attempted before. Squeezable sensors built into the aluminum
frame. The theory here is that the metal sides of
the phone can be squeezed, or flexed, and it can act as a trigger or button for different
apps, or features on the phone, like the camera. Its not capacitive , because HTC says it can
be used with gloves.

After lifting up the ribbon cable there is
a plastic bracket, with groves to run the signal wires. This comes off easy enough. And we get our first glimpse of the actual
pressure sensor. It has four individual joints.

And is extremely well adhered to the metal
frame. I don't imagine this can be removed without
damaging it permanently. Flexible pressure sensors aren't a new thing,
This same type of technology was used inside inside the ol' Nintendo Power gloves back
in the day. HTC is the first company to stick it inside
a phone though, underneath metal.

I assume that as the metal sides of the phone
flex when the device is squeezed, the resistance changes across each of the joints, telling
the phone that the grip has been triggered. With a more ridged frame, this feature probably
wouldn't work. Huge thumbs up to HTC for trying something
new. And stepping out of the same rectangular box
that most other cell phones are stuck in.

The ideal, most sensitive, squeeze points
would be on the lower half of the phone right where the sensors are located. Getting the phone back together is easy enough,
ill stick that rubber washer around the USB. C port and tuck it down into the frame, making
sure no connectors are stuck underneath the board. Then after getting the four ribbon cables
attached to the top of the board and the one white wire cable snapped in.

Ill toss on the loud speaker. The top right screw, and then the little plastic
shield can go over the top of the whole component. And the 7 screws that hold it all in place. The flex sensor on the side rail goes in next
with its little plastic guard.

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I have zero expectations of this functioning
anymore now that i've removed it. But Ill still put it back anyway. Mother board gets tucked down top first into
the frame. And then all of the lego like connections
along the bottom get clicked in.

You'll feel them snap in onto the motherboard
under your finger like a little lego. The screen, the extension,and the pressure
sensors on the side rails. And also the white and black wire cables along
that right side. There are little metal clips guiding clips
that help line the cables into the right spot.

One more screw at the bottom of the motherboard. And lastly the battery gets plopped back into
place and plugged in. The plastic shield goes over the top of the
motherboard with its five screws. And I can do a test run with the phone by
turning it on.

And look! Its as good as new. Now the back glass panel will definitely need
its own adhesive, so Ill link some in the video description. But the HTC U11 back glass can indeed become
clear. There is a plastic coating, over the top of
a super fine paint layer.

Its a hard substance and scrapes off into
shiny pixie dust pretty easy. It shouldn't need any paint remover like on
the Galaxy S8. I'm not going to do the whole thing, because
that would be like putting a new paint job on a wrecked Ferrari. Ill see if I can fix the phone first before
I continue any modifications.

If you creating stuff on the internet and
want to try using Graphic Stocks unlimited downloads of graphics, photos, and vectors
I put a free 7 day trial for you in the video description of this video. Id love to see what you make, so tweet it
over to me using #creator2creator hashtag. It saved me time being able to jump on and
grab some images instead of trying to create my own from scratch. Take a look at their library and see if anything
will work for your projects.

The link is in the description. Let me know If you have any questions in the
comments, or if you need any specific parts for your broken phone. And thanks a ton for watching! Ill see you around..

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