When you're not eligible for a free, upgraded phone from your mobile-service provider, breathe new life into your cell phone by refurbishing it yourself. This can be especially handy if your phone is no longer manufactured, as finding a repair center with replacement parts can be difficult. With a few simple tools and a non-working second phone to salvage for parts, refurbishing your phone can be a leisurely afternoon project.
Determine to what extent your phone needs to be refurbished. Examine the LCD screen for scratches, and monitor the battery life. Also, check that your keypad is in working order and that the phone's housing is intact.
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Obtain a cell phone that is the same model as the one you're refurbishing. It can be broken, as long as the replacement parts you need are still functional. Purchasing a non-working phone is typically cheaper than buying replacement parts separately.
Replace broken pieces. Remove your battery and the phone's back cover. Use a small screwdriver to unscrew the back plate. There may be screws hidden under decals, so keep looking for screws until the plate lifts off easily. If your front plate has side screws, remove them as well. Lift off the front plate and remove the keypad and LCD screen, if broken. Replace them with corresponding pieces from the second phone, then reattach the front and back plates. If your phone's front cover is damaged by scratches, replace it with the one from the second phone before reattaching.
Clean your battery connections. Battery life is often lost due to corroded or dirty connections. Use a clean cotton cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the connectors inside your phone and on the battery. Allow the phone to dry before reinserting the battery.
Transfer the second phone's back cover to your phone. If your back cover is damaged or scratched, use the one from the other phone if it is in better condition. Pop it off the old phone and transfer it to your phone.
Replace your SIM card and battery in your refurbished phone. Make a test call to ensure the phone is working properly.