Thursday, September 22, 2011

DIY U: Iphone Backplate Replacement

Reeve and I are iPhone people It's true, once you go iPhone you can't go back. They are by far the best phones we've ever owned.  Reeve just got an iPhone 4 after owning his 3GS for two years. I've had my iPhone 4 for a year and I still love it. I won't lie and say it's as marvelous as the day I got it. It's buttons are a little less responsive than they were at first and the oleophobic coating has worn away so it picks up grease a little more, but all-in-all it's still in excellent condition.
The only major fault I can find with the iPhone 4 is the flat back. Seems innocent enough until you realize that the curved back of the old iPhones kept their camera lenses clean and scratch-free. I started noticing a few months ago that my phone's camera wasn't taking good pictures like it used it. They were less sharp and had fuzzy white edges. I soon realized that it wasn't the camera - it was the backplate. The plastic that covered the camera was scratched terribly, which was causing all the photos to be blurry. So my first thought was "Well, I'm out of luck. They won't replace it for a scratched camera." Then I started Googling.

Turns out that while the old iPhones opened by lifting the screen out of the housing, the iphone 4 opens by popping the back off and that replacing the backplate was a quick, easy and affordable fix. I ordered a new back cover from Amazon ($6.75 including shipping.) It even came with all the tools I needed!
When it came in I just popped the old one off and the new one on! Now it takes beautiful photos again! Here are my simple, step-by-step instructions on how to replace your backplate.

What you will need:
New back cover
Phillips or Pentalobe screwdriver (newer iphones have 5-point screws, the older ones use Philips)

1. Unscrew screws at the bottom of the iphone. Put them somewhere safe!

2. Press upward gently on the back cover. It should shift up slightly.

3. Carefully lift off the back cover. Your phone will look like this:

4. Carefully place the new cover on and slide it down into place.

5. Return screws to the bottom of the phone.

That's it! It's that simple! They make back covers in multiple colors too! I almost bought a purple one, but I decided on staying with black for now. Maybe I'll get a purple one someday.

Here are some before and after photos:

A photo of my ceiling fan with the old back on.

And here's one with my new back one:

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