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Some of you have e-mailed me about disassembling and assembling the Galaxy S4 Active, the water-proof S4. Well, I found out it’s fairly easy to do, in fact much easier than the regular Galaxy S4.
Of course, the Galaxy S4 Active is IP67 device, meaning you do need to take some precautions while taking the phone apart. If you follow my tutorial, you will be able to do it easily without breaking the IP67 feature on your phone.
Step 1. Take the battery, microSD, and SIM card out of your Galaxy S4 Active. Then using a pin, find a hole near the circle metallic things, push the pin into the hole and wedge it up to pull the 4 circle metallic thingees out. They should pop out easily. Do not worry if you lose these, they are only cosmetic and they don’t affect your S4 Active waterproofing. Waterproofing on this phone is through its gaskets, not these circle metallic things.
Step 2. Take all the screws that are visible now, there should be 12 screws.
Step 3. Once the screws are off, you should see some big gaps either at the top or the bottom. Slowly slide a plastic tool or your nails along the gaps until the outer frame pops out.
Step 4. Take all the connectors out as shown below, they should all pop out easily.
Step 5. If you want to take the proximity/infrared sensor or the front camera out, unscrew the black screw.
Step 6. There is a metal guard you will need to grab with a tweezer and pull to the right and it will come off easily. (When you put it back, do the same thing.)
Step 7. The proximity/infrared sensors and front camera should come off easily.
Step 8. Now gently tug on the motherboard until it comes off. If your back camera breaks, you can replace it easily as it’s attached to the motherboard.
That’s about it for disassembling the Galaxy S4 Active.
To assemble, simply follow the precedure in reverse. When putting the motherboard back on, be careful not to have any of the flex cables or the antenna attachment to be stuck under the motherboard as that can damage them. Also, make sure you put the microUSB cover when putting the frame back on. The frame will make a “pop” sound when you put it back in.
As for the screws, make sure you tighten them as tight as possible without stripping them as that’s what puts the pressure on the gaskets on the phone which keeps it waterproof up to 1 meter and 39 minutes.
When done assembling, power on the phone and make sure everything is working including your home buttons, speakers, screen, and touch.
If you are going to replace the screen because you broke it, I highly recommend replacing the whole digitizer/frame assembly as this phone is different from others, you need to make sure the waterproofing is in tact.