Xiaomi's Mi 5 handset earns some points for modularity, but scores a middling 6 for overall repairability— mainly due to an unnecessarily fussy display replacement procedure.

  1. Reference shots
    • Reference shots

  2. Rear cover is lightly clipped in. Comes off super easily.
    • Rear cover is lightly clipped in. Comes off super easily.

    • Looks like we can see the battery, but need to pull off some midframe components to reach the connector.

    • Midframe comes out no problem, although we needed to punch through two tamper-evident screws.

    • The battery is held in with adhesive pull tabs.

      • We're used to seeing these at this point, but we love their convenience and won't get tired of them any time soon.

    • Next out is the motherboard. It's secured by a single Phillips screw and a handful of press connectors.

      • The modular front- and rear-facing cameras come with the motherboard, but the headphone jack is soldered to the board and not going anywhere.

    • Now we can just start picking out the stragglers:

      • Daughterboard (including cable)

      • Coin-cell vibrator

      • Ambient light sensor

      • Earpiece speaker

      • Volume buttons

        • All three buttons are on a single highly-delicate flex cable assembly that tore during removal.

    • All these components came out fairly easily—the daughterboard was secured with screws while everything else was held in by friction (and the previously-removed motherboard).

    • The screen has no visible fasteners, so we reluctantly use a suction cup and opening pick to start prying from the front.

    • The display finally separates from the midframe, but this design is a pain:

      • The LCD is held in place exclusively with glue, so reassembling the device means purchasing new adhesive designed for this unit.

      • Even though the screen is removed from the front, the LCD and digitizer connectors are not accessible without disassembling the back side.

      • The home button is trapped between the front panel assembly and the midframe, so replacing this (commonly failing) part will require removing and re-adhering the display.

    • The Xiaomi Mi 5 earns a 6 out of 10 on our repairability scale (10 is the easiest to repair):

      • The motherboard and battery can be replaced independently and easily.

      • Most components are modular and can be replaced independently.

      • All screws are standard Phillips screws, but removing them will void your warranty.

      • The display is difficult to replace, requiring complete disassembly and purchasing consumables.

      • The manufacturer does not provide user-accessible repair documentation.

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Evan Noronha

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Mi 5s replace battery guide pl

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