Introduction: Disassemble Your Samsung A737 Slider Phone
I recently dropped my Samsung A737 cell phone which resulted in a distorted display on the screen. The LCD didn't appear to be broken, but the display was unreadable. It actually resembled a TV that lost its horizontal hold, for those of you who remember TVs with CRTs and horizontal and vertical controls.
I tried to take this phone apart once before to try to dry it out after my two year old daughter put it in the toilet but was unable to separate the two halves of the phone. Fortunately after a couple days of sitting with no battery, and some time spent in the oven and under a hair dryer my phone made a full recovery from that incident.
This time I tried some percussive maintenance but was unable to restore the screen. Time to dive in, and this time figure out how to get the thing apart far enough to extract the LCD. If your Samsung slider also needs an LCD replacement then follow along.
Step 1: Tools
The tools needed to disassemble this are simple and readily available. You need a #0 Phillips screwdriver to remove screws, and a small slotted screwdriver to lightly pry things apart. You will also want a small bowl to put parts in as you remove them.
Step 2: Remove Battery, SIM, 6 Screws
In this step you turn off the phone by pressing and holding the "end call" button. After your phone politely says "good bye", open the battery compartment, remove the battery, remove the SIM, and remove the 6 screws indicated in the photo. The bottom two screws are hidden by small rubber plugs that you'll have to remove if they haven't fallen out of their own accord. My phone only has one of these.
Step 3: Remove Case, Buttons, Other Bits
Did you get the bowl for parts? I didn't think so. Go get it. Put the 6 screws you removed in there, and rubber plugs if you have any. Might as well put the battery and SIM in there as well. With the 6 screws out you can lift off the remainder of the rear case. Right away, also remove the two silver buttons from the phone (volume button and... function button?) With the flat blade screwdriver lift up and remove the oval shaped sticker near the bottom of the battery compartment. There are two screws cleverly hidden underneath there. That is basically the trick to getting the phone apart, and is the reason I decided to write this instructable.
Your phone should now look like the photo, except your parts are safely in a bowl.
Step 4: Pry Apart the PCB Connector
The main PCB is now loose, only held in place by the flexible cables that connect to it. The one at the top of the PCB will have to be disconnected so the PCB can be moved to access some screws that are under it. CAREFULLY pry this connector apart by putting the screwdriver blade between the connector and the PCB and twisting the screwdriver. It will pop apart with very little effort. At reassembly time you'll make sure the connector ends are lined up and press the PCB down to seat the connector.
Step 5: Remove the Remaining Slider Screws
With the flexible ribbon cable disconnected the PCB can be moved out of the way to reveal two more slider screws. Remove these two screws and place them in the bowl of parts. Note that these two slider screws, and the two that were under the black oval shaped sticker are different from the six case screws. They're shorter and the head is larger.
With the four slider screws removed the slider is free from the slider mechanism. It can be removed with a light tug and wiggle. The flexible ribbon cable is glued to the main half of the phone, so the slider cannot be completely removed. However it has enough freedom that you can proceed with disassembling the slider.
Step 6: Disassemble the Slider
With the slider loose you will see the six screws that hold it together. One of these is marked with a yellow circle in the photo. These screws are yet a different size from the slider and case screws previously removed. Aren't you glad you got that bowl now? Remove the six slider case screws.
The slider can now be disassembled with a little bit of light prying. Insert the screwdriver blade between the black part of the slider and the colored external case. Gently pry the two apart starting in the corner as shown, and proceeding down the side of the slider. With one side free the case should easily separate from the slider.
That's it for disassembly. At this point I decided to put the bits back in place (loosely) and insert the battery to see if the phone was still functional. Amazingly the display now worked, apparently the jiggling of taking it apart was enough to jar whatever was dislodged in the fall back into place.
I decided not to press my luck and re-assembled the phone. That's why this instructable is "Disassembling your A737", not "Replacing the LCD on your A737". There's only one thing left, and that is related to assembling the phone.
Step 7: Assembly
When you're ready to re-assemble snap the slider back together and replace the six slider case screws.
The last bit that may be a little tricky is to insert the metal clips of the slider into the holes in the case of the main part of the phone. See the photo below. When they're in the slider will feel snugly attached, even though you haven't put the screws in yet.
From here, assembly is just the reverse of disassembly. Take a good look at the parts in the bowl and be sure to use the correct screws in the correct locations.
When your phone is back together turn it on and enjoy the thrill of accomplishment. Look ma, no leftover parts! And it still works. In case you're wondering, the picture on my phone is the same darling two year old who threw my phone into the toilet so long ago.