Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, Huawei Watch, and Moto X Pure!


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Huawei announced the Huawei watch yesterday, this new fully circular watch comes with a whopping 400×400 pixel display (286ppi) and a choice of stainless steel in silver/black, and leather. Oh yeah, Android Wear now can be used with iOS users, so for all you iWhores, you will be able to use any Android Wear watch such as the Huawei watch with your iPorn. I am actually rather impressed at Huawei for making such a beautiful watch, I think it’s 10 times better than the new Moto 360 2nd generation, which looks nearly identical to its predecessor with a painstakingly ugly flat tire, slight bump in display resolution and faster processor, meh.

Samsung has also announced the Gear S2 watch, they have gone with a circular design this time around but again it’s based on Tizen and probably will only be compatible with Samsung phones only. The original Gear S was pretty cool with a curved display and super high resolution but the Gear S2 seems, “meh”. I am betting that the Huawei watch may beat out both Motorola and Samsung this year but I will definitely have a hands-on review of it soon, you can pre-order yours on Amazon here.

Moto X Pure is now available for order, the new Moto X Pure retails for 9.99 for 16GB, 9.99 for 32GB, and 9.99 for 64GB. The specs include a Snapdragon 808 processor, 5.7-inch 1440P screen, 21MP back camera, water repellent, and customizable colors for the back plus engraving. I actually think this is not a bad deal at all especially for those of you who want pure Google experience. I have ordered one already so I should have a hands-on review of it also.

Sony has announced the first 4K smartphone in the world dubbed Sony Xperia Z5 Premium. This new 4K smartphone from Sony includes a 4K UHD 5.5-inch screen (3840×2160 pixel resolution or 806 PPI pixel density), Snapdragon 810 processor, 23MP back camera and 5.1MP front camera.

Of course don’t forget it’s also IP68 waterproof rating so you can drop in 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes no problemo. One thing Sony has done well? They have also included a whopping 3430mAh battery along with microSD card slot.

According to Sony, the new Xperia Z5 Premium is like being in two places at the same time and a revolution in resolution.

Indeed, this seems like a really cool phone to me considering there’s 4K display on a smartphone. While many Android smartphones already do 4K recording, you cannot play back your videos in 4K on a 2.5K screen. But with a 4K phone like this, you will be able to view exactly how it looks on a 4K screen, yeah it’s like being in two places at the same time literally.

Okay but what about the screen size, is 4K going to make a real difference on a such small 5.5-inch screen? Well, from my experience, your eyes do get adjusted to the higher resolution over time. When I first got my first 1440P or 2.5K screen with my Galaxy Note 4, I didn’t really notice the difference. After couple months of using the display on my Note 4 and S6, also watching 2.5K content on YouTube as many YouTubers are now offering 4K videos, I can tell a huge difference between 1080P and 1440P screens if you watch a lot of YouTube. And boy, I can’t wait to watch all the YouTube videos in full 4K from now on.

With that said, I think 4K screen can potentially be good but I will definitely have a hands-on review of that when it comes out.

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New Nexus 5 & 6 Leaks, Qualcomm 820, and Android Stagefright Exploit!


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For this week’s green news, we discuss the Qualcomm 820 quad-core processor, New Nexus 5/6 leaks, and Android Stagefright exploit and how to fix it easily.

Here’s transcript of the video:

To say 2015 hasn’t been a great year for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon flagship would be a severe understatement. The Snapdragon 810 was supposed to be the latest and greatest processor. Instead, words like ‘overheating’ and ‘throttling’ accompanied any talk of the 810 in a new phone throughout the year. The disaster began in January with the LG G Flex 2 and continued with the HTC One M9 a few months later. By the time we arrived at the release of the G4, LG opted for the Snapdragon 808 instead of the 810 to curtail any heating concerns.

