JerryRigEverything’s Zack Nelson doesn’t always bends and scratches and burns phones. Sometimes, he also tears them down to see what’s inside. And while he isn’t always a big fan of the rear glass trend in smartphones, that design does offer one advantage that polycarbonate or all-metal unibody phones can’t: the chance to have a transparent back. Fortunately, Google is on top of the latest smartphone design trends and even more fortunately, the latest Google Pixel 3 turns out to be one of the easiest to make transparent. Well, almost the easiest.
Like any such smartphone, getting to the insides is a nerve-wracking task. You heat up the back of the phone just enough to loosen the adhesive without risking burning the battery. Then you slice through that adhesive with extreme caution not to cut through wires. Rinse and repeat.
Getting the paint off the glass back is actually the most excruciatingly laborious and time-consuming part of the process. In the Pixel 3’s case, it’s more a matter of spending a lot of time carefully scratching off the paint. It takes a lot of patience but at least no chemicals involved.
And actually, that’s pretty much it. Aside from disconnecting the fingerprint scanner and removing the camera lens and flash diffuser, nothing else has to be done to create a totally clear Pixel 3. Even the insides seem to be designed to look good, as if Google were expecting Nelson to make this mod.
It might be beautiful but Nelson does note at least one disadvantage of this mod. You lose any and all dust and waterproofing plus any warranty the device might have. At least the potential for breaking it in the process is relatively smaller. If only Google would actually make a transparent version considering how easy it is to do after all.