Search This Blog

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Found/Fixed an LG C729 android phone with broken screen

I found this on the street in front of my house.   It is a nice android phone that had been
run over by a car.   I couldn't believe my luck.  The screen is broken badly. This is the most fantastic thing I ever found.    The screen is splintered and I got some shards in my finger trying to see if the touch pad works.  It doesn't at all.  That is the biggest problem.  The back won't stay on and the battery is pretty roughed up too.

I set out to find out what data I could pull off the phone and what functionality I could use.  I'm a hardware experimenter, and I'd like to use it for telemetry, robot control, etc.  For that I don't need a screen, the sensors, camera, GPS and USB interface alone make it very powerful.    It has an SD card it in, a SIM card too.   Who does it belong to?   If it were an iPhone, I'd buy a screen replacement kit, but this is a fairly obscure LG C729 .
This looks like a very dicey site.  But it led me to a part number, then

Looked up model, it is an LG Doubleplay from T Mobile.  Runs Android 2.3.4  It is a practically new phone. I can't imagine why whoever dropped it and ran it over didn't come back for it.

I found the SD card was unformatted and had no data on it.  I guess the phone was pretty new.
The SIM card from Tmobile... is it still active?   I can see that the phone is saying no signal, emergency calls only, so it's cancelled as I'd expect it to be.   The phone sat around for a couple weeks before I got a chance to play with it.

A little fiddling and I was able to put the battery in, and connect the USB and power it up.   The backlight comes on and with the battery in in actually boots.   It makes sounds.  This phone seems good except for the screen.  For some reason it didn't work the first time I tried, but later it did boot.   Plug it into the USB and screen lights up but is pretty bad shape.    I think the screen lock is on, and since the touch pad is smashed, I can't unlock it with a swipe.

Another lucky part is this wacky phone has a second touch screen inside the keyboard.  That touch screen actually works still and is not broken.  However it doesn't fully run the phone.  I can open text messaging but not the contact list to see who's phone it is.

When it first booted, I was able to operate the phone.  After a while it went to screen lock due to inactivity and I can't see a way to get it out of that mode.   It is hard to turn the phone off again, because long button hold brings up a menu that I can't operate to do a shutdown.  I did find the physical keyboard space and return allow me to navigate the power down menu.  W00t!   Any other phone and I'd be nowhere, but this oddball has a physical keyboard.

Android Java SDK talks to the phone, it seems to load apps I program in, when the power is off!  When turned on I can't go through the menus to set the phone menu option to allow Settings->Applications->developement which allows USB loading of programs.   When powered on I can't talk to it with eclipse.  Very strange.  This is a major obstacle to using the phone as a hobby robot.

I thought I would need to write an app to unlock the screen when the touch swipe won't work
newKeyguardLock = km.newKeyguardLock(HANDSFREE); newKeyguardLock.disableKeyguard();
However I found that opening the phone keyboard unlocks the screen.  Awesome.  That doesn't work with my droid.

At this point I'm a little stalled.  I can't program the phone with custom apps, because it isn't in developer mode.   A simple menu option that I can't get to without the touch screen.  I can't use WiFi because I can't get to the settings page.  Maybe I can program it through the USB, if only I could get to developer mode.

I may go back and buy a new screen.  Bad news is I need a screen AND a touchpad/glass to fully fix this thing.  I don't want to order direct from China.  That usually works, would save $10, but takes forever.

It would take $60 to completely repair this phone.  After that it could be unlocked and used as a phone.  If I only replaced the touch screen/glass, it would be $30.  Does that make sense if I've got it open should I go for 100% fixed?

I was curious is the ESN was good.   How you do it appears to vary with company.  Can't find much on Tmobile.  I don't plan to activate it, but it would be nice to know in case I do.