Recently several slides emerged out of China claiming to detail the specs and performance improvements for the 820. This is the first chip with Qualcomm’s new custom ARM core, codenamed Hydra. The leaked slides claim a 35% performance increase over the Cortex-A57 ARM reference core. This will be a quad-core chip rather than an octa-core configuration used for the Snapdragon 810. The GPU is also seeing a bump to the Adreno 530, with any accompanying 40% improvement in performance and 30% efficiency boost.  This may be the best decision Qualcomm has made this year.  We all know it was rather risky for Qualcomm to be jumping right into Octa-core processors without previous experience.  On the other hand, Samsung has been making Octa-core processors since a few years ago starting with the Galaxy Note 2.  By going back to quad-core processors, Qualcomm will definitely get back on top of their game and hopefully we will see it at the the top of the ranks again.  This happens happens so I am not too worried and Qualcomm 820 should be damn fast, lookin’ forward to that.

The fact that LG and Huawei are working on the next lineup of Nexus flagship handsets has been rumored for a few months now, but the actual devices have been pretty elusive until now. Now we finally have some solid leaks on both the LG Nexus 5 and the Huawei Nexus 6 thanks to a report by GizmoChina.

 The next LG Nexus device is expected to be a rehash of the LG Nexus 5. This phone will be packing quite the punch according to the leaked specs. It should release with a 5.2″ 1080p screen, a whopping 3180mah battery, a quad core Snapdragon 620 processor, 4GB of Ram, 64GB of storage, a 13mp rear camera with OIS, and a 4mp iris scanning camera on the front of the device. Some other rubbish specs include a fingerprint scanner on the back, USB Type-C, and fast charging. This could be one heck of a device, and should come as a budget Android device retailing at less than 0.   Very interesting, I may get one if the price is right.

Next up we have some Huawei Nexus leaks. The Huawei Nexus is expected to be a phablet device, the next Nexus 6. It is shaping up to be a true power house device. Sources say we will see a 21mp rear facing camera, wireless charging, and a metal unibody design. Sources didn’t have any info on the processor at this time. We fully expect to see a fingerprint scanner and USB Type-C in this device. It will also be running Android M out of the box along with the LG Nexus 4.

Well, that’s good news for us certainly since Google almost dumped Nexus program altogether this year but we should have new Nexus 5 and 6 from LG and Huawei later this year.   Yey!

Last week, Android’s security has been exploited through a bug called “Stagefright”, that gives hackers access to your phone via SMS text message.  Once the exploit is applied your phone is basically owned by the hacker. All personal information would be theirs including banking, credit card, health records, photos and anything else you store on your phone.   There is a way to fix this. If you are rooted the first way you can protect yourself is by freezing the text messaging app that came with your phone. You can freeze apps with Titanium backup. Once your text messaging app is frozen you can grab the messaging app “Textra”, which blocks video messages that may contain the exploit from automatically running.   Our news writer and YouTube friend Shane at DroidModderX has a video on this so check it out.

That’s a wrap for today folks and I hope you guys enjoyed the Android news of the week, you can check out details to the topics we talked about today in the description below and also if you want more news, go to News.HighOnAndroid.com.

Links to stuff in the video:

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Android Gadgets of the Week! [#1]


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First, we have the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 flash drive. This is one of the fastest USB flash drives you can buy for the money you spend, currently the 64GB version is being sold for just on Amazon. In real world usage, I found I get about 190Mb/s for read and 150Mb/s for write to my PC. Overall, that’s really good for a USB 3.0 flash drive that cost me less than . If you use tend to transfer a lot of data using USB flash drive, this may definitely one of the best deals right now. Of course, if you have an OTG cable, you can hook it up to your Android device, which I got pretty decent speeds of 38Mb/s for read and 40Mb/s for write.

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Next, if you have an Android smartphone, especially ones with no expandable storage like the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge,or even the newer Note 5, you can grab SanDisk OTG USB flash drive to extend the storage on your phone. This one is only .99 on Amazon right now and it is one of the easiest ways to transfer data from and to your Android smartphone on the go. I really dig the tiny size of this beastly little flash drive and you can hang it off your keychain no problem. I have the 32GB Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge and I am always running out of space. With the SanDisk OTG flash drive, you will be able to easily offload any large data you don’t use on a daily basis like your big video files and a nice way to also backup your photos/videos. I get an average read speed of 40Mb/s and write speed of around 23Mb/s on my Galaxy S6 and for reading and writing off the USB 3.0 side, I get a speed of around 130Mb/s for read and 25Mb/s for write. Write speeds on this OTG flash drive isn’t all that impressive but for the tiny form factor is definitely its highlight.

