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[FAILED] Phone Repair Adventure (LG V40 ThinQ)

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So over the last few weeks, the fingerprint reader on my main smartphone (LG V40 ThinQ) was being finicky. Did some research and saw somewhere that applying pressure under the camera could make it work. Sure enough, that temporarily fixes it.

However, when I took it out of the case I have it in, I saw that the back was bowing outward. The battery is expanding and pushing the scanner away from its contacts on the board. I took it to two repair shops, and neither was willing/able to work on it.

Guess I'm gonna have to do it myself. I did a quick test teardown and found that it's pretty easy to disassemble. I stuck a small plastic prying tool between the side and back of the phone and worked it around until it came off. Undid all of the #00 screws on the motherboard cover and that came off. The battery is stuck down with all the adhesive in the world, so I'll need to figure that out (probably have to use a microwaved rice pack to soften the adhesive). And sure enough, the battery is quite swollen.

Since I still need a usable phone, I've reassembled it and have five pieces of scotch tape holding the back on. I've ordered a new battery and adhesive on iFixit. Gonna minimize charging my phone until then.

This is still kind of disappointing, as I've only had this phone for two years. I've never had this happen on any previous phones (which were all iPhones from 2013 to 2019).

I'm wondering if the fast wireless charger that I'm using might've accelerated the battery's degradation. None of my previous phones had support for QC or even wireless charging.

Also, does anyone know of any good easy-to-repair smartphones out there with decent specs?

EDIT: Took some pictures with my Dell Latitude 5179 tablet (hence the horrible quality). NGL, I almost reached for my phone to take pictures of... my phone.



EDIT 2: Permanently damaged the screen now. Any suggestions for new phones are more than welcome. Lesson learned; don't use metal tools when prying the battery off of the screen.

 
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Toothless

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Reason they don't want to work on it is because LG doesn't do phones anymore. Between that and no 5G support is why I switched phones. (OnePlus9 is fantastic, just sayin')

Your best bet is looking around for a battery and doing it yourself, VERY carefully.
 
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Reason they don't want to work on it is because LG doesn't do phones anymore. Between that and no 5G support is why I switched phones. (OnePlus9 is fantastic, just sayin')

Your best bet is looking around for a battery and doing it yourself, VERY carefully.
Yep, already have a battery and adhesive ordered from iFixit.

I've considered OnePlus, but I need a headphone jack. Also can't stand the punch-out front camera.
 
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Phones are notoriously getting harder and harder to repair and I don't think it's so much a right to repair issue more a technology issue. We are cramming more and more in yet trying to keep them as small as possible. I'm not anyway a phone technician I guess I could be considered more a cheapskate but I've always fixed my own phones and tablets as well as family's devices, all I can say is the more you fix a certain product the easier it seems.

As far as battery degradation batteries optimum capacity is always 50% (stable capacity) the closer you keep your battery at that level the less stress the cells accumulate, so when repairing yours I would get it as close to that as you can before adding heat or pressure. A good tip is to slide dental floss or any other fine filament wire (high E guitar string works best from my experience) behind the battery and slowly cut through the adhesive.
 
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I almost reached for my phone to take pictures of... my phone.
:p :p happens to me sometimes
any good easy-to-repair smartphones out there with decent specs?
The way I see it is if you want to be able to repair something in the future , avoid buying rare and premium phones , most people use midrange and the parts are available much easier than a premium flagship , not to mention that repairing a flagship is expensive due to premium parts ....



I'm wondering if the fast wireless charger that I'm using might've accelerated the battery's degradation. None of my previous phones had support for QC or even wireless charging.
I doubt that caused any serious amount of degradation, the only way it’s possible is if the coils overheat then yes heat kills batteries faster , if your Qi charger causes heat avoid it , and use a lower amperage charging brick , I think 2Amps 5v is the sweet spot for long term ..
If you’re using wireless charging for convenience and hate plugging a cable everytime , then get one of those magnetic cables, you leave the connector always plugged in the phone , and it attaches magnetically to the cable when you need it , less stress for the connector too which is great ....
 