I opted to repair the screen and digitizer.  Partially for practice, part because I wanted a GSM phone for a trip to Europe coming up, and part because I'm finding I'm pretty stuck without any touch input.   I could have just replaced the digitizer and glass, but while I was in there, I decided to go for it.  I bought the parts from Ebay on the links above from "gadgetFix" because they shipped from the US.  It took about 4 days to get here.

Here is what I got.  Came in a little envelope.  No instructions :(

I took the battery out of the phone first

I hate instruction videos because you have to watch them slowly and waste time finding out if they are any good.  Just write instructions people!!
This doesn't seem to apply very well because this is a slider phone, and taking the back off is pointless.  They do use a heat gun to melt the adhesive.   This may be necessary.

This is a little closer to the mark
This does show you have to start at the back, remove the motherboard, etc until you get to removing the screen.  No heat on this one at least.

I pried off the rubber bumps on the back of the screen and removed the two philips head screws.
I can pry up one side of the screen, but I can't get in. 

close up of the screw once the rubber bump is off

 I guess I have to take the screws out of the back and start prying up the mother board.
I'm not showing the photo of the back, because the photo has the MEID in the picture.  Just take out all the small phillips head screws you see.

Pryed off the back and pulled out the keypads from each side.  This allows you to wedge a screw driver in sideways and access the other two screws on the back of the sliding screen.   You have to pry up the circuit board a bit and slide the screen around until you can just wedge in the screwdriver and remove the two screws opposite the ones that are easily available under the rubber bumps.

Couldn't photo that step because it took both hands :).

Prying open the screen section.  There is a flex circuit board wiring that ties it all together.  it is taped to the back of the LCD.  Peeling it off the old LDC was scary stuff.  The connectors are the silver rectangles.  They pop off with a tiny bit of prying.  There is one for the LCD and one for the digitizer.  Just look at the new parts and you'll see where they connect.

Old screen was glued in and was a mess of broken glass.  Easy to get cut.

Peeled it out, but it's not all out yet.  Need to save the plastic bezel.  Too bad, it's pretty messy.

Plugged it back together, put back the back part of the phone so I could power it up.  Holy crap! It's alive!!!

The touch screen works, the LCD lights, the home button works.  The physical keys still work. This thing is fully functional.   Removing the sim was a mistake, when it was put back in, it wiped the phone.  No worries, I had already read the email when the screen was broken and it was totally lame stuff.

Still need to figure out how to put the front panel back together and scrape out all the old broken glass.
I'm kind of surprised the thing works, it took a ton of prying and poking to get to this point.

If you want to do this on your own phone, that you want to be good as new, geez, good luck.   I only had the nerve to do this because the phone was junk and I had wasted $$ on replacement parts and didn't want to let them go to waste.   I may never get it all back together good as new.


  1. Just got done taking my girlfriends doubleplay apart. Your instructions were valuable. Just some more information for you.. I just browsed over this but I didn't see any mention of the screw under the board that holds the connector for the sim and sd card. That board is glued on as well. Just come careful prying will loosen it. Make sure you remove the RF connector first.. Once I did that, it was smooth sailing.. Waiting for the digitizer to come it. UGH I have 20 years in electronics

  2. I like the way of representation of this blog and everything was explained very well and it's helpful for this type of problem, you can buy any parts from Cell Phone Replacement Parts at an affordable cost.

  3. The second phase of the procedure includes utilizing the regular assets to strike back against the infection for killing it totally.
    Cell Phone Repair in Markham

  4. As we know there are many companies delivering high-tech sophisticated phones with great technology to facilitate our daily needs. There is a growing demand of quality repair centers. It is hard to find a proper provider for a particular brand as all service providers does not have expertise on all brands. Cell phone repair

  5. The cost to have your insurance replace your iPhone with a refurbished device is $180 for an iPhone 4 if you have your insurance through Assurion.PCB Tool Expert

  6. I'm energetic I discovered this blog! Every now and then, understudies need to subjective the keys of beneficial brilliant articles making. Your top notch data about this awe-inspiring post can change into a fitting purpose for such people. flabbergasting one   android pattern unlock

