Knowing how to fix something is awesome. But to make informed choices, readers should know how repairable their device is before they begin work on it—even before they buy it. The more easily a device can be fixed, the longer it will last—and the longer it’ll be kept out of a landfill.
You've already taken your device apart and learned what makes it tick. Now, put your unique knowledge to use, and assign a repairability score!
To help you do that, we've come up with an awesome repairability index. Think of it as a sort of grading rubric, where all you have to do is tally up points! Pretty easy, right? But before you rate your device, take a gander at our smartphone and tablet repairability score pages to get an idea of what today’s popular devices are rated, and which factors affect those ratings.
Each device is assessed on a 100-point scale. Points are awarded based on factors such as:
- Whether common, off-the-shelf tools can be used for servicing (no proprietary tools)
- The difficulty of opening the device
- How easy it is to remove internal fasteners (screws, adhesive, clips, etc)
- The relative complexity of replacing major components
Run through the full list of criteria below, and tally up the points that your device receives. Once you've gone through the list, divide that score by 10 to arrive at the final figure.
A device with a perfect score (10 out of 10) will be super-easy to disassemble, and will have a complete disassembly manual available. Note: Very few devices have received a perfect 10 so far. A device with a low score (such as 1 or 2) will be extremely difficult to repair because it will have heavily-glued parts, proprietary fasteners, and a non-modular design.
Add 10 points for each of the following criteria:
- Repair information/diagrams is included with the device, or is freely available on the internet
- Commonly-damaged components (screen, headphone jack, speakers) are easily replaceable
- No proprietary screws or self-destructing fasteners are present
- Disassembling the device does not require substantial prying effort
- Battery is easily removable (no strong adhesive, not soldered in place)
- Discretionary feel after having taken apart the device
Add 5 points for each of the following criteria:
- Internal components are modular, not tightly packed together, and are not grouped together on one cable
- LCD panel and display glass are two separate components (not fused together)
- Excessive amounts of adhesive are not used to secure internal components
- Full device disassembly takes less than half an hour
- Disassembling the device does not require a heating element
- Fewer than three different types of screws are used, reducing tool cost
- The number of fragile cables or connectors that may easily tear is minimal
- Number of screws totals less than 30
- Click on the “Edit” button on your device page.
- Once there, scroll down to the the “repairability score” section at the bottom of the page. Then simply input the repairability score and click “Save”.
- Your device page photo should now show its repairability score.