The Nexus line has always been the best option for Android developers and tinkerers, and LG’s new Nexus 5X appears to embrace that role. The teardown masters of iFixit gave the new mini-Marshmallow phone a Back to the Future-style deep dive recently and found that the Nexus 5X is pretty good in terms of repairability, giving the handset a score of 7 out of 10.
Compared to its predecessor, LG avoided covering the components with adhesive, as adhesive makes it harder (and more annoying) to repair. The Nexus 5X also uses standard Philips screws, making it much easier to take apart.
Like the Nexus 5, the 5X got thumbs-up from iFixit for having many modular components that can be replaced on their own. Several pieces aren’t modular at all, however, like the USB Type-C connector, which is soldered to the motherboard. That’s a problem if the port ever fails, since you’ll have to replace the entire motherboard—at that point it’s probably easier to get a new phone. The good news is that if your headphone jack bites the dust, replacing it will be a snap as it’s the spring contact variety.
Another notable exception to the 5X’s modularity is the fused display assembly (the outer glass and the LCD are one unit), which is typical for many smartphones.
The impact on you at home: Although many people never look past the case of their phone, a device that is relatively easy to repair is a good thing to consider. Sometimes we give up on our phones and tablets for silly reasons, like a non-functioning headphone jack or a battery that just won’t hold a charge. Knowing that a component replacement requires just a few snaps of a back cover and a screw or two will make those inevitable moments of hardware failure easier to handle.