There’s been a concerted effort by major smartphone makers to make their phones easier to repair, but it looks like Google’s new Pixel 7 Pro could tackle that trend.
YouTuber PBKreviews managed to get their hands on a Pixel 7 Pro (opens in new tab) before its October 13 release date and with a set of phone repair tools, it destroyed the device into its individual parts. He’s been known to do this with other smartphones as a way of reviewing their repairability. His process involves cracking open the screen with a pickaxe and, at one point, using isopropyl alcohol to erode the glue that holds the battery in place. Admittedly, it’s quite fascinating to see the phone’s inner workings on full display.
After destroying the Pixel 7 Pro, PBKreviews gave it a score of 5.5 out of 10 in terms of repairability. That score is in line with his other videos splitting Pixel Pro phones, namely the Pixel 6 Pro, which scored the same number.
hard to fix
He specifically points to the most diverse parts of the Pixel 7 Pro as being the hardest to repair. The video doesn’t list all the problematic parts, but it does mention the charging port and the rear screen. According to the video, the charging port is soldered directly to the main board, making it difficult to replace if it gets damaged. PBKreviews goes on to say that it couldn’t tear off the rear screen, so it assumes it’s glued to the Pixel 7 Pro’s frame.
For the rest of the parts, PBKreviews indicates that they are easier to replace if a little complicated. Removing the battery was difficult because the strength of the adhesive made it nearly impossible for him to remove it, even with the pull tabs. Also, it seems that he found the internal organization of the parts quite complex, as PBKreviews gave this aspect of the phone an average score.
If there are two things to take away from this teardown it’s that A) the Pixel 7 Pro can be difficult to repair, at least for hobbyists, and B) not much has changed from the 6 Pro. Examining the PBKreviews catalogue, the Pixel 6 Pro (opens in new tab) it was constructed very similarly from a hard-to-remove battery and a strong adhesive holding it all together. The only difference is that PBKreviews managed to remove the rear glass from the 6 Pro.
It’s worth noting that tearing down the Pixel 6a has revealed a much easier device to fix, as it’s not as physically secure as the 6 Pro. If history repeats itself, the potential Pixel 7a could be just as easy to fix if Google decides to create an intermediate version.
While we have you, be sure to check it out Google’s Coverage Teaming Up with iFixit to Offer Pixel Phone Repair Kits. There’s no support for the Pixel 7 (it’s not even out yet at the time of writing), but it can happen and we recommend learning how the program works just in case you end up needing it.