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Yep, already have a battery and adhesive ordered from iFixit.

I've considered OnePlus, but I need a headphone jack. Also can't stand the punch-out front camera.
I didn't know about the headphone until after I bought it. Was a bit upset until I realized that bluetooth is just so much easier if you can remember to charge once a day at most. (My headphones go for about 10hrs)

Camera doesn't bother since it's in a thick case. Performance over the ThinQ is about 3x on EVERYTHING. Trust me, I benched. That's not to say my V40 isn't still being used, as I got cameras smashed (already dead) and epoxied for work.

Good luck on the battery swap! An intact spicy pillow is best spicy pillow.
 

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I'm wondering if the fast wireless charger that I'm using might've accelerated the battery's degradation. None of my previous phones had support for QC or even wireless charging.

It's still lithium-ion LiPo so the usual boring routine applies, don't charge past 80, don't fast charge, don't do anything that gets the battery above 30c......but in reality probably only the heat management is realistic. 3300mAh isn't huge and I'm guessing you want to use the battery capacity you paid for. Pretty similar to my old OnePlus 6T and I for sure would not cap it to 80%.

It's 18W fast charging, shouldn't really be a problem, but then again depends on heat. No idea if your phone is well designed thermally or a nuclear reactor in your hand. Not much control you have over that.

If you're just charging overnight, I would use a slow charger and save the 18W block for when you need it. My OP6T gets a bit warm when I Dash Charge, but my Poco DE stays cool at 18W fast charge.

Yep, already have a battery and adhesive ordered from iFixit.

I've considered OnePlus, but I need a headphone jack. Also can't stand the punch-out front camera.

Samsung probably has a couple lower midrangers with a 3.5mm jack, but they are probably slower to far slower than your phone. Poco X3 Pro has a headphone jack. The Xperia One III has one as well, but it's not cheap.

As for the punch, you might have to live with it. Everyone's doing it, and from that oppo or whatever phone recently it doesn't look like camera-under-screen is quite ready for primetime yet.

Do you use the 3.5 jack daily? Could something like a Fiio BTR3K or BTR5 work? The former isn't so expensive. The 3.5 jack on my iPhone 6S+ is now so loose it can barely keep a plug in, and moderate use of the dongle on my 6T killed the inbuilt DAC. I'm also thinking the BTR3K is the better solution.
 
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Bad news.

While prying the battery out, I nicked the screen and damaged it.

I'm going to probably give myself a concussion now...

Welcoming any phone suggestions. I'd prefer an OLED screen, a MicroSD slot, and a headphone jack. No punch-out cameras; I'm fine with notches.

It's still lithium-ion LiPo so the usual boring routine applies, don't charge past 80, don't fast charge, don't do anything that gets the battery above 30c......but in reality probably only the heat management is realistic. 3300mAh isn't huge and I'm guessing you want to use the battery capacity you paid for. Pretty similar to my old OnePlus 6T and I for sure would not cap it to 80%.

It's 18W fast charging, shouldn't really be a problem, but then again depends on heat. No idea if your phone is well designed thermally or a nuclear reactor in your hand. Not much control you have over that.

If you're just charging overnight, I would use a slow charger and save the 18W block for when you need it. My OP6T gets a bit warm when I Dash Charge, but my Poco DE stays cool at 18W fast charge.



Samsung probably has a couple lower midrangers with a 3.5mm jack, but they are probably slower to far slower than your phone. Poco X3 Pro has a headphone jack. The Xperia One III has one as well, but it's not cheap.

As for the punch, you might have to live with it. Everyone's doing it, and from that oppo or whatever phone recently it doesn't look like camera-under-screen is quite ready for primetime yet.

