Well, I went and did it. I broke my HTC Google Nexus One’s digitizer by accident and now I have to replace the digitizer. I’m not quite sure how it happened. Perhaps in my pocket with a flashlight, or one of the few times I dropped it working on a friends car but the digitizer is cracked.  The touch screen still works all over, even beyond the crack lines, but I can’t stand having a broken Nexus One so it needs to be repairs.

Here are some photographs of the broken Nexus One digitizer. There is a single crack in the upper right hand corner from the top edge to the right edge of the touch screen. As I said it’s not too much damage overall, but it needs to be repaired. Besides, it’s a good excuse to tear apart my Nexus One. I certainly wouldn’t replace this phone, the firmware updates come early and are usually great*!

I bought the digitizer from mytechsolution on eBay but you can get the HTC Nexus One G5 Digitizer from Amazon with tools for a low price.

Here are some photographs of the Nexus One / HTC G5 Digitizer / Touch Screen

There are a couple of videos on YouTube for replacing the Nexus One Digitizer but one is not so great and the other is detailed but terrible. I found one video on replacing the Nexus One Digitizer that showed all the steps to disassemble the phone but not to replace the digitizer itself, and then the same people showed all the steps to put it back together.  The other post I found on YouTube to replace the Nexus One touch screen was taken on a cell phone and broken up into 45 parts but it was detailed!

I got the tools I needed to replace the touchscreen the other day, a few days after I ordered and had received the digitizer. Upon careful dis-assembly last night I discovered that the while the digitizer’s glass plate was broken, the digitizer itself was not, so I probably could have continued to use the phone for a long time. Since I had it apart I replaced the digitizer assembly and I didn’t want to think about what would happen if a shard of glass from the digitizer came loose in my pocket.

One thing to be aware of before you start in on this yourself is that you’re going to need some very thin double-sided tape to install the new Nexus One digitizer.  The original design is a ring of very thin double sided foam tape around the edge of the digitizer and some on another level at the top of the digitizer. I did not have this foam tape, but I had some double sided clear / cellophane tape which I used instead and the digitizer is holding on well.

The assembly and dis-assembly of the Nexus One was fun, but it was also aggravating and being my first time it took quite a while, even after watching the videos.

I had to be very careful no to damage the ribbon cables or any of the components on the circuit boards. In this circumstance patience and cautiousness definitely pays off. Ribbon cables in these small devices can tear very easily so you have to use a very light touch when removing them or removing things around them. If you’re going to go through this process anyways I’d highly recommend getting a replacement vibrator motor as well and do it at the same time.

Taking the phone apart did give me an opportunity to clean the trackball as well. It wasn’t as dirty as I had suspected but now it’s super clean and as smooth as it was new.

The phone is back together and everything is working well.

* As a side note I noticed that with the Gingerbread update my phone was eating a huge amount of battery power while in standby mode. The phone would go into low battery mode at around 8pm about 12 hours after being unplugged from the charger. Normally I never had it go low battery before the next charge at 12-2am and usually was still above 50%.

The fix I found is pretty easy.  In your Nexus One get to the settings menu, then go to “Wireless & network settings” then go to “Wi-Fi Settings” then press the icon at the bottom of your screen that looks like text lines and chose “Advanced”.  Under “Wi-Fi Sleep Policy” change it to NEVER.  Now your battery usage will be low and will last all day.

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