Teardown claims Essential Phone is hard-to-repair 'hot mess'

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 106
    tmay said:

    avon b7 said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I take the opposite view. Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary.
    So let me get this straight -- you're saying the state of the art technology should not be legally allowed to evolve into new formats even smaller and more efficient, if it prevents guys in the back room from being able to work on them? We should halt all technology progress beyond this arbitrary limit, just because? 

    I find this very odd. It's like protecting buggy whip makers. 

    If devices get small and cheaper and reach a point where replacing costs fewer resources than repairing -- let's say everything were integrated into a single chip, which nobody can repair -- that seems to be completely natural. Producing this hypothetical chip would get cheaper over time and require less resources than producing multiple chips and modules. Efficiency is a good thing.
    iPhone is easily best in class design.

    Reliability far outweighs repairability in iPhone design, as it should for any personal consumer product.
    It is only the complete insane people, that think they need legislation to control this, who think companies object to this because they want to build products that self-destruct as soon as the warranty expires.

    Which is ironic considering Apple is a banner example of both, 1) a company who thinks repairability is a dumb antiquity, and 2) makes products that last forever. 

    Even more ironic is that their products are so good, they get recycled and reused and resold many many times over their lifespan, because people continuously upgrade their products, having nothing to do with their long term functional reliability.

    It is amazing how dumb some people are.
  • Reply 62 of 106
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,206member
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    "If necessary"

    I have given you all the context you need.
    1) And what do you think would make legislation necessary?

    2) The context of your comment reads that every manufacturer should make their devices easy to repair or we should move create laws that force them to, hence the "if necessary" part.
    If we did move to a situation where expensive smartphones became irreparable by design and required out of warranty or in warranty but non-covered substitution (effectively having to buy a new unit and put the damaged one in for recycling) I would prefer that legislation stepped in to protect consumers from the design decisions that led to that situation.

    In fact, I'm pretty sure the EU at least would evaluate the situation if we reached that point and I'm also pretty sure that there are many consumer groups ready to escalate the issue if it ever became an industry-wide practice.


    radarthekat
  • Reply 63 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,337member
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    It seems like very few commenters actually went to the iFixit page and read the teardown. There are many nice aspects to this device.
    I didn't bother because when this article said the phone had to be frozen and they broke the screen getting in, I decided to do other things.

    Now reading your comment, I will flag the article and see if I can find the time to have a look.
    I'll save you some time…

    Step 3: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Essential+Phone+Teardown/96764#s178506
    Pros: USB-C, and instead the SIM card tray is a tag that only slides out part way that has a QR code and lists model and serial printed on it.
    Negatives: The SIM card tray is on the bottom next to the microphone so don't mess up which hole you push in hte paperclip to pop the SIM tray out. Errors have already occurred.

    Step 6: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Essential+Phone+Teardown/96764#s178510
    Pros: Nice size battery and stretch-release adhesive.

    Step 8, 9, 10: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Essential+Phone+Teardown/96764#s178512
    Pros: Compact logic board. Not up to Apple's level of compactness but better than most others I've seen, especially for a low-volume device*.


    * Compare with Motorola under Google's logic board: Step 18: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Motorola+Moto+X+Teardown/16867#s51686 Have you ever seen such a bare logic board on one side in 2017?

    edited September 2017
  • Reply 64 of 106
    nhtnht Posts: 4,125member
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    "If necessary"

    I have given you all the context you need.
    1) And what do you think would make legislation necessary?

    2) The context of your comment reads that every manufacturer should make their devices easy to repair or we should move create laws that force them to, hence the "if necessary" part.
    If we did move to a situation where expensive smartphones became irreparable by design and required out of warranty or in warranty but non-covered substitution (effectively having to buy a new unit and put the damaged one in for recycling) I would prefer that legislation stepped in to protect consumers from the design decisions that led to that situation.

    In fact, I'm pretty sure the EU at least would evaluate the situation if we reached that point and I'm also pretty sure that there are many consumer groups ready to escalate the issue if it ever became an industry-wide practice.
    I'm going to break my own rule here (sorry) and comment that the folks that incessantly inject the term "nanny state" into every damn thread on AI needs to move to the EU and live there for a while, then move the China and live there for a while before coming back to the US and finally STFU about how the US is a nanny state because OMG we have some regulations.  

    There is middle ground.  We're living in it and I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China or the EU.
    tmay
  • Reply 65 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,600member
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    The ifixit verdict on this phone seems to go beyond the realm of end-user repairability or even 3rd-party repair shop repairability.  Seems like these Essential phones are put together in a manner that would prevent even Essential, the company that designed it, from being able to repair it.  And that's a bad thing. 