Do you use the 3.5 jack daily? Could something like a Fiio BTR3K or BTR5 work? The former isn't so expensive. The 3.5 jack on my iPhone 6S+ is now so loose it can barely keep a plug in, and moderate use of the dongle on my 6T killed the inbuilt DAC. I'm also thinking the BTR3K is the better solution.

BTR5 is probably a fine substitute. I absolutely despise Samsung, so I'd prefer to avoid their products if possible.
 
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Bad news.

While prying the battery out, I nicked the screen and damaged it.

I'm going to probably give myself a concussion now...

Welcoming any phone suggestions. I'd prefer an OLED screen, a MicroSD slot, and a headphone jack. No punch-out cameras; I'm fine with notches.

T-Mobile by chance?
 
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Bad news.

While prying the battery out, I nicked the screen and damaged it.

Welcoming any phone suggestions. I'd prefer an OLED screen, a MicroSD slot, and a headphone jack. No punch-out cameras; I'm fine with notches.

BTR5 is probably a fine substitute. I absolutely despise Samsung, so I'd prefer to avoid their products if possible.

Sorry to hear that. Don't feel too bad though, in the age of glass sandwich phones i'd imagine it's super common. Is it just a portion of the screen that's messed up or the entire thing?

The Xperia 1 III literally ticks every single one of those boxes. I'm not aware of even a single other phone out there that also does while retaining high-end performance. Only reservation I have about it is SD888, wouldn't pay $1300 for a repeat of SD810 thermals in an SoC, but aside from that one point I really love how the phone looks and performs.

Do update us if you get a BTR5, I'm close to pulling the trigger on a BTR3K and just want to know how the sound quality is.
 
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Sorry to hear that. Don't feel too bad though, in the age of glass sandwich phones i'd imagine it's super common. Is it just a portion of the screen that's messed up or the entire thing?

The Xperia 1 III literally ticks every single one of those boxes. I'm not aware of even a single other phone out there that also does while retaining high-end performance. Only reservation I have about it is SD888, wouldn't pay $1300 for a repeat of SD810 thermals in an SoC, but aside from that one point I really love how the phone looks and performs.

Do update us if you get a BTR5, I'm close to pulling the trigger on a BTR3K and just want to know how the sound quality is.

The Xperia 1 III is about the only phone out currently that I have any interest in. I just can't spend the $1300 on something that may not get timely updates, or only be supported for 2 years. The V40 I have stopped at exactly 23 months as far as security updates.

I tried the Pixel 5a, but it was a total fail at WiFi calling. Where I live the service isn't strong enough to be able to rely on cell service only.
 
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Sorry to hear that. Don't feel too bad though, in the age of glass sandwich phones i'd imagine it's super common. Is it just a portion of the screen that's messed up or the entire thing?

The Xperia 1 III literally ticks every single one of those boxes. I'm not aware of even a single other phone out there that also does while retaining high-end performance. Only reservation I have about it is SD888, wouldn't pay $1300 for a repeat of SD810 thermals in an SoC, but aside from that one point I really love how the phone looks and performs.

Do update us if you get a BTR5, I'm close to pulling the trigger on a BTR3K and just want to know how the sound quality is.
I have been looking at Sony's phones. They're everything I want, but their prices are absurd. An older model might be an option.

Here's the carnage.



Screen still works, just a magenta line and some dead pixels around where I nicked it.
 

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T-Mobile by chance?
T-Mobile will not support the V40 after the network update. It doesn't have 5G and cannot work with new sim cards. No point.
 
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T-Mobile will not support the V40 after the network update. It doesn't have 5G and cannot work with new sim cards. No point.
Is it just the V40 specifically, or anything that doesn't have 5G?
 
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T-Mobile will not support the V40 after the network update. It doesn't have 5G and cannot work with new sim cards. No point.
That's something I've been worried about with my V40 anyway. I flashed the US Unlocked firmware onto it a while ago and I don't think VoLTE works. Once they shut down 3G (which will make coverage even worse, if that's even possible), this phone might not be usable anymore.
 