  7. Envision losing the 250 gets in touch with you had and assembling your contact list sans preparation! Wireless repair is the better alternative.

    phone repair Castleford

  8. Do you have a Samsung brand for a phone? If this is the case then you are for sure enjoying all of its features while taking benefits over its toughness. However, this is the time to realize that no matter how sturdy the materials that the phone was created with, accidents will happen and you never know how much damage it can give to your phone. Desperate times calls for desperate measures, as they would say. Consequently, you need to think about those times and be sure to protect your phone against troubles with the use of Samsung phone cases.

  9. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally? Taking time and actual effort to make a very good article? But what can I say? I procrastinate a lot and by no means seem to get something done.
    download drastic ds emulator apk

  10. In any case, similar to the common iPhone, its genuine esteem depends on its execution and disregarding their rich housings and parts, the world's most costly iPhone can in any case be harmed and may require iPhone 4 fix administrations.

    ipad repair essex

  11. The purposes behind the equivalent are complex. Cost viability and comfort being the most obvious ones.

  12. Quicker 'time-to-advertise' is the new interest in today's' period of computerized disturbance. In the event that your picked mobile application advancement organization is moderate at taking off apps to the market, there is an expanding plausibility that you will fall behind your opposition. cellphone repair

  13. Wonderful article, Which you have shared here about the LG C729 android phone. Your article is very interesting and I really enjoyed reading it. If anyone looking for the phone repair service in NJ, Visit Imobilerepairs

  14. There are some Apple stores which even attempt to make you purchase another model of (iPhone 4) rather than repairing the former one.iphone repair singapore

  15. Thanks for sharing the screen repair services with us. If you are looking for the apple service center near me for iPhone screen repair then, visit

  16. Nice article, Which you have share here about the LG C729 screen repair. Your article is very informative and I appreciate your work which you have done for repairing this LG C729. If anyone looking to buy iPhone SE LCD Screen, easytechparts is the best for you.

  17. Such a nice article shared by you. If you are looking for the best iPhone & IPad screen repair services then, you can visit on iphone repair las vegas

  18. Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come beck here for new post from your site.

  19. Thanks for sharing the blog on mobile repairing. provides mobile phone repair services at the best prices. Get the more details you can visit on Mobile Phone Repair Sydney

  20. Such a nice blog. Thankyou for sharing information. I want to know more about iphone repair.
    iphone repair

  21. Thank you for sharing such a nice blog with useful information. I want to know more about Iphone Repair services.
    Iphone Repair services

  22. Such a nice Blog with useful information . I would be thankful if you can share information about iphone repair .
    iphone repair

  23. Such a nice blog with useful information. I would be thankful if you share more information about iphone battery repair .
    iphone battery repair

  24. Wonderful article, Which you have shared about the phone repair. Your article is very important and I really enjoyed reading it. If anyone looking to repair the phone, then visit at , boost mobile repair

  25. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. iRepair India provide IPhone display replacement, battery replacement and offer customer service at the fair cost. For the further information you can visit on iphone display replacement

  26. Thank you for sharing such a nice blog with useful information. I would like to know more about Iphone screen replacement.
    Iphone screen replacement

  27. This is very informative blog which you have shred here. If you are looking for the used iPhone to purchase then you can visit on best used iPhone deals

  28. Awesome piece of content. Very detailed as well. If you are not that tech savvy to repair your phone yourself, Vrepairs will repair it to you at your doorstem in Bangalore. We are the best iPhone service center in Bangalore. You can book a service from our website anytime.

  29. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! trippie redd phone case

  30. This is one of those apps that just continues onward. I'm not catching my meaning? SMS API Service

  31. Wonderful article, Which you have shared here about the smartphone repair. Your article is very informative and I liked your way to share your experience in this post. techchamberrepairs provides the best Refurbished Cell Phones in Arizona.