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Best replacement part option for damaged screen

I see that this iFixit screen replacement guide is for a bare screen, and it adds that "some replacement screens for this phone come pre-installed in a new frame (a.k.a. chassis), which requires a very different procedure."

I usually work on iPhones (i've about 10 years amateur experience), but a friend has a cracked Galaxy A70 screen that i've offered to replace. This iFixit walkthrough looks pretty straightforward, but sadly iFixit doesn't seem to offer parts or kits in the store.

When looking up sources for parts, i see that A70 screens are commonly offered either barebones, or with the frame and/or fingerprint reader, for an additional third of the price, give or take.

I'm just after advice on whether it might be wiser to pick up a replacement with or without the frame, or the fingerprint reader? How different is the "very different procedure"? Would the effort saved from not needing to transfer these additional parts be worth it for someone new to Samsungs, needing to work it out?

Thanks for your time.

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Hi Jon,

I see this come up a lot with Samsung phones, and I still haven't come to a solid conclusion as to which is best.

For the screens without a frame, it actually looks like a fairly straight-forward repair, but it is a pain separating the old screen from the frame. Of course you have to make sure to use good adhesive on the replacement since that's all there is holding the screen on, unlike iPhones where you have clips and pentalobe screws in addition to adhesive.

On the other hand, when you get the screen with the frame, you can be fairly sure that screen isn't going to fall off since it's been secured at the factory. The downside is that every other component in the phone is mounted to that frame, so it's a complete gut job; take everything out of the old phone and transfer it to the new one. Fortunately they don't tend to use as many flex cables adhered to frame as Apple does, but it's still a non-trivial amount of work.

In terms of price, on other models I've generally found that the ones that come with a frame are only marginally more expensive than the ones without; up to now the difference hasn't been significant enough to sway me one way or the other.

On most sites that feature step by step written guides, they usually document the repair as being done with the frame, while most of the YouTube videos tend to lean toward screens without frames.

The iFixit guide for your friend's phone is indeed for the frameless one as you've already seen.

Samsung Galaxy A70 Screen Replacement - iFixit Repair Guide

There's a German site called iDoc.eu that has a guide done with the frame, so you have your choice as to which one you want to do now.

Samsung Galaxy A70 screen replacement - repair guide

As far as the fingerprint reader, it's kind of like swapping over the home button assembly on an iPhone; you have to successfully remove the old part and transplant it to the new screen. In theory it should be quite doable so I'd personally be tempted to go with one that has a frame but without the fingerprint reader. I should note, however, that my last attempt at swapping a fingerprint reader on a Google Pixel 6 Pro for my niece didn't go well; it was very well stuck onto the screen and despite the liberal use of heat, it appears that I must have damaged it in some way in the process, as it wasn't even recognized when I plugged it into the new screen. Fortunately the parts are available separately and unlike Apple, you can buy an aftermarket part and calibrate it for your phone. So even if the fingerprint sensor doesn't go well, you can still get a replacement.

So there's my thoughts on the subject; hopefully they've given you some ideas and comparing the two guides will show you what you're in for with each kind of repair.

Let us know what you decide; I'd be interested to know how it works out for whichever one you choose.

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Hi there Jon.

I, as has Jerry, have seen this question asked multiple times in multiple places. However, I have a solid conclusion (at least my opinion, YMMV and all that).

I will always and forever recommend getting the screen with the frame.

First off, Samsung sells official screens directly to authorized repair centers pre-mounted in the frame. Whenever I get my screens in stock, they are always contained in a frame (with a few key exceptions, but that doesn't apply to the A70).

Secondly, precisely pre-cut adhesives don't really exist for the screen, meaning (as seen in the guide), you will need to cut your own with TESA tape. Which, while likely holding the screen on fine, will not work for a water resistant seal.

And finally, it is significantly more work to do a screen replacement without a frame than it is with a frame. Instead of all the steps to remove the screen from the frame, when you've gotten that far, you've got about 1-2 screws to completely release the motherboard, 1-2 screws to completely release the charging board, and then just adhesive for a few components like the battery and vibration motor. Takes a couple minutes.

Official Samsung screens always come with new small parts such as gaskets around the speaker and thermal paste pre-applied for the processor, but even if you buy 3rd party parts off ebay those transfers only take an extra few minutes.

In all, I probably spend about 2 times as long doing a screen replacement without a frame versus with a frame, and my time is more valuable than the $10 more I spend on the screen with the frame.

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Awesome, Justin; thanks for the comments. Always good to have input from those who do this for a living.

da

@dadibrokeit Of course. As much as I make my living fixing these things, I always encourage users to do their own repairs if they are confident and willing. This is the kind of repair that is not a big deal for a hobby-ist to do. The A70's back is plastic, not glass, so there's no big risk of damage and needing new parts simply from disassembly, and as long as you are patient and careful. Just know if you're buying a new screen on ebay or some such, that you likely will not get a 1st party part so pay special attention to things like gaskets, grounding pads, thermal paste, etc. Make sure to swap over or replace as needed. Missing these things can cause issues from minor parts not working, to reduced sound quality, to no longer having a water resistant seal, to overheating issues.

The easiest way when you don't know what to look for is to remove all parts from the broken screen, set the two frames side by side, and anything that is missing from the new one, swap it over from the old one.

da

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Jon Swabey sarà eternamente grato.
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