Of course, if you want the absolute faster read/write speeds for both OTG and USB 3.0 flash drive, you might be better off with an OTG cable and a flash drive like the SanDisk USB 3.0 as read and write speeds for both OTG and USB 3.0 are at least double the speeds. There’s more moving parts vs. an OTG flash drive but the speed gains are worth it and it is much cheaper and the 150Mb/s write speeds are definitely worth it if you plan on transferring large files to and from your computer.

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Lastly but not least, if you are looking for a wireless charger with smartphone holder capability in one, Vinsic just released their new Qi-Wireless USB power bank with 10400mAh capacity. Now, this one can charge any of your Qi-enabled charging smartphones like the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, or any other smartphone with wireless charging case like my Note 4. And yes, if you need to bring the charger with you, it is also a USB power bank.

With 10400mAh capacity, you will be able to easily recharge your phone about 3-4 times and this particular power bank comes with a slanted design along with a rubber placeholder that holds your phone firmly. I really like this feature as you can wireless charge your phone while watching videos, it’s like a power bank plus smartphone holder in one!

There are nifty LEDs to tell you how much charge is left and whether wireless charging is working or not. And on the back, there’s a micro-USB input for charging with any micro-USB charger with 1.5amps or higher. If you have other devices that don’t have wireless charging capabilities, you can use the USB output port rated at up to 5V 2.4amps and should charge your phones/tablets fast. I am a bit disappointed that there’s no fast charging port but I am sure this product will get updated soon with new features like that and I will have an update when that happens.

And that’s a wrap for today folks, thanks for watching and you can grab links to any of the products mentioned in the description below. If you did enjoy gadgets of the week, please do let me know and any comments about the products mentioned are appreciated if you have used them before.

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OnePlus Two Unboxing!


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Just got my OnePlus Two in the mail and boy, this is definitely one of the more fun phones you can buy this year (so long as you can grab an invite somehow).

The OnePlus Two this year comes upgraded from last year’s OnePlus One with a Snapdragon 810 processor, same 1080P screen, and new features.

My favorite features include the dual SIM support (with data/voice for both SIM cards unlike Asus Zenfone 2), camera with laser focus and OIS, and new design with metal bezels.

First, the dual SIM support is going to be great for globetrotters out there who constantly switch SIM cards or perhaps use lots of prepaid data overseas.   The fact that it supports for 4G LTE data and voice on dual SIM makes it much more practical over the ASUS Zenfone 2, which you must switch the SIM cards manually.

Second, the OnePlus One had RAW camera abilities but the OnePlus Two adds on a better sensor along with laser focus and OIS.  Laser focus will help with more accurate still shots while OIS will help stabilize your videos.

Third, the new design give the phone a more stable and solid feel with the metal bezel.

I should have a full review of this in a week or two but for right now, OnePlus Two definitely seems like one of the best deals right now for a phone under 0.

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OnePlus Two vs Galaxy S6 vs LG G4 Camera In-Depth Comparison!


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In today’s video, we will be comparing the cameras of the OnePlus Two vs. LG G4 and the Galaxy S6.  Since the LG G4 and Galaxy S6 are the two best cameras on the market, this should show you real world performance differences between the OnePlus Two and best of the market right now.  And since Note 5 has the same camera as the Galaxy S6, you can assume the results of S6 are nearly identical for Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus.

In the first test, we will be testing the 4K cameras. Let’s do a quick hand-held walking test.  (see video for comparison)

I felt like the OnePlus Two was the worst of them all, very jittery and auto focus is moving constantly followed by LG G4, which did fairly well but Galaxy S6 seemed to have the best overall stable focus and OIS.  Of course, we would never recommend you to record a video while walking unless you absolutely had to.

