Gadget Review – Note 8 CLEAR EDITION! Totally Transparent Samsung Note 8
Before I start showing how I made my clear
Galaxy Note 8, it’s important to note that I highly recommend not attempting this project
yourself. So many things can go wrong during this project. I’ll try to mention most of them, but still,
it’s an expensive phone so don’t try this unless you have nothing to lose. Alright, now that we have that out of the
way, let’s get started.
[Intro] The Galaxy Note 8 is a beast of a device,
and just like how most high-end gaming PCs are see-through, I think Samsung should offer
a clear version to show off their top of the line components. It would be cool if Apple did it too – mediocre
hardware is still interesting to look at. I just like clear gadgets. The Note 8 has Gorilla Glass 5 on the back
that is glued to the frame of the phone.
I’m pretty sure they use some new kind of
adhesive this year because I had an extraordinarily hard time removing this back panel. The phone is turned off at this point and
I’m warming up the phone until it’s too hot to touch comfortably with my hands. Then I’ll slip a thin metal pry tool along
the side edge of the glass panel since that’s the only entry point I could find. Then gently cut away the adhesive under the
glass with that metal edge.
Remember, we are working with glass, so any
pressure in the wrong spot and the whole panel shatters. It’s a delicate process. I’ll try and link the replacement back glass
panels in the description as soon as they are available, in case yours gets broken or
is already broken and you just need to swap it out. As the phone cools, the adhesive hardens back
I’ll be reheating the phone with my heat gun
about every 30 seconds or so. Tucking a sturdy piece of paper or business
card under the glass also helps it keep from re-adhering to the phone again. I told you, this is a very painstaking process
– Samsung doesn’t mess around with their water-proofing. Finally my back panel lifts up and away from
the phone exposing some of the plastic shrouds protecting the internal components.
I’ll do a full tear down of this phone, talking
about the components and the OIS and the cameras in a future video. One thing I did mess up though was the fingerprint
scanner ribbon cable. I managed to slice through that with one of
my pry tools. I wasn’t planning on using it anyway, but
still, I’ll try to avoid doing that in the future.
The bottom of the phone, over the charging
port, has 6 regular Philips head screws holding down the plastic. I’ll just set those off to the side to keep
them organized. And I’ll have a tool kit linked in the description
that fits these screws. The top plastics and wireless charging have
10 more screws the same Philips head screws we saw at the bottom.
It’s good practice to lay these out in a way
that they go back in the same hole they came from. The wireless charging panel unclips from the
metal frame of the phone at this point and we can see the golden contact pads on the
back that transfer the power from the copper coiled inductor to the battery. I’m going to leave my wireless charging intact
this time around and I’ll explain more how I do that in a second. The bottom plastics of the phone snap off
exposing the charging port and headphone jack.
Things are starting to look how we want at
this point. The loudspeaker’s built into the bottom plastics. It’s got that water-damage indicator on it. I do want a speaker in my finished phone so
I’ll cut off the un-mandetory part of the plastic, leaving the speaker and golden contact
pads intact with a few of the screw holes so it can reattach.
Perfect. The battery has some separation foam on the
back that I’m going to remove. And now we look at the wireless charging itself. The wireless charging has one little niblet
up at the top that is a battery temperature sensor.
This is excruciatingly important. Without this niblet, your phone will not charge. So this needs to be left intact. Personally, I’m just going to cut around the
golden contact pads leaving everything intact but the plastic.
I want all the features to remain functional
in this build. I left one screw hole next to the contact
pads to hold everything in place. But, if you look closely, you can see the
leads under the black stuff that go from the battery temperature sensor niblet to the motherboard. So if you are anti-wireless charging you can
just cut around those leads, leaving them intact like I did with my clear Galaxy S8.
But, if you mess up that niblet, your phone
will never charge again. My phone is turning on at this point and still
functional. So, so far so good. Plus it can still charge, which means I didn’t
damage that battery temperature sensor.
Now for the back panel itself. The super strong adhesive that Samsung placed
around the outside edge needs to come off. The glass is curved along both sides and it’s
glass, so I’m being super careful with it. Once all the sticky adhesive is gone I can
start removing the color.
Using the metal pry tool scrapes off the color,
but it leaves a slightly cloudy laminate layer underneath, above the glass. This would still look cool since it’s kind
of like that frosted effect that the older Game Boy colors had, but I want my phone to
end up completely clear. The laminate layer is extremely adhered to
the phone and does not want to come off on it’s own. I’ll use some heat to remove the camera lens,
it has a metal frame, so as long as I don’t put any pressure on the glass part of the
lens it will come out in one piece.
This premium stripper will hopefully help
soften the bond between the laminate layer and the glass. I’ll spray the foam over the back panel and
let it sit for about 15 minutes. It really helps if you have chemically resistant
gloves at this point. You can tell that the stripper started eating
through my fingertips on my gloves, so I just rinsed it off and kept going.
Once I got a large enough piece of the laminate
lifted up, it just peeled away from the glass back entirely. But now, if the glass breaks in the future,
it’ll fall away in large chunks instead of being held together by that laminate. You win some and you lose some. I’m going to de-brand my phone at this point
by removing the logos from the underside of the glass.
They just scrape off. I’ll get my clear double-sided tape around
every edge of the phone. This is probably a good time to mention that
any time you open up a water-resistant phone, it will 100% not be water-resistant anymore
when you put it back together. So this project definitely has it’s own pros
The tape all around the edge should keep dust
out, but I wouldn’t trust it around water. My back glass panel is clean at this point. A bit of glass cleaner got rid of all the
fingerprints, and then the camera lens with it’s sliced fingerprint scanner ribbon, gets
put back into place. And the whole back panel can get set on the
Now, I might be a bit biased, but I think
this looks awesome, and this is without Samsung even trying. They could take 2 seconds and design the internals
to be viewed from the outside and it would probably look even cooler. Like the black insulation over the copper
wireless charging coils. It can be scraped away like I showed in the
video I did with What’s Inside.
If Samsung used clear insulation around those
copper coils, it would take the aesthetics to a whole new level. I did put my SIM card into the phone and got
4G signals, texts and phone calls all worked. And even WiFi and Bluetooth were still functioning. So everything’s working as it should.
You can see both camera units, the iris scanner
and front cameras, the s-pen holster, the loudspeaker, circular vibrator motor, and
wireless charging pad itself, with, of course, the charging port down south next to the headphone
jack. So what do you think? Should Samsung give us a clear phone option? Maybe if there are enough comments asking
for it below this video, Samsung will consider it. Share this video with someone you could see
rocking a clear phone like this one. Thanks a ton for watching, and I’ll see you