Pixel 6 Pro teardowns reveal Google’s big step in the right direction

JC Torres - Nov 14, 2021, 9:11pm CST
Pixel 6 Pro teardowns reveal Google’s big step in the right direction

Google definitely seems to have struck gold again with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, give or take a few problems with its fingerprint sensor that can hopefully be fixed by a simple software update. Underneath all the glamour, however, is a phone that’s apparently just as unique, thankfully in some very good ways. Initial teardowns of the Pixel 6 revealed one thing that Google has done right, at least for repair technicians, but it seems that it still falls a few steps short in making the Pixel 6 one of the easiest phones to repair that isn’t a Fairphone.

There are two parts of the phone that see the most wear and tear and carry the biggest risk of damage. Three if you count the glass back that can be easily covered by a skin or case if you can’t have it repaired yet. Between the screen and the charging port, the display is perhaps the more critical part, especially if the phone supports wireless charging as a backup. Fortunately, that’s also where Google seems to have scored its biggest point in terms of repairability.

JerryRigEverything praised the Pixel 6 Pro as possibly one of the easiest to replace without being intentionally modular. All it needs is a bit of heat and cutting through the adhesive to divorce the display panel from the rest of the phone’s body. The display ribbon cable is a bit tricky if you didn’t know where it was, but a simple metal bracket is all that keeps the LEGO-style connector hidden from view anyway.

iFixit also compliments Google on the use of clips to hold the display in place in addition to the glue. It explains that this would allow users or technicians to simply clip the display back in place without having to replace the adhesive, though at the expense of waterproofing. There’s also the discovery of a publicly available official tool to recalibrate a new screen and its fingerprint sensor, presuming the replacement is an authentic component in the first place.

Unfortunately, it isn’t all roses and sunshine when it comes to repairing the Pixel 6 Pro, and Google did have a few missteps, even if they had the best intentions behind them. The odd battery pull tab, for example, may have been the most confounding piece inside the phone that doesn’t seem to do anything except give false hope. The black graphite stickers also hinder the easy removal of components, while the soldered USB-C port will make replacing that component extremely difficult.

All in all, Google definitely seemed to have gone out of its way to make replacing the Pixel 6 screen easier, even if it probably doesn’t intend to support the third-party repair service industry. Hopefully, it will continue on this positive path, but given Google’s track record, anything can happen at this point.


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