Does the keypad on your Nokia 5500 Sport look as pathetic as mine? No? Well, it will. Just give it time.
I have heard that folks who own this phone in the UK can simply take it to an authorized Nokia repair center and and have the keypad replaced free. Since I am in the US this was not an option.
I found a replacement keypad online for $5 + S & H so I bought it. I worked at a mobile phone accessories shop for about a year so I felt like this was something I could do myself. Hopefully this guide will help another poor American out.
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Step 1: The Right Tool for the Job
It always helps to have the right tools. You might be able to get by without them but don't try. If you don't think it's worth the $15 to invest in these, try taking it to a little shop that sells face plates. If the employees aren't busy they'd probably let you use their tools or charge you less than $10 for this operation.
Optional: hair dryer, microfiber cloth
Step 2: Remove the Battery Cover
This is done by giving the flat head screw in the picture a quarter turn counter clockwise. In other words the position of the screw is 3 o' clock, move it to 12 o' clock.
Remove the battery.
Step 3: Remove the 2 Lower T6 Screws
Grab your torx mini screwdriver and unscrew the two silver t6 screws shown in the photo. Put them in a safe place like a bottle cap from a 2 liter.
Step 4: Seperate the Backplate
This is done by using the tool shown.
If you do not have this tool, or one like it do not attempt this. If you're like me you will likely be too anxious and arrogant to ignore this warning. So at least don't use anything metal as it might scratch or bend your fragile phone parts. Perhaps something like a guitar pick might do the trick.
Hint: The latches seem to be at the "hips" of this phone's sexy hourglass figure. Don't expect to be able to separate the phone unless you pop these free.
Step 5: Seperate the Front Plate
Grab your torx screwdriver and remove the four screws holding the front plate on. This will free the plate. The next part is optional but I recommend it. Grab a hair dryer and head up the plate. This will allow you to remove the rubber keypad with minimal effort. It will also insure the new keypad will adhere to the front plate better.
Step 6: Replace the Keypad
Observe the small protrusions on the keypad. These mountains correspond to a valley on the front plate. Line them up and gently push the new rubber keypad onto the front plate. It should feel secure.
You may want to take this time to clean off the screen using a microfiber cloth or your shirt
Step 7: Reassemble
Reassemble your phone doing the opposite of what you did to take it apart.
Now your phone is like new!
And please: Don't be one of those dweebs that leaves the plastic protector on his screen for a month.
Be sure to favorite this so you can come back in 6 months when you keypad inevitably fails again as a result of poor design. It's really a shame because this really is a great phone considering.