Introduction: Nokia C2-01 Phone LCD Screen Replacement

About: Maker of all trades ... or at least many :) Interested in electronics including programming, woodworking, how to grow edible plants in cold climate of my homeland, building clever dwelling houses from mostly t…
If you happen to have a Nokia C2-01 mobile with cracked screen and you decide to replace the LCD yourself, then here are some pictures and descriptions of what to expect from the dismantling process. I'm not any kind of expert in mobile repairs, I just succeeded somehow and documented the process.

Things you'll need:
  • replacement screen
  • small torx screwdriver - T6 probably
  • something for prying things open

Screen: I got mine through e-bay from Hong Kong. It's probably cheapest. The colours on the screen in my opinion differ from original, but who cares, it's just a phone. And very conveniently it had the two mentioned tools in the kit. There are probably other places to source the screen from, find one according to your location, preference and budget.

Torx (star) screwdriver: I measured the point-to-point size with caliper and it was 1.7mm which should be T6 according to wikipedia. But if you are going shopping for it then take the phone with you. Under the back part, just where battery is, there are two screws to compare the driver to. Other four screws you need to open later are the same.

Prying tool - preferrably should be made of plastic. Something with thin edge. Or if you can't find anything plastic then metal with smooth edge (not a sharp knife).

Warning: mobile phone as any kind on electronic device can be damaged by static electricity while the protective casing is removed. Wear natural material clothing, don't work on a carpet and try not to touch the components on PCB or the screen connector metal tabs side... and all the things you might know yourself that help prevent static electricity damage.

Here's an anectotal story, why I got to replace the screen in the first place.

I was riding my bicycle in the center of my hometown, it was slightly rainy. I went to a shop and found that my phone is nowhere with me. Last time I had seen it was when I looked up the time while riding and put it back to a pocket of my pants. I asked the shop staff to call my number and it gave ringing tone - so it was not in the hands of mean people who would have removed the sim-card to avoid tracking. So I went back the way I had came and passed all the areas where I was riding on the car lane far from pedestrians. So I thought if it is not here, then someone has picked it up already because rest of my journey went through very busy area, pedestrians everywhere, no way the phone would lay there long. But I kept going the same way and I found my phone! It was in the middle of a small street crossing to bigger one. The imaginable crossway was ten meters into the street so no pedestrians had seen the dark coloured pieces. And no car had driven over it either - it was so small street. Fourty minutes had passed since I looked up the time from the phone right about in the same place. And the thing seemed to still work.

But ... as it was rainy day, when I got home I decided to dry the phone properly and started to pry open the front part of plastic. I completely ignored the possibility of presence of screws. The screws in this phone are in the middle of longer edges. If they would have been in corners I would have seen them and acted logical, but as both ends opened a bit on prying I wasn't even thinking about screws. But the two screws existed despite my ignorance and prying ended with cracked screen.

Anyway it all ended much better than usual losing a phone scenario. I got to post an 'ible :)

Step 1: Dismantling 1

  1. Remove the backside cover. It comes off if you slide it downwards.
  2. Remove battery.
  3. There are two screws each in the middle of a longer side. Unscrew them.
  4. Pry open the front side cover and put it aside.

Step 2: Dismantling 2

  1. There are four screws - one in each corner. Unscrew them.
  2. Also open the cover of micro-USB socket and move it out of the way.
  3. There are two plastic tabs that hold the PCB to casing. Gently pry them.
  4. Lift the PCB part out from the plastic casing.

Step 3: Dismantling 3

  1. If you look onto the screen side, near the top right corner there is the display connector under the metal part. There is enouch room, I reccommend to pry that connector open now. So you will not be pulling it to random direction when the display itself will be loose. Look at your spare screens connector for comparision if uncertain about the right layer to pry.
  2. There are two metal tabs that hold to the PCB. Bend them gently to get the metal part off.

Step 4: Swap the Screen

  1. Lift the old screen out from the metal frame.
  2. Take the protective film off from new screen, if there is one. OR checkif that can be taken off later, while in the metal frame - which I didn't check.
  3. Place new screen into the metal frame.
Note that the connector part is folded. I tried to fold the new one similarly to the old, but on gentle folding it did not keep the shape and folding harder is risky in my opinion. But it did not cause any trouble to get everything into right place even without the folds. See next step.

Step 5: Assembly 1

  1. Place the metal frame over the PCB but not to it's right position, but so that the screen connector and socket align with each other.
  2. Push the connector into it's socket.
  3. Now align the metal part and the PCB. Sliding would be too rough on the connector material so I did it aligning them while separated a bit. Then pushed them together which took care of folding the connector.
  4. Make sure the two metal tabs hug the PCB properly and squeeze them more to inside if needed.

Step 6: Assembly 2

  1. Put the insides of the phone onto the plastic casing.
  2. Optional here: put the four screws into their places and screw them in only a bit.
  3. Push the PCB under both of it's plastic tabs.
  4. Now screw the four screws in all the way.
  5. Check that the connector is still properly in it's socket.

Step 7: Testing

  1. Put the battery in.
  2. Push and hold the white thing where the on-off button goes to ...  
Hopefully the screen will work as expected. Otherwise make sure the battery is not dead and then go back and check the connector... 

Step 8: Assembly Finish

  1. Put on the front cover, push the parts together.
  2. Put back the two screws.
  3. Put on the back cover by sliding it upward.

Enjoy your repairing expertise that totally outweights the unluck or clumsiness that tends to break things.