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Old November 21st, 2012, 02:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Replace the Glass on a Galaxy S3 for $28!

I just finished the replacement of my front glass on a Galaxy S3. By the way the old one broke in my baggy jeans pocket. I did not drop it at all. There are a few YouTube videos on replacing just the glass, that you should watch first, but I found some easier ways to do it. You can find replacement glass on eBay and Amazon. I have a Verizon version which is the SCH-I535. As far as I can tell all versions use the same glass. The only difference is the color and possibly the logo may say Samsung in place of Verizon. My cost was $28.00.

It does take patience but it can be done fairly easily. I guess you could melt your phone but barring that the worst that can happen is you mess up your Digitizer /LCD and then the cost is just over $200 for the glass with the Digitizer /LCD. This is what is done if you bring it to a repair shop. The cost is close to $300.00 parts and labor.

I wanted to post a few tips that may be helpful to others that try this.

1. First off a hair dryer not nearly hot enough. I used a heat gun. Actually what I used is a heat gun used for model airplane covering. It is not as hot as a paint remover gun but hotter than a hair dryer. I also used the nozzle that comes with it to concentrate the heat. I am not able to post a link but you can Google it by searching for "MonoKote Heat Gun" A standard heat gun should also work but I think it may get too hot.

2. I used thin clear 2Ē packing tape and stuck it on the glass before I started. I had only a few cracks but I think this helped to keep it all in one piece when it came off. It would be good to cut around the home button so that stays behind when you finely remove the glass.

3. Start from the top of the phone at the opposite end from the home button. The reason is that there is a thin flex circuit that bridges both sided of the home button and it is glued on to the glass. This is for the back and menu touch buttons and ledís. It is less likely to damage it if you start from the top.

4. To get it started you will need a thin knife. I used an exacto knife that was shaped like a small chisel not the very pointy one. I also made a few thin wood tools to help pry it up without scratching anything inside. Pop Sticks would probably work if you taper the ends like a chisel.

5. You need to apply plenty of heat so that the glue releases easily other wise the glass will just chip away. The thing that I found worked the best was some old credit card size hotel room keys. They are just wide enough so that you can wedge it in and slide it down. With the knife and wood tools and lots of heat, release the glue enough along the top so that you can get the credit card in. Spread the load out so it it comes up in one piece without breaking and work the card in.

6. I was prepared with a set of gloves to so as not to burn my hands but I found a way to do it so I did not really need them. I laid a big towel down on my work bench just to keep everything clean. Then holding the phone vertically with the bottom on the towel and the card in between the glass and the digitizer/LCD screen, apply plenty of heat so that the card can slide down. You can tell if you have enough heat as the tape just starts to bubble back away. The card will slide down with moderate force letting the heat soften the glue.

7. Just before you remove the glass and it is still stuck at the very bottom, carefully take the flex circuit off where it is glued to the glass on each side of the home button. Use a little more heat so that it comes free easily.

8. The other thing that was not clear from the video is how to clean up the glue residue. When the glass is off, the digitizer/LCD screen is coated with this gooey clear glue the same type as what they use to hold your credit card on to the paper card when it is mailed to you. The best way to take it off is by rubbing with a clean finger while it is cool. It will ball up and come off very easily. I used the sticky side of masking tape to take any loose bits off first. I suppose this would be good to do if you had a lot of broken bits of glass in the glue. It may scratch the screen if rubbed with glass imbedded. Then I used a microfiber cloth with lens cleaner to make it crystal clear.

9. Before installing the new glass you will have to tack down the flex circuit. I used a bit of the glue that I rubbed off the screen to tack it down to the frame. The circuit was originally glued to the glass but that would be very difficult and it seems to work fine gluing it to the frame.

10. The new glass is only held down by the glue that remains around the edge. It looks like it was black double sided tape and still was very tacky. I cleaned off any glue residue from the glass with masking tape. After the new glass is in place I used heat to help soften the existing glue so it made a better bond.

11. The original setup had the glass glued to the digitizer/LED and the frame. It is only glued to the frame now but it appears to work and look perfect and it is not coming off to easily. I suppose there was a purpose to all that glue that is now gone. I am not sure if there are any negative effects to not having it though.

