Essential Phone, the one by the father of Android Andy Rubin, has finally shipped to the customers following a half a summer's worth of delays and the teardown experts of iFixit have ripped it apart and given their verdict. Well, how good is it? It turns out that iFixit has given the Essential Phone a 1 out of 10 on its "repairability" scale, placing it in the list of the website's worst offenders. In comparison, iPhone 7 got a 7, Google Pixel XL a 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 got a 4 by iFixit. In the email, that iFixit sent out promoting the post, they called the Essential Phone "a hot mess."
As per Andy Rubin and his promises, the Essential Phone was meant to be one of the best devices available in the market, something that could compete with the likes of iPhones and Samsung smartphones. It was supposed to have a premium fit, a proper finish, and an appealing design. But all these proved to extra trouble for getting the phone open.
After they found out that nothing was accessible by entering the back of the phone, iFixit experts had to freeze and crack the screen to access its components. "Any attempt at repair is likely to inflict as much damage as it fixes," the team wrote. They also noted that overuse of adhesives in the device made it difficult to get inside.
Some of the interesting things that iFixit found out are that the earpiece speaker on the top of the device is a part of the same module as the selfie camera, all the identifying marks (like the FCC label), which are generally found on the back of a phone, are hidden on a small tag that sits under the SIM tray and the USB-C port is soldered to the motherboard, which means it will be difficult to fix it or replace it, if anything happens to the device.
"If you need to replace this high-wear component, you're in for an (expensive) microsoldering job or a (very expensive) full-motherboard replacement," wrote the website.
So it seems like, despite its titanium and ceramic build, the almost full-screen Essential Phone would be quite a risky buy for clumsy smartphone owners, as repairing or replacing the parts of the phone is going to be a tough and expensive task.