Leading up to the release of the Essential Phone, the road was anything but smooth. And moving forward, the road isn’t getting any easier to travel on where it concerns fixing future issues with the device. iFixit gave the Essential Phone the worst repairability it has ever handed to a mobile device.
iFixit rates devices it tears down on a scale from one to ten, and the Essential Phone earned the lowest score possible—a paltry one. That’s a shame, given how it looks stunning the device looks.
The repair score hones in on the inconsequential layered components, excessive adhesive and awkward implementation of modularity. Essential put great emphasis on making the body look stunning, but it came at a steep price. Its seamless body makes it nearly impossible not to damage the body when first trying to open the device.
In fact, the iFixit team had to freeze the phone—yes, you heard that right—to remove the display. But it didn’t help much because the display still shattered. Removing the rest of the components are a pain as well thanks to the ridiculous amount of adhesive used to settle in all the parts.
Other details you should be aware of is the USB-C is soldered on to the motherboard, making it harder to replace if it goes bad, and the front-facing camera and earpiece come together as the same part.
If you do end up picking up an Essential Phone, you might want to consider investing in a generously padded case unless you want to deal with the gigantic pain it will be to fix a common issue like a cracked display.