Best regards
Lou

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Old November 22nd, 2012, 12:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to AF, Lou, and thanks for the tips.
I see that you use Verizon, and so I am moving this thread out of the Australian forum for the S3, and into the forum for the US version of the S3.
I am sure these tips will come in handy for so many here.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice. This should be stickied.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One weird but minor effect that I just noticed after my glass replacement is that if If I press hard on the glass the touch screen stops responding. It will happen before or after the unlock swipe and in any app or screen.

The home, menu and back buttons may or may not work at this point.

If I press on the power button to turn off and then press again to power up, it will be back running fine again.

Does anyone else see this happen with or with out replacing the glass?
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Old December 16th, 2012, 09:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wanted to say thanks for this. I had two S3's to repair in 3 days. I used a hairdryer, and I found a guitar pick very helpful for lifting the pieces up. The first one had something dropped on it, and lots of small pieces. I left a couple scratches in the plastic digitizer underneath, some were there from the shatter I think. I also noticed that the first this one seemed to have what looked like an earprint after replacing the glass. It is a small airgap in the center that the adhesive used to fill. I do not think it would be an issue, except that perhaps the surface of the AMOLED was made slightly concave from the impact.

The second went better except the corner of the digitizer started to delaminate with the first piece of glass. I stopped it, but it did leave a mark in that corner you will see from the photos. It had fewer scratches, (only two small ones), both from previous practice, and the fact that the screen had fewer and larger pieces. Also, the customer (yes I did it for pay) complained that the screen was way more sensitive after the replacement. I guess it was because it was calibrated for having the adhesive layer. It was also running cyanogenmod which could have made it worse. We are currently looking for where to set sensitivity in that rom to see if it can be improved.

I did see the problem flyin2high mentions on the first one. Locking and unlocking resets it. I did not see it with the second, perhaps because it is a different ROM and calibrated different. Maybe the stock rom sees a pressure above a certain range and assumes it's in a pocket and locks the screen to prevent butt dialing? Again with enough knowledge of the build and root access, that may be fixable in software. Anyway, here are the pics of the second phone.


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Old December 16th, 2012, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That is interesting. I thought that my problem with the screen locking up was that I applied too much heat. My phone cracked while it was in my pocket so there was no damage to the digitizer or LCD below the glass. I did notice that it was less sensitive to touch at the extreme edge, but it was perfectly normal in appearance and function for the rest of the screen. I did not have mine rooted so that could be a reason but it seems unlikely as there was no software change before and after.

I came from an iPhone 5 and wanted to swap it for a Verizon Note 2. Other 64gb iPhone 5s were going for over $1,000 bucks on eBay due to the shortage early on. I bought the GS3 on eBay so that I could sell the iPhone while the price was still high and wait for the Note 2 to come out. I got the note2 now and if you can deal with the size it is fantastic. Actually the size is what sold me on it. My GS3 is currently on eBay in an auction right now you can see it here. I was upfront about the problem with the touch so no one can complain.

I can press very hard on the Note2 and it just works. I have not seen any others with the same issue until you mentioned it.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 10:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I read your post before doing the repair and specifically tested for it. I really think it is a software setting buried in some config file or compiled into the software to lock the screen when it senses high pressure, and with the adhesive layer gone the pressure readings are higher. If I get another one to repair, I will turn on the developer option to show touches.. it has a pressure reading at the top and compare before and after numbers to see if that may be the case. Do you do repairs regularly, or just on your stuff when it breaks? I ask because I am starting a forum specifically for phone/tablet repair as I have not seen any focused like that, and while it is empty now, I could use handy, experienced people over there!

Update: if you want more pics, I have posted them here, as well as my step by step.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 11:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Actually I did run the diagnostics screen with the touch grid. It was normal and and not overly sensitive. At the very edge it kind of dropped off. Maybe due to having slight amount of glue at the edge of the digitizer.

So far I did an iPhone 3s the GS3 and I just did the front glass on an iPhone 4S. These were for my self and friends. I have a successful Industrial Computer business that runs with out me so I'm not looking for a job. However, if I was, a nice business model is buying iPhone 4 and up on eBay that have broken rear glass. You can pick some of them up for about $150. The repair takes 3 minuets and costs less then $20.00. You can turn around and sell them on eBay for $400 and up. Just make sure they have a clean ESN. As you probably know the front glass takes about an hour or two to replace but you don't have to worry about un-gluing much.