In the next test, we will be testing the panning abilities of the cameras, let’s do a quick hand-held panning test. (see video for comparison)

I feel like the results were about the same, OnePlus Two was a bit more jittery and auto focus was okay but nowhere near the LG G4.  And I felt the Galaxy S6 was a bit better than the LG G4 with a higher bitrate, you get more details and less noise.  (Note: LG G4 has a bitrate of around 35Mbps while the Galaxy S6 has around 50Mbps and can be extended to 75Mbps with camera mod.)

Okay, in this next test, let’s actually use my Lanparte Smartphone stabilizer and do the same test!  (see video for comparison)

Wow, the OnePlus Two is still jittery as hell while LG G4 and Galaxy S6 both did fairly well.  I felt like the LG G4 had slightly more real colors while the Galaxy S6 did have more saturated colors while being a tad smoother than the LG G4.

In this next test, we will do a quick longboard test around the parking lot with my Lanparte gimbal. (see video for comparison)

The longboard test proves how bad the auto focus is on the OnePlus Two while it LG G4 and S6 handles them like pros.  In real world testing, I found that the auto focus is really bad on the OnePlus Two, it’s not suitable for anything but when using a tripod or held very still on a flat surface.

Next, let’s do a quick front camera test. (see video for comparison)

Galaxy S6 definitely has an edge over both OnePlus Two and LG G4 due to its wider angle lens and also higher 2K recording option.  There’s no doubt that for vloggers who want to use the front camera often, you will get the best video and audio by using the Galaxy S6.

Overall, video recording and optical image stabilization seems to be clearly much better on the LG G4 and Galaxy S6, with S6 edging out the LG G4 in terms of smoother videos with its higher bitrate.  OnePlus Two’s OIS capabilities are not bad but they are still jittery even when using a smartphone stabilizer. I am a bit disappointed at OnePlus Two’s video recording capabilities but let’s go take a look at some of the still shots.

In this first test, let’s have a quick look at what I had for lunch today, taken indoors in good lighting.

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I think in good lighting, all the cameras perform pretty decent. Although I would give a slight edge to Galaxy S6 for more details when zoomed in, I would say all of them take pretty decent shots in good lighting.

In the next test, I did a quick shot of In-N-Out and Krespy Kreme signs in bright California sunlight. They all do pretty good but when zoomed in, you can see that the LG G4 comes out on top with smoother lines followed by Galaxy S6 which does pretty much just as well and the OnePlus Two showing much less crispyness. May it doesn’t like Krespy Kreme, damn…

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Okay, here’s another test of a bird and owl on the roof of Krepsy Kreme.

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(With all of the cameras focused on the top of the building, the LG G4 has the least amount of noise and the real colors with more details in the roof along with better shadows.)

In this example, I think the LG G4 comes out on top again with ever-so-slightly more details in the colors over the Galaxy S6 while the OnePlus Two seems a bit more pixellated along with darker shadows and you can’t see the colors as well.

In this final test, we take it to the limit and do our low-light test with a minimal LED light in complete darkness. We try to see which phone has the best low-light sensor, this should be fun.

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(I did this low-light test in complete darkness using just one LED light as light source.  After doing them multiple times, I can confirm that the LG G4 beats out both OnePlus Two and Galaxy S6.  Picture quality for both clarity and noise was much better with the LG G4 while OnePlus One had a ton of noise and Galaxy S6 did not bad but still had more noise than the G4.)

As you can see, the LG G4 did the best out of them all, giving you more clearer photo with more detail and less noise while the OnePlus Two and Galaxy S6 suffered lots of noise.

So, what does this test tell you?

OnePlus One’s camera for videos and photos are not going to be better than the LG G4 nor the Galaxy S6.  But don’t be disappointed because it’s still got a pretty decent still camera and 4K recording should be pretty good so long as you use a tripod.

However, if you absolutely need to take great stable 4K videos, you might want to consider the Galaxy S6 followed by LG G4 and avoid the OnePlus Two.

