[Update: Before you read this tale of woe, here’s the correct way to replace your Trophy’s digitizer: HTC Trophy Screen Repair Take Apart Guide. h/t John Haug.]

So my new HTC Trophy fell off of my thigh to the curb as I climbed out of my car. The vaunted Gorilla Glass gave up the ghost, and the display cracked:

Verizon HTC Trophy smart phone with cracked glass digitizer. James Galasyn

Verizon HTC Trophy smart phone with cracked glass digitizer.

 

No, I did not have insurance. The display still worked, although I got little nicks in my fingertips from flick gestures.

I was resigned to buying a new one, but on a whim I searched for replacement digitizers, and to my surprise found one for $49.99. It came with a special tool for extracting the broken digitizer, so I decided to give it a try. Here’s the replacement digitizer:

Front view of a replacement digitizer for the HTC Trophy smart phone. James Galasyn

Front view of a replacement digitizer for the HTC Trophy smart phone.

 

Rear view of a replacement digitizer for the HTC Trophy smart phone. James Galasyn

Rear view of a replacement digitizer for the HTC Trophy smart phone.

 

Note the little capacitor plates on either side of the frame.

The removal tool is a blue plastic crowbar for prying the digitizer out of the chassis. This seemed straightforward, until I started prying. After looking around for tabs or buttons or any sort of release, it became clear that the digitizer was glued into the chassis.

After much careful prying, the digitizer came out.

Cracked digitizer after removal from an HTC Trophy. James Galasyn

Cracked digitizer after removal from an HTC Trophy.

 

During this process, the bus broke, which seemed okay, until it became apparent that the bus was guided under the LCD display, which required pulling out the tray that holds the LCD panel. At this point, it seemed plausible to try opening the phone from the other side, but of course the screws that secure the back plate require a tiny star wrench:

Tiny screw in the back plate of an HTC Trophy smart phone. It requires a star wrench. James Galasyn

Tiny screw in the back plate of an HTC Trophy smart phone. It requires a star wrench.

 

I didn’t have the patience to track one of these down (of course, I found out later that a colleague at work has a bunch of these), so I continued with violent entry from the front.

The LCD display had survived the fall almost unscathed, and the extraction of the digitizer didn’t cause too much damage:

LCD panel of an HTC Trophy smart phone, with digitizer removed. James Galasyn

LCD panel of an HTC Trophy smart phone, with digitizer removed.

 

But prying out the tray that contains the LCD panel had unfortunate results, because it was cemented into the chassis also:

Damaged LCD panel of an HTC Trophy smart phone, after removal by prying. James Galasyn

Damaged LCD panel of an HTC Trophy smart phone, after removal by prying.

 

Exposed liquid crystal of the LCD panel from an HTC Trophy smart phone. James Galasyn

Exposed liquid crystal of the LCD panel from an HTC Trophy smart phone.

 

At this point, it was obvious that the patient had died on the operating table. Pulling off the display revealed that the digitizer bus was coupled to the circuit board behind yet another panel, so it was either more prying or entry from the back.

HTC Trophy smart phone with LCD display pulled away. James Galasyn

HTC Trophy smart phone with LCD display pulled away.

 

That’s where I gave up. Happily, the local Verizon store had just received a new shipment of HTC Trophies, and with another 2-year contract I got away with a $50.00 replacement.

And that’s the smash-and-grab tour of the inside of an HTC Trophy.

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