The HTC One X is pure bliss. Its design and look is orgasmic, the specs are mind-blowing and it is an awesome phone to own. It has turned some heads in the world of Android phones, and has been appreciated by everyone. Although it failed to bring HTC out of its misery, or compete with the heavy marketing of the Galaxy S3, HTC has its own fan base and the phone has been received well by HTC Fans and others as well.
All the goodness aside, the HTC One X comes without a fair piece of warning — it is a fragile piece of beauty. There are some videos of people banging their HTC One X on the table, some using it as a hammer while some others doing drop tests showing minimal damage. The banging and hammering videos are all fake, and the reality is that HTC One X has a brittle glass. The corning gorilla glass is scratch proof, but definitely not impact-proof.
How I ended up with a broken HTC One X
It was pretty simple actually. I was on my way to work, the phone was in my hand and I had my earphones on. The earphones were tangled with my ID card tag, one thing led to another and before I knew, the phone fell off my hand, landed on the ground and I could see the glass cracking up and a flash of sunlight reflecting from the fissure. Heartbroken, I picked up the phone to see everything was working just fine.
However, the touchscreen glass got a giant crack running from one side to another.
From the image, you can clearly see that the phone landed on one corner, and the hence the origin of the crack. However, what surprised me was that this flagship phone from HTC could not survive a simple waist-height drop.
The painful hunt for a replacement
I could not continue to use the phone with the broken glass. Although it was working fine, it never felt the same ever again. Next, I started the hunt for an HTC One X broken screen replacement. A few things to notice here — you will get two types of screen replacements: one with touchscreen + digitizer, and another one that has only the screen. The complete assembly (touchscreen + digitizer) costs nearly $90, whereas the screen alone costs around $40. Do not settle for anything else than a complete screen assembly because numerous people have failed, attempting to attach the new screen to the digitizer from their broken screens.
Most of the replacement parts are shipped from Shenzhen in China, and are of extremely low quality. You will have to be lucky to get one that works flawlessly, looks flawless and most importantly, is not damaged.
Getting down to business
I stay in India, and bought my touchscreen off EBay. The replacement screens looks quite different than the one that you will find on your phone. Mine did not have the smooth overflowing glass, but a beveled one.
There is an awesome video guide on YouTube on how to disassemble your One X.
The replacement screens ship with a pair of tools, but for some odd reason, the screwdriver never matched the screw heads on my phone and I had to improvise. Below, you can take a screenshot tour of the surgery.
Excuse the ugly photographs; I was too busy to check if the screen was working finally.
The big heartbreak
It did not take me long to realize, that there is more to fixing a broken HTC One X screen than getting it to boot and getting the home screen. The touchscreen was not responding properly, and initially, I had doubts about my handiwork. However, after playing around a bit, I realized that something was wrong with the screen-replacement unit I had bought. I have replaced the faulty unit since, though the one I am using currently has started showing problems.
Moreover, notice how there is a black damp-spot on the screen from the image above. A larger damp spot is present on the new screen as well, and it refuses to go away.
This thread on the XDA forum suggests that most screen replacements available online neither match the quality of the original screen manufactured by HTC nor run smoothly.
A comment on the XDA forum says,
There have been a few threads about this. The consensus has been that only HTC can ever get the phone back to a presentable condition after trying to reinstall the glass. And I believe their cost is in the $200-$300 range. I don’t think I have seen a single report of a DIY replacement that worked out well. And several “professional” fixes that looked terrible. If you want the glass seated back flush with the phone and the capacitive buttons lined up right, I think your only option is HTC, and it is not cheap.
Follow this, this and this topic on the XDA forum for more information on fixing broken screens. People are really upset with the weak build of this phone, and HTC needs to take care of this issue in their upcoming models.