There’s been a concerted effort by major smartphone manufacturers to make their phones easier to repair, but it looks like Google’s new Pixel 7 Pro may buck that trend.
YouTubers PBKreviews managed to get its hands on a Pixel 7 Pro (opens in new tab) ahead of its October 13 release date and with a set of phone repair tools, he broke the device down into its individual parts. He is known to do this to other smartphones to check their repairability. His process involves opening the screen with a pick and, at one point, using isopropyl alcohol to eat away at the glue that holds the battery in place. Admittedly, it’s rather fascinating to see the inner workings of the phone on full screen.
After tearing down the Pixel 7 Pro, PBKreviews gave it a repairability score of 5.5 out of 10. This score is in line with his other videos analyzing Pixel Pro phones, namely the Pixel 6 Pro, which got the same number.
Hard to fix
He specifically points out that the most various parts of the Pixel 7 Pro are the most difficult to repair. The video doesn’t list every problematic part, but it does mention the charging port and the rear screen. According to the video, the charging port is directly soldered to the main board, making it difficult to replace if it ever gets damaged. PBKreviews keeps saying that he couldn’t remove the back screen, so we’re assuming it’s stuck to the Pixel 7 Pro’s frame.
For the rest of the parts, PBKreviews indicates that they are easier to replace if a little difficult. Removing the battery was difficult because the strength of the adhesive made it nearly impossible to remove, even with the pull tabs. Additionally, it seems to have found the internal organization of components quite complicated as PBKreviews gave this aspect of the phone a medium score.
History repeats itself
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 since the 6 Pro. Looking at the PBKreviews directory, the Pixel 6 Pro (opens in new tab) it was similarly constructed from a hard-to-remove battery and strong glue that holds everything together. The only difference is that PBKreviews managed to remove the back glass on the 6 Pro.
It’s worth noting that the Pixel 6a teardown revealed a device that was much easier to repair, as it’s not as secure as the 6 Pro. If history repeats itself, the potential Pixel 7a could be just as easy to fix if Google ever decides to create a mid-range version.
While we have you, be sure to check it out Google’s TechRadar coverage partners with iFixit to offer repair kits for Pixel phones. There’s no support for the Pixel 7 (it’s not out yet at the time of writing), but that could happen, and we recommend learning how the program works in case you end up needing it.