If you need the best still camera on a smartphone rather than video, you probably can’t go wrong with the LG G4 as it does a tad better over the Galaxy S6, especially in low-light and bright sun.

Hey, maybe you don’t use the camera often, you really don’t take much photos and videos and want to get a phablet device under 0, you can’t go wrong with the OnePlus Two. Even though the OnePlus Two does not hold up to an LG G4 nor Galaxy S6, I still love using it due to other features like being easy to root and install custom ROMs, full dual-SIM support, and you can buy two LG G4 or Galaxy S6 for the same money spent. Besides that, I carry my Canon 6D for still photos, which beats any of these smartphone cameras and my Panasonic GH4/Black Magic 4K cameras, which beat any of these smartphone camera 4K videos. If that’s the case for you, you don’t need a smartphone with the best camera, I am just showing you which one is better though.   I hope this helps you in deciding your next smartphone and I should have more comparison videos coming soon.

Remember, a perfect smartphone is the one that has the features you need.  Smartphones still have its limits, they are nowhere near the quality of consumer DSLR/mirrorless cameras or 4K camcorders.   But if you use your smartphone mostly for your photos/videos, you may want to get the Galaxy S6 or the LG G4 instead of OnePlus One.

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Project Fi Unboxing & Setup on Rooted Nexus 6!


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I finally got hands on Google’s new Project Fi, which is a new type of carrier-switching smartphone plan from Google.  Basically, Google uses T-Mobile and Sprint’s network to give you best of both worlds at a low monthly cost.  The best part about Google Fi is that you only pay for data that you use and all unused data carryover to the month.  While carriers like AT&T do carryover, their carryovers expire after only a month while Google allows you to carry over as long as you want.   In essence, it’s somewhat prepaid data plan.

In order to use Project Fi, you will need a Nexus 6, which has radios for 4G LTE on both T-Mobile and Sprint.   And the setup process is a bit time-consuming and not so straightforward as it took me about an hour to set it up.  But no worries, I’ve documented my whole setup process on my rooted Nexus 6 so if you ever need to setup Project Fi on your rooted Nexus 6 with CM12.1, you will know how.

I should have a full review of Project Fi once I have used it for couple weeks but for right now, it seems very promising way to cut your smartphone bill in half (or more).

 

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BIG Android August Giveaway! [10 PRIZES]


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Hey guys, we’ve teamed up with 5 of our YouTuber friends to bring you another BIG Android August Giveaway! (Yey, we are on a roll, our 2nd-in-a-row!)

There’s a total of 10 Android gadgets you can win so make sure you enter the giveaway as everyone has a fair chance to win (winners are picked randomly).

You can sign up for the giveaway at Gleam.io here.

Prizes:

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Galaxy Note 5 Unboxing Gone Wrong – Stuck S-Pen!


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I finally got my hands on the Galaxy Note 5 and while unboxing it, I was testing out the S-Pen which got stuck.

Now, this is probably possible to fix by disassembling (which I should have a video of) but for right now, I am stuck with a brand, new phone that has a serious flaw.

In previous Note series, the S-Pen cannot be inserted the wrong way as the head of the S-Pen is too big but with the Note 5, this is going to cause a lot of problems in the long run.  I think it’s easy to put the S-Pen backwards if you are not careful to put it in the correct way.  For example, maybe you accidentally put it in backwards in a dark room for whatever reason.

If this happens to you, take it back to Samsung or the store you bought it from and they should replace it free of charge. I would hold off on buying a new Galaxy Note 5 until Samsung fixes this issue.

UPDATE: I was able to disassemble and fix the S-Pen detection sensor:

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How to Fix Stuck S-Pen on Galaxy Note 5! #SPenGate


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If you’ve accidentally put your S-pen backwards, you will have a problem where your S-Pen gets stuck. Now, there’s a way to fix this so just don’t try to yank it out as that will break your S-Pen detection sensor.

Step 1. Cut out a 1/2inch (1.3cm) piece of plastic film from the Note 5 wrapper.