I would be glad to help out with the forum you mentioned.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 07:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok gang..here is the deal. I dropped the s3...screen cracked. I bought the tools to repair it and new screen. I heated it up with a heat gun...removed the cracked screen, installed the new screen. Phone comes on. Home screen is there BUT I can no longer swipe..it does not work and also the two illuminated touch sensitive buttons on left and right of the middle button no longer illuminate or come on or anything. I can receive calls and texts but I can not access them because the touch screen isn't working..I cant access apps or answer the phone.

What I think may be the issue is I may have gotten it a little too hot in the beginning..I zapped my laer pointer heat tempature reader on it and I got it up in the 220 f range...then I made sure to put less heat on it.....but when I got it up real high in heat I noticed the actual lcd screen under the glass get a little discolorized on the bottom area of the phone...like I may have scorched it the lcd screen. BUT if I did scorch it then wouldn't the home screen and apps not show up? Everything is showing as crisp as ever...just the freaking touch screen isn't working and those illuminated buttons are illuminating.

So any idea what the problem is? And I did reboot/wipe data/factory reset and still nothing.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 09:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There are 3 layers. The glass, the digitizer (the touch screen) and the AMOLED screen the (display). The digitizer can be damaged and still see the screen.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 11:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah. My wee theory (without really knowing how the thin digitizer layer physicly works) is that the people who have replaced the outer, cosmetic part have damaged the ribon-cable (if thats what the digitizer has connecting it to the chips inside). Maybe its really thin and vunerable because its not designed for that kind of repair and samsung would prefer the 3 layers to be bought as a single unit and be much more easily (and more expensively) replaced as a whole
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Old May 26th, 2013, 01:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default s3 front glass not as original :(

I've a question about that replacement. I did that but originally there was a transparent gel between ldc and front glass. I've removed it and now when I push a screen harder it looks like a new glass touch a lcd and stick to it for a while and it doesn't look good did I do something wrong? or it is like that after glass replacement?
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 07:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technoon View Post
I've a question about that replacement. I did that but originally there was a transparent gel between ldc and front glass. I've removed it and now when I push a screen harder it looks like a new glass touch a lcd and stick to it for a while and it doesn't look good did I do something wrong? or it is like that after glass replacement?
you actually didn't do anything wrong...that gel you removed is whats wrong, the gel was there for a reason but the digitizer still works even without it...the only problem is that now the glass is too flexible so when you press on it too hard it sinks in and sticks to the digitizer screen and it looks like a spot of water with that said the gel that was there before acted as some sort of support for the glass and without the gel you now get the problem that you are having with the glass sticking or like me and others you also get the dead touchscreen when pressing too hard on the glass but comes back to life when you put the phone to sleep and them wake it back up...
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 10:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default samsung galaxy s3 replacement screen

hi ppls need your help i dropped my phone out of my pocket and cracked the screen now the screen is black everything else is working but can't see anything would i need to replace the glass or lcd
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Old June 5th, 2013, 12:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default The Double Sided Stickey Thin Film

all that is in between the glass and the digitizer is a certain kind of 3m sticky double sided film. Its definitely clear and powderless gloves would need to be used to put it on. I dont know specifically which kind it is and I have been scouring the internet looking for it... if anyone has any ideas please post as this film is the only thing holding everyone back from a normal phone... mine also has the little air bubble in the center of the screen so I feel everyones pain.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 03:56 AM   #16 (permalink)
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It will be this stuff >> oca adhesive | eBay
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Old June 6th, 2013, 03:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Just search ebay for oca adhesive as they sell it in the USA by the look of it too, as the ones in the UK a lot of them are from China anyway.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Anyone have any tips for applying OCA glue?

I replaced the glass on my S3 two weeks ago and had the black spot in the center of the display ever since. It drove me nuts.

So I pulled the glass off again today nd attempted to apply OCA. It was a complete failure. Giant fingerprint, air bubbles, etc...

So has anyone ever done a sucessful at home OCA install on an S3?
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