    Hey Mr. Rubin , it's not so easy copying great hardware as it was copying great software.  Lol
    I dunno, sending a new phone out to replace a failed one sounds kinda nice. Why mess with a repair if a customer breaks one while under warranty and the manufacturer is willing to replace with a new unit? Out-of-warranty is on the buyer, so beware, but TBH an Essential Phone buyer gets treated pretty well if they're sending him a new phone instead of insisting on attempting to repair his old one or offering only a refurb'd one in exchange for the new one he bought. 
    Do they send you a new phone before you send in your old phone?
    Don't know that it's come up yet so I haven't seen the details mentioned anywhere in a quick search.

    One of my phones, an Axon7, earlier this year developed a display issue and ZTE sent me a new phone out overnite at their expense and allowed two weeks to return the old one one, again at their expense. That was a pleasant surprise considering it is considered a budget device. IIRC Motorola did the same with an older MotoX I had purchased for my son, sending me a new one before I had to send in the faulty one. I would certainly expect Essential to do that too simply as a matter of customer goodwill, but can't claim as fact that they do. 
  • Reply 66 of 106
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,206member
    nht said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    "If necessary"

    I have given you all the context you need.
    1) And what do you think would make legislation necessary?

    2) The context of your comment reads that every manufacturer should make their devices easy to repair or we should move create laws that force them to, hence the "if necessary" part.
    If we did move to a situation where expensive smartphones became irreparable by design and required out of warranty or in warranty but non-covered substitution (effectively having to buy a new unit and put the damaged one in for recycling) I would prefer that legislation stepped in to protect consumers from the design decisions that led to that situation.

    In fact, I'm pretty sure the EU at least would evaluate the situation if we reached that point and I'm also pretty sure that there are many consumer groups ready to escalate the issue if it ever became an industry-wide practice.
    I'm going to break my own rule here (sorry) and comment that the folks that incessantly inject the term "nanny state" into every damn thread on AI needs to move to the EU and live there for a while, then move the China and live there for a while before coming back to the US and finally STFU about how the US is a nanny state because OMG we have some regulations.  

    There is middle ground.  We're living in it and I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China or the EU.
    While it's only your one opinion it would be kind of interesting if we could pose your question to the entire populations of three areas you mention and see who would like to switch (based on current knowledge and without having lived in the other two).

    While I obviously disagree with the term 'nanny state' which is just a cheap, senseless shot towards the EU, I think more than a few of your countrymen and women would actually like to give living in the nanny state an opportunity. 

    It's worth noting that as a result of RoHS and its intended goals, other parts of the world are following suit and trying to put some order into the situation. Of course, if they plan to do business with the EU, they have to take heed of RoHS anyway.

    To my knowledge the US is largely lagging in this area. I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong. Can we say that the nanny state has at least helped to reduce the presence of hazardous materials in the US as a by product of RoHS manufacturing obligations?
  • Reply 67 of 106
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,206member
    avon b7 said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I take the opposite view. Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary.

    This phone looks to be a very bad example. If it is impossible to replace the battery without breaking the unit or leaving it in a worse state than when you began the process, a good idea would be to give it a very healthy warranty.

    If not, you are basically purchasing a time-bomb with a one year delay on the countdown.
    The market response to that kind of bullshit legislation is, "Fine we don't have to make you anything then."

    What absurd liberal nonsense. Don't buy the product if you, in your amateur opinion, don't like some aspect of it. 
    How on earth could you know that?

    Do you think smartphones would vanish from the EU for, example?

    I can guarantee to you are wrong. If such legislation existed, manufacturers would comply with it. Not least EU manufacturers which would jump at the chance of taking on the lost sales of any company that decided to cease manufacturing as a result of legislation it didn't agree with.
  • Reply 68 of 106
    Remember the trouble Apple had with idiots complaining about the iPod's unreplaceable battery? Same thing here.
  • Reply 69 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,337member
    Remember the trouble Apple had with idiots complaining about the iPod's unreplaceable battery? Same thing here.
    Except that you could get into an iPhone without destroying it. Ease of accessibly has fluctuated over the years, but it's NEVER been like this. Even replacing the Touch ID sensor on an iPhone is technically easier because you can reasonably replace both the logic board and home button with paired components.
  • Reply 70 of 106
    avon b7 said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I take the opposite view. Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary.

    This phone looks to be a very bad example. If it is impossible to replace the battery without breaking the unit or leaving it in a worse state than when you began the process, a good idea would be to give it a very healthy warranty.

    If not, you are basically purchasing a time-bomb with a one year delay on the countdown.
    required by legislation if necessary.??? By legislation? Don't buy it. The company will go under. Problem solved. But legislation??? I hope never to see a law like that where I live. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 71 of 106
    Wow!  Repair vs Non-Repair merits this much heated debate?  World Peace is now patently beyond reach.

