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Android Keyboard Swap

If you have one of the white Android "Google" phones you may be annoyed by the keyboard being hard to read. I wanted to let you know there is hope.

 

(1) Go to http://www.OEMcellPhoneParts.com and order the black keyboard for $39.95. (HTC products page 8). URL to product: http://tinyurl.com/defexb

 

(2) Make sure you have the following tools: T5 and T6 torx drivers and a #0 phillips. I found a real nice kit at Harbor Freight @ Lamar & 290/Ben White for around $10 with all of those sizes/types. FYI: the T6 is for the one screw that says "void" on it. Yep, you will be voiding your warranty.

 

NOTES: This operation may sound complex or difficult because there are so many steps below but trust me: If you follow my directions you will be done in 20 minutes. The hardest part of the disassembly is removing the inner back panel, which is secured by 5 Torx screws and a myriad of plastic tabs.

Also: A good idea is when you are removing screws you pay attention to what order and lay the screws out on your desk in that same order so when you are putting it back together you put the screws in the holes they belong in.

 

(3) Remove the back of the phone and the battery. I have two batteries but I can use a third so put your battery in the mail to me right now.

 

(4) Remove all screws. Make sure you don't miss the one that is black and says "void" on it. Yes, this operation is going to void your warranty. I said it once but I'm telling you again just because I know you are skimming instead of really reading this and you are probably A.D.D., too.

 

(5) Here is where you need to be very careful. Removing this next layer, the "inner cover" is a little hard just because there are so many little "tabs" that click into place to hold this on. I recommend you use multiple small flat head screw drivers or some similar flat/hard objects as "spacers" so when you pry an edge apart, you can leave the metal "spacer" there to keep the edge from clicking back into place when you are working on the other edges.


If you do this slowly and gently, you will have no problems. I succeeded in doing this without breaking any of the tabs. I don't know if it is because I have a knack for this kind of thing or I was lucky or those tabs are pretty sturdy. So yeah, you are taking a little risk.

 

(6) Now, before you touch anything inside your phone, make sure you discharge any static electricity in your body by touching some piece of grounded metal nearby. You don't want to "shock" any of the sensitive electronic parts in this phone.

 

(7) Once the rear cover is off, 2 screws securing the GPS and UMTS boards need to be removed. If you don't know what these items are, sorry, I didn't take photos when I did my phone and I don't want to open it back up again. BUT DON'T WORRY! Just do this: remove every screw you see. And the GPS and UMTS are the little circuit boards that have longish wires coming out of them. Just unscrew and move those units to the side but do not un-attach their wires.


This sounds complex but it really is easy once you get in there.

 

(8) Remove all screws you can see. Now you can lift the piece covering the keyboard... tilt it... and pull the keyboard out. You can then very easily slide your new black keyboard in and start closing it all up again and turn it on and hopefully, haha, it comes on!

 

You just saved yourself either $38 or $100, depending. See, when my black keyboard arrived, I opened up the back of my phone, realized I didn't have screwdrivers that small, thought, "The T-Mobile store is close," drove there. Asked them. They said, "We don't do that kind of work. Here is a place that does..." I went to that place. They said, "Oh! We work on every phone except that one because it is too complex. But our north store will do the job for $38." I called the north store. They said, "Oh that phone is a bitch. We'll do the job for $100." At that point I thought, "Frack it. I've put together my own computers for the past 16 years. I want to see what this thing looks like inside." So here I am telling you all it is NO BIG DEAL AND YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF! And if you frack up your phone, I am not to blame! Mine works fine now and if I had a camera other than my phone, I'd take a picture to show you. But I'll tell you the black keyboard rocks and I can actually see the letters now!

 

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