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Step 2. Cover the S-pen in 270-degrees so it covers both the sensor side and the S-Pen holder then push the film in slowly until you hit bottom.  You may need to twist it at the end to get it all the way through.

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(There’s two latches, one that holds your S-Pen and also another that’s S-Pen detection sensor.)

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Step 3. Once you have hit “bottom”, try to move it back and forth a few times (without using too much force!) until you are free from the first latch.

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Step 4. Once you are free from the first latch, try to move it back and forth without pushing the S-Pen too far back in (as that will get it lodged on the first latch again) until the S-Pen comes out.

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Step 5. The S-Pen will eventually come out and you should have a fully-working Note 5 without breaking your S-Pen detection sensor.  Congrats!

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Now, this process is actually rather cumbersome and tedious and you may still break your sensor if you apply too much force so just be very careful and take a lot of time.

If your S-Pen detection sensor breaks, you can try disassembling like I did and look for small broken plastic pieces.

 

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How to Disassemble Galaxy Note 5 for Repair!


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Whether you need to replace the screen/digitizer, faulty USB module, battery, camera, or even a stuck S-Pen, disassembling the Galaxy Note 5 can be done with simple tools.

For disassembling the Galaxy Note 5, you will need:

– Heat Gun or Hair Dryer

– Gel Suction Cup Car Mount – see review of the ones I have, cheap and works also well for your car.

– #00 Screwdriver – Link

– Guitar picks or any thin plastic tool – Link

– More plastic tools like JerryRigEverything Green Spudger – Link

– Patience and plenty of time

– Steady hands, avoid caffeine the day of disassembly (seriously).

Step 1. Use the heat gun or hair dryer to get the edges of the Note 5 hot.  Get it hot enough so it feel hot to touch but not burn your fingers.

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Step 2. “After heating”, put the suction cup car mount on the glass back.  While pulling the suction cup towards you, push in with a guitar pick on the center right (or left) edge of the glass in the opposite direction.

If you do this right, it will make just enough gap in and  your guitar pick will be able to get in-between the glass and the frame.  Now, don’t force this issue if you can’t do it the first time.  It took me about 5 times of repeating Steps 1 & 2 to get my guitar pick inserted.

But this is the best way to do it as the weak point of the adhesives are in the “center” of the phone, not on top of bottom.   Just take your time and repeat Steps 1 & 2 until you can get the guitar pick in-between.

*Note – This step is the HARDEST step in the whole disassembly because you can easily break the glass back if you apply too much force.  Just take your time and take as much time as possible while you do this so you won’t have broken glass.  Also, glass back is usually easily replaceable (maybe on eBay) so if you break it, don’t worry and keep going.

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Step 3. Once you have tip of the guitar pick inserted, the rest is easy.  Simply slide the guitar pick all the way around the edges.  If you get stuck, apply some more heat and keep going.

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Step 4. That should get your glass back off away from the main frame assembly.

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Step 5. Unscrew all the screws then push on the bottom right part of the phone like shown below and the frame should come off.

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Step 6. To get the motherboard separated, simply undue all the flex cables and 2 antenna cables.

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Pull from the top of the phone and the motherboard should slip out easily, there’s also one more flex cable to undue before the motherboard can be free.

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Step 7. That’s pretty much it.  If you want to replace the screen, you can buy the LCD digitizer + frame assembly, which comes with the LCD digitizer and frame assembly so you don’t have to manually replace the LCD itself.

I’ve done screen repair for most of the Note phones and it’s not recommended to replace the LCD only by yourself as you have a good chance of ruining the touchscreen and S-Pen stylus LCD sensors.  If you are professional then do it but otherwise I recommend paying -40 extra for the LCD digitizer with frame assembly.

To replace the LCD digitizer with frame assembly, you only need to pull stuff like your ear speakers, vibrator, battery, and the USB module then put in on your new LCD digitizer with frame assembly.

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Re-assembly is pretty much the reverse of disassembly but you can watch my full video tutorial above and follow along.

 

 

 

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