    These devices will become more complex and compact and therefore less repairable.  Push the Fast Forward button and you'll see that repair will be superseded by replacement.  Simple as that.  Further, would you sooner trust an Apple Store to handle your personal data than "Lucky Eddie's iScreen Replacement Emporium" franchise?  I'll bet so.  

    Get over it and apply your intelligence(s) to a real problem!  Geez.
  • Reply 72 of 106
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    "If necessary"

    I have given you all the context you need.
    1) And what do you think would make legislation necessary?

    2) The context of your comment reads that every manufacturer should make their devices easy to repair or we should move create laws that force them to, hence the "if necessary" part.
    If we did move to a situation where expensive smartphones became irreparable by design and required out of warranty or in warranty but non-covered substitution (effectively having to buy a new unit and put the damaged one in for recycling) I would prefer that legislation stepped in to protect consumers from the design decisions that led to that situation.

    In fact, I'm pretty sure the EU at least would evaluate the situation if we reached that point and I'm also pretty sure that there are many consumer groups ready to escalate the issue if it ever became an industry-wide practice.


    I would prefer for the company making the device to under than waste legislative bandwidth for BS laws (like the EU's right to white wash history law) going on the books. 
  • Reply 73 of 106
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    That's why you only see only one maybe three phone repair booths in every shopping contre. 
  • Reply 74 of 106
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,375moderator
    dewme said:
    Notsofast said:
    In a utopian view perhaps, but what you are suggesting is that the greater than 99% of customers who have no need, intent or desire to ever repair a phone, should all pay more and accept less to accommodate the tiny fraction who are interested in repairing their own phone.  The engineering trade offs to manufacture the ever more complex devices would cripple advancements.  The other problem that occurs is where do you draw the line?  Does a manufacturer have to separately create a retail distribution line for parts and components that, even if practical, would never come close to covering costs? For example, would Apple have to build the next phone  with user repairable OLED screen that Apple stocks and sells to consumers? 
    What you're describing in terms of spares, repair parts, and obsolescence accommodation are some of the reasons why military system acquisition costs have been so enormously high. To reduce costs many military systems are now designed around commercial off the shelf (COTS) and in some cases the systems are modularized so entire subsystems are designed to be periodically replaced over their expected lifetime. Even then it's not a perfect solution because it incurs (potentially much) more upfront architectural and design costs to build systems with replaceability and substitution in mind. For military systems with a 10-30 year expected lifetime this approach may be okay, but for products like the iPhone that sell in the hundreds of millions per major version and undergo substantial redesign every two or three years with drastic performance differences in components over very short periods of time, designing for component/subsystem replaceability is impractical and nearly impossible. Additionally, commercial consumers are demanding steadily increasing performance and feature growth from version to version, and Apple is delivering.

    All this adds up to products like iPhones that are essentially throw-away after a fairly short period of time. 
    You mention two separate dimensions, longevity and volume, suggesting the longevity dimension provides reason to make systems repairable.  I'd suggest that the unit volume dimension also suggests the same.  When you're making tens or hundreds of millions of a product, you don't want to run into a situation where a significant number of them need to be discarded due to some flaw or potential for breakage.  That would be environmentally wasteful, given that repairability and recyclability typically go hand in hand.  And that the principal of conservation usually trumps even recyclability.  You want to be able to replace a screen or battery before needing to recycle an entire unit due to one of those failing.  This is even more true for a smaller component like a Touch ID sensor, an on/off or volume button or a malfunctioning antenna band.  Repairing the device conserves all of the still functioning components, which don't need to be manufactured anew to continue providing the owner continued service.  Only the malfunctioning or broken bits needs to be replaced, requiring additional manufacturing.  Too few people think about the principal of conservation when they think about being environmentally friendly, but you can be sure Apple thinks about it.  Apparently, not so much Essential. 
  • Reply 75 of 106
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,375moderator
    melgross said:

    bill42 said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    iFixit demonstrates that in order to change the battery or repair the smallest little part inside like the charge port, you basically have to destroy the phone. Not you. A repair shop. You don't care that a repair shop can't change the used-up battery of your phone? That is ludicrous. 
    Since Apple can do it, it has to be assumed that repair shops, properly equipped, could also do it too. Authorized repair shops are so equipped. Unauthorized ones almost always aren’t. Companies don’t authorize just anyone.
    Well, I doubt Apple has spent any time at all determining whether they can repair an Essential phone, which is excoriated by ifixit as the subject of this article.  IPhones got a 7 out of 10, meaning they are designed rather better in terms of being repaired.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 76 of 106
    I thought Essential was designed to be irreparable? A one off device that will be used till it's broken and thrown in the bin? And it's not even in recycle bin.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 77 of 106
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,375moderator

    avon b7 said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I take the opposite view. Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary.

