Can I fix this, or do I need to suck it up and get a new phone?
September 16, 2013 9:37 AM   Subscribe

I've had my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S Blaze) for about a year and a half, and it is no longer under warranty. Recently, it has developed two problems relating to aspects of the hardware. I need to determine if I (a person with little to no experience with fixing electronics) can fix these problems inexpensively, or if I should just bite the bullet and buy a new phone. (I'm a student, so buying a new phone after less than two years is not something that makes my wallet happy.)

Problem one: the external speaker stopped working suddenly. In other words, the speaker used for speakerphone, playing audio, or for the phone's ringer and notification tones, is out of commission. (The speaker used during phone calls that are not on speakerphone still works.)

Problem two: I use headphones with my phone constantly (even more so now that the external speaker is broken). Within the past couple days, the headphone jack on my phone is working only erratically, and seems to have started damaging any headphones I plug into it. When I get any sound at all, it's only the right channel, and often the phone seems to flip back and forth rapidly between thinking the jack is in use or empty. Any headphones I use in the jack will, after a small amount of use in the jack, only transmit through the right channel.

Is it worth trying to fix these (and is it even possible for someone with no experience in this stuff), or am I better off jumping ship?
posted by ocherdraco to Technology (5 answers total)
I have no experience with your model phone, but in general, jump ship. Phones are a real pain in the butt to repair, and a year and a half old phone is nearing its obsolescence.
posted by zippy at 9:48 AM on September 16, 2013

Go to YouTube and search for repairing your phone and the components mentioned. I replaced the glass on a Blackberry and just recently on a Galaxy S3 by being patient and following some YouTube videos. The parts will be cheap enough to at least give it shot.

If your plan B is to get a new phone, at least try plan A first.

Here is a link to a "treardown" guide. I did not watch this particular one, but it will give you a feel for what you are up against.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:01 AM on September 16, 2013


Fwiw, I searched on YouTube for "repair samsung galaxy s blaze". There are many videos that appear to be helpful to determining the possibility of repairing. Search on Amazon for the replacement parts. I have had success there.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:04 AM on September 16, 2013

Ifixit is great resource on these things

I linked to your phone replacing a display. On step 4 there is the audio jack flex cable/speaker flex cable which looks pretty easy and you can get the replacement part on phonepartsusa

Check to see first if they are just loose. A loose connection on these flex cables are generally a issue and can cause the intermittent problems you mentioned.

Total cost $5 + shipping + weekend project of 30 min + consulting fees for my time.
posted by radsqd at 10:25 AM on September 16, 2013

Response by poster: The headphone jack issue turned out to be an issue with the headphones themselves—I just ascribed it to the jack because I didn't think it was likely that two sets of headphones would fail in exactly the same way in succession.

So, I'm holding off on getting a new phone for now; the external speaker issue is not bothering me enough to justify it.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:13 AM on October 1, 2013

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