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HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro teardown: great phone, poor repairability

Like the idea of repairing your own phone? Well, you might have second thoughts about getting the Mate 20 Pro...

Published onNovember 6, 2018

A disassembled HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro .
  • Gadget repair website iFixit has given the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro a repairability score of four out of 10.
  • The website criticized the use of glue for the front and back glass panels.
  • It also criticized the presence of more flex connectors than average, increasing the repair time.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro is certainly in the running for 2018’s best smartphone, packing loads of features into its frame. But those hoping to do some DIY repairs might be disappointed by the device.

Prominent repair website iFixit has disassembled the new flagship, giving it a four out of 10 score for ease of repairing. This is the same disappointing score as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro, and the LG G7. Then again, at least it’s not as bad as the Essential Phone‘s abysmal one out of 10 score.

The website’s criticism focused almost entirely on the phone’s glass design. It called out Huawei for its use of glue on the front and back glass panels, saying this increased the chances of glass breaking when opening up the device. Speaking of glass breaking, a screen repair will mean “a lot of disassembly while battling tough adhesive.”

The HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro with its display detached from the body.

The screen-related complications don’t stop there, as it’s suggested that a broken screen will necessitate replacing the in-display fingerprint sensor too (and vice-versa). In other words, you’d better buy a great case or make sure the device is insured against accidental damage. The motherboard also uses more flex connectors than your average phone, the outlet noted, which means you’ll be spending more time repairing the device.

Right to repair: Should we tolerate hard-to-fix devices for better phones?

It’s not all bad, however, as iFixit praised the use of modular components that can be replaced independently. Battery replacements aren’t needlessly complicated either, as you only need to remove the back panel and frame. Finally, the website welcomed the use of standard Phillips screws, as opposed to proprietary screws that require more specialized tools.

Do you take ease of repair into account when buying a smartphone? Let us know in the comments.

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