    This phone looks to be a very bad example. If it is impossible to replace the battery without breaking the unit or leaving it in a worse state than when you began the process, a good idea would be to give it a very healthy warranty.

    If not, you are basically purchasing a time-bomb with a one year delay on the countdown.
    I take an opposite view to your opposite view simply for the fact that having worked in IT for the past 18 years or so I've been the one having to deal with the like of people with your mentality. Those with a little bit of knowledge completely balls it up by getting themselves over their heads and I'm left picking up the pieces. Those with no knowledge are much better because they usually don't go above and beyond to cock it up. There's literally no user replaceable parts in an iPhone anyway. Not even in a Mac to be honest other than RAM and HDD and that's getting less and less with onboard drives and RAM.
    He specifically indicated end-user repairability is not necessary.  I think people are reading the recent repairability by third-parties debate into Avon B7's comment.  

    There's repairability by third parties, the subject of legislation here and there, and it's debatable whether that's a good idea or not.

    Then there's repairability - can a unit be repaired, at all - that ifixit has put in doubt regarding the Essential phone.  Whether or not we mandate such by law is, again, a matter for debate, but for sure a device that is repairable, at least by the company that designed it, is more desireable than one that isn't given what I said in my previous comments, starting with comment 26 and including my more recent comments, above.


    edited September 2017
  • Reply 78 of 106
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,375moderator
    gatorguy said:
    The ifixit verdict on this phone seems to go beyond the realm of end-user repairability or even 3rd-party repair shop repairability.  Seems like these Essential phones are put together in a manner that would prevent even Essential, the company that designed it, from being able to repair it.  And that's a bad thing. 

    Hey Mr. Rubin , it's not so easy copying great hardware as it was copying great software.  Lol
    I dunno, sending a new phone out to replace a failed one sounds kinda nice. Why mess with a repair if a customer breaks one while under warranty and the manufacturer is willing to replace with a new unit? Out-of-warranty is on the buyer, so beware, but TBH an Essential Phone buyer gets treated pretty well if they're sending him a new phone instead of insisting on attempting to repair his old one or offering only a refurb'd one in exchange for the new one he bought. 
    You're mixing two issues.  Yes, it might be better for the consumer to always swap out immediately a broken phone for a new one.  That would be more convenient for the customer, at least in the case where a repair could not be done locally and in a timely matter.  But the repairability issue is a separate issue, one that speaks to conservation and environmentalism.  After swapping out a phone that has, say, a broken power button, to use an extreme example, should the swapped out phone be simply trashed?  Remember, repairability and recyclability are close cousins, so an unrepairable phone is likely to be a lot harder to recycle too, and a company that constructs an unrepairble phone likely also didn't give much thought to reclying them after their useful life has ended.  Repairability means that the company that designed the phone, after swapping you a new one for it, could repair the broken one and sell it back into service as a used phone, thus continuing its useful life and providing a new user a phone without having to manufacture an entire additional phone (the principal behind conservation).
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 79 of 106
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,375moderator

    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    "If necessary"

    I have given you all the context you need.
    1) And what do you think would make legislation necessary?

    2) The context of your comment reads that every manufacturer should make their devices easy to repair or we should move create laws that force them to, hence the "if necessary" part.
    You do this often Soli, inserting words the original commenter never used.  Repairability is the term used by Avon B7.  He neither used nor implied 'easy' to repair.  Repairability means that a device should be able to be repaired, period.  Avon B7 even explicitly indicated in his full comment that end-user repairability is not necessary.  If the maker of a device cannot repair its own device, that's not a good thing.  Read my previous comments here (all of them) to see my reasons why.  
  • Reply 80 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,337member

    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    "If necessary"

    I have given you all the context you need.
    1) And what do you think would make legislation necessary?

    2) The context of your comment reads that every manufacturer should make their devices easy to repair or we should move create laws that force them to, hence the "if necessary" part.
    You do this often Soli, inserting words the original commenter never used.  Repairability is the term used by Avon B7.  He neither used nor implied 'easy' to repair.  Repairability means that a device should be able to be repaired, period.  Avon B7 even explicitly indicated in his full comment that end-user repairability is not necessary.  If the maker of a device cannot repair its own device, that's not a good thing.  Read my previous comments here (all of them) to see my reasons why.  
    Increased repairability means easier to repair. Now, where the fuck did I mention the end-user in the quoted text?
    edited September 2017
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