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Is it just the V40 specifically, or anything that doesn't have 5G?
Anything 5G I believe that cannot accept new sim cards. I tried with my V40 and yeah, no.
 
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Anything 5G I believe that cannot accept new sim cards. I tried with my V40 and yeah, no.
This'll probably piss off a lot of people (or maybe just my family since we don't have any 5G phones).
 

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This'll probably piss off a lot of people (or maybe just my family since we don't have any 5G phones).
I'm just hoping MetroPCS will keep the old network long enough to get my V40 replaced as my work phone. I don't want to reuse my ZTE again.
 
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Anything 5G I believe that cannot accept new sim cards. I tried with my V40 and yeah, no.

This'll probably piss off a lot of people (or maybe just my family since we don't have any 5G phones).

I'll have to call them tomorrow - I can't imagine that everyone with 2 year old phones would have to replace them. Ugh.
 

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I'll have to call them tomorrow - I can't imagine that everyone with 2 year old phones would have to replace them. Ugh.
I took my phone in and that's what they said after I spent hours with the sim card.
 

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@sam_86314 have you used a punch-hole phone before, or just predicting? I was pretty leery of it as well but honestly prefer a centred punch-hole to the weird notch-ish of the OP6T or the fat notch on iPhones. It doesn't really get in the way since you won't have anything in the very middle of the status bar anyways. Notifs and clock on the left, signal and batt on the right, just like every Android phone since 2010.

Left corner punch-hole phones are pretty weird though, not gonna lie.

A lot of stock and custom ROMs allow some customizability when it comes to notch behaviour. Some AOSP ROMs have full notch options in Developer Options and sometimes proper customizability elsewhere, afaik stock Oneplus allows you to exclude the top of the screen comprising the thickness of the notch (basically moving the status bar down, not ideal), MIUI allows you to keep the statusbar where it is but disable transparency which gives a black status bar and hides the punch-hole.

Just thinking cause it seems like the punch-hole camera is the only nigh-impossible requirement to satisfy, without shelling out $1300 for an Xperia or going to Samsung. Speaking of which, aren't there some lower end SD600 and SD700 Xperia III phones?
 
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I read on iFixit that it's not a good idea to reuse the battery after it's been removed because the removal process usually ends up mangling it. Looks like the V40 is useless now.

@sam_86314 have you used a punch-hole phone before, or just predicting? I was pretty leery of it as well but honestly prefer a centred punch-hole to the weird notch-ish of the OP6T or the fat notch on iPhones. It doesn't really get in the way since you won't have anything in the very middle of the status bar anyways. Notifs and clock on the left, signal and batt on the right, just like every Android phone since 2010.

Left corner punch-hole phones are pretty weird though, not gonna lie.

A lot of stock and custom ROMs allow some customizability when it comes to notch behaviour. Some AOSP ROMs have full notch options in Developer Options and sometimes proper customizability elsewhere, afaik stock Oneplus allows you to exclude the top of the screen comprising the thickness of the notch (basically moving the status bar down, not ideal), MIUI allows you to keep the statusbar where it is but disable transparency which gives a black status bar and hides the punch-hole.

Just thinking cause it seems like the punch-hole camera is the only nigh-impossible requirement to satisfy, without shelling out $1300 for an Xperia. Speaking of which, aren't there some lower end SD600 and SD700 Xperia III phones?
I haven't used a phone with a punch-out camera.

I'll admit, I felt the same way about notches too, then I got the V40. As long as I can hide it, I'm fine I guess.

Though in reality, I'd prefer no front-facing camera. But I guess I'm the only person in the world who hates selfies.
 
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Though in reality, I'd prefer no front-facing camera. But I guess I'm the only person in the world who hates selfies.
Nope I hate all photos unless I don't know their being taken
 
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