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I replaced the charging port on my Samsung Galaxy S20 because I’m a stupid idiot

I am now questioning all of my life choices.

samsung replace port on s20
Image: Marc Townley / KnowTechie

At some point, everyone has considered themselves a technological wizard. That special kind of person who can diagnose a tech problem from 50 meters away and fix it with a mere wave of the hand. I used to be one of those confident souls.

After going through the absolute ordeal of having to replace the charging port on my Samsung S20, I can no longer lay claim to that skill. Here’s what happened.

(What’s the story) Samsung Glory

The short version is I’m a stupid idiot and managed to fuck up the charging port on my S20. A slightly longer version would be that I’m a stupid idiot who managed to fuck up my S20’s charging port by attempting to plug it in while the port was still a little bit wet. Turns out that’s a quick way to short the connection.

Anyway, not only am I a stupid idiot, but I’m also a proud cheapskate. Which is why there was no way in hell I was paying £120 ($160-ish) for Samsung to send someone out to me and fix it when I could order a new one for £20 and a set of tools to do the job for an extra £10. A non-advertising shout out goes to Repair Outlet, by the way. They delivered within 24 hours of my order. I was super impressed!

Now I’m not sure if you’d realized, but flagship phones pack a LOT of highly advanced technology into a very small space. I knew this in theory, but in reality, my brain hasn’t realized just how cleverly these things are put together. So, it came as a complete shock to me that all the shit inside was organized better than an OnlyFans model’s social media posts.

Appetite for Deconstruction

tools to replace charging port in smartphone
Image: Marc Townley / KnowTechie

I armed myself with my phone and all the tools necessary, loaded up this video on YouTube, and dived into the task headfirst. I then found out I don’t have a heat gun hot enough to remove the glue that makes the damn thing waterproof in the first place. So I spent 45 minutes using a hairdryer to try and pry the back cover off.

I also snapped a couple of the plastic tools in the process. Like I said, I’m a stupid idiot. Thankfully, stupid is as stupid does, so with the aid of a credit card and a LOT of persistence, I finally managed to overcome my first obstacle. The more observant readers will probably have noticed I’m way out of my depth here.

The next step was to remove lots of tiny screws while also hoping a 2-month-old kitten called Meatball didn’t manage to bat them everywhere. Aaaand then I got stuck again. The video asked me to unclip the BTB port. I didn’t have a BTB port, so I spent way too long trying to figure out what was wrong before I thought ‘fuck it’ and started peeling shit out.

The Dark Side of a Fool

inside of a samsung galaxy s20
Image: Marc Townley / KnowTechie

Look, at this point, I was starting to question my life choices. Could I last the next 12 months with wireless charging only? Should I just give up the ghost and buy a cheap burner to use for the next year? Should I swap it with my Huawei P20 and use my S20 as my ex-wife’s only line of contact? The questions started to mount.

But I also knew I’d opened the phone up now, so there was no going back. Like Christopher Columbus’ brave journey to find India, if I was going to fuck it up, I was going to fuck it up properly. Or find America (ie switch to iOS and never touch Android again). Either way was good with me.

So we’ve got about 1000 tiny screws rolling about, random flaps… flapping… and I eventually realised I should probably grab a towel to prevent my screen from cracking against the table. So, with a soft surface underneath, I finally moved on to removing the phone’s speaker.

That speaker is incredible by the way. It wraps some ridiculously clever ideas into a tiny form. Things like using bubbles inside the speaker to help enhance the sound. I basically hacked at this thing with a blunt scalpel. I pried it out, but I definitely heard a couple of dodgy scrapes as I did it.

Abbey Rage

inside a smartphone
Image: Marc Townley / KnowTechie

Removing the speaker finally gave me access to the charging port. All I needed to do was remove a couple more cables then lever it out of the phone’s shell and I was ready to swap them over. This bit was easy. Which is why I got so annoyed when I realised there was lint in the port. There was no water damage. All I had to sort was cleaning the fucking thing out properly. I’d tried with earrings. I’d tried with compressed air. I thought I’d done everything I could to fix it. But no. It was lint.

Once again, I’m a stupid idiot.

I’m not going to lie, this revelation pushed me a little bit past questioning my life choices. It had me wondering whether drug running across the Mexican border might be a slightly less stressful lifestyle.

Like I said earlier though; I’m a proud cheapskate, and even with the clean old port, there’s no way I was going to waste the new one and have it just floating around pointlessly. I’ve started, so I’ll finish, dammit!

A Kind of Tragic

replacing the charging port on a samsung galaxy s20
Image: Marc Townley / KnowTechie

After slipping the tiny thing into a tinier hole (title of your sex tape), I could then start the process of putting everything back together on the Galaxy S20. This is where the stress completely evaporated. The ribbon cables gave really satisfying clicks as they connected. Every screw was still there and went back into their respective threads with no issue. It was incredibly easy to just throw it all back together.

With the now slightly chipped and scratched back cover back on, I only had one thing left to do… try plugging a cable in. Now at this point, I’d love to be able to finish this on the hilarious note that I’d completely bricked the phone, but that’s not the case. It all works perfectly, and I can finally use cables to charge my phone again. I no longer need to rely on wireless charging (which can take twice as long and has resulted in my phone running out of juice several times recently).

Powersaved

So, pros and cons time. Pros – I can charge my phone with a cable again. This is a big thing and should make life a million times easier. Cons – my S20 is no longer waterproof. I’m about 60% sure hacking at the speaker chip has fucked it somehow, because it’s now slightly tinny. TikTok thirst traps just don’t have the same effect when the Pornhub theme kicking in isn’t as clear as normal.

What did we learn from this experience? It is possible to fix it yourself instead of paying over the odds. Would I recommend it? God no! I’d rather peel my scrotum off with a rusty spoon than attempt anything like this again.

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