HTC One is actually easy to open with a special tool, says HTC lead designer

by: Andrew GrushJuly 10, 2013

samsung galaxy s4 vs htc one one viewing angle aa

Back in March, iFixit went to work on taking the HTC One apart to give us all a better look at the phone’s insides and determine how easy (or hard) the phone would be to repair. The verdict? Just 1/10 – with 1 being ultra hard and 10 being easy as pie.

The reason for the low score is that the HTC One is very hard to open without damaging the rear case. The good news is that the phone might be hard for everyday users to take apart, but HTC does have a special method for prying open the handset in the event that the phone needs servicing under warranty.

According to HTC’s senior manager of the One design team, Justin Huang:

“During the development [of the One], there was another team inside HTC who looked at the repair process.” “So every phone sent to HTC, they have a special tool to disassemble the back cover, to let us have the ability to access all the components inside.”

In other words, you might not be able to self-repair or send it in to a third party for cheap and easy repairs, but at least you can rest assured that you can send it in directly to HTC. Unfortunately for those looking to get their phones repaired cheaply, this isn’t exactly great news.

On the plus side, if a tool like this really does exist, it is probably just a matter of time before a Chinese knock-off tool becomes available online. What do you think, does the HTC One’s low repairability score matter to you or not?

  • jeff s

    I work at a cell phone case kiosk where we also repair phones depending on the model, everyday I see broken iPhones and quite frequently I see cracked s3 phones but to date I don’t think we have been approached by a single person w a broken HTC one. Wish I could say the same thing for the one x.

    • MasterMuffin

      Because S3 and iPhones are so much more popular and older devices…

    • MasterMuffin

      Because S3 and iPhones are so much more popular and older devices…

    • hohopig

      perhaps because HTC One actually STARTS selling only in June, even though it was launch way earlier?

  • t3chn0s1s

    This would have made me feel better a month ago when I cracked the display on my One and had to send it in to HTC. It was actually cheaper than an insurance replacement device thru AT&T @ $180. Even if this tool was available to 3rd party repair shops I don’t think I would have trusted them like an authorized HTC repair center. When I got my One back it was in the same condition it had left me in: mint, except the display of course was fixed and it was reassembled perfectly.

    • hohopig

      except you can’t tell what happens to the innard after the “heat” treatment .. until your one year warranty is over.

  • rabidhunter

    Special tool? Duct tape and a paper clip. You can fix just about anything.

  • chanman

    So basically it’s about repairable as an iPhone. Good to know.

    • hohopig

      no it is worst. It got iFixit score of 1 .. lowest ever, the record holder.

      • Hamza

        Do you read?

  • OMGgary

    Oddly enough, frequently when I hear mention of HTC, the words “special” and “tool” come to mind.

  • burragoz

    Just Dont Break It!

  • Otto Andersson

    LOL thanks HTC for removing freedom from the consumer. I like to support the little guy, but the non removable battery made me go S4.

    • John A

      Same as.

  • cycad007

    I can disassemble my HTC One S without any (big) problems. If HTC would make that tool available, then I *MIGHT* consider buying the HTC One. I like to be able to replace the battery after a year or so of use.

  • Joe Bahru

    Well i’t didn’t stop me buying one and I love my HTC ONE.

  • n900mixalot

    “‘Don’t try it,’ teased Huang with a smile.” – Engadget

    This kind of frat-boy crap from HTC is just one reason why no one can blame competitors, who spend hundreds of mills on “marketing,” for HTC’s pathetic image.

    Hey HTC, try this: “HTC takes great pride in our build quality, and we believe that we are the best suited to repair our devices. We have spend a significant amount of time building a *premium* device that surpasses everything else out there in build quality. Therefore, we have created special methods of resolving any of our customers’ concerns with their devices. When anything goes wrong, we are there to help.”

    I got 99 problems but [HTC] ain’t one.

  • hohopig

    Absolutely junk. And he claims that he has a tool to OPEN the back cover, without address the messy innards and all the things that still needs to be remove to EVEN access the battery.

  • Daniel

    the best part is all it took to do it correctly was a heat gun and suction cup!!!

  • stef

    Microphone not working… and if its just dirty im in bad luck cleaning it without removing back casing, very bad htc.

  • me

    HTC one.. what a pos.. my old HTC slide was faster.. 3-4 hours to download an app? With 4G service? Galaxy downloaded and installed, set up account, up and running in a few (3-5) minutes.. 4 hours later.. HTC one.. still downloading.. never been more frustrated with a phone..

  • Kamil

    Right now I’m having some weird malfunction with my HTC one,.. it won’t stop vibrating. I would like to take the battery out so that it will stop. But unfortunately, I can’t. Also, I can’t sleep because I can hear the damn vibration no matter where I put it in the house. So yeah, this is pretty damn terrible

  • Ryan Battersby

    I have had my HTC one for about 4 months now and I have had not one problem, yes no expandable memory is bad, yes non removable battery and casing is bad. But all in all I have had. Mint experience with HTC. & I have owned many HTCs throughout my lifetime. But this HTC one is by far the best I have owned. It is super fast, light, great internal storage, great battery life and charging time etc. Great phone good job HTC but you could have made battery accesable .