Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Stratosphere II (SCH-I415) Teardown

After trying to unlock the SIM on my phone, I managed to brick it. In order to attempt a repair, I needed to take it apart, but to date, I haven't found any teardowns for it, so I figured I might as well be the first. For the record, the USB jig does not seem to work with this model of phone.

Disassembling the back of the phone
This yields the motherboard, keyboard, camera and SD/SIM slot

Step 1: Remove the battery cover and battery to expose the battery compartment. Also remove any SIM cards and SD cards.

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Step 2: Remove the 7 screws that hold the back bezel and the front bezel together

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Step 3: Open the keyboard and gently begin prying between the keyboard and back bezel

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The back bezel should pull away and the keyboard will come lose. It is not screwed down. In this picture the keyboard is actually laying upside down in the keyboard tray. To re-install it properly, you would need to flip it over.

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Step 4: Remove the screws securing the motherboard to the digitizer and hinge and pry up the connector on the right side of the phone.

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Step 5: To remove the heat sink, access the front of the motherboard or replace the SIM/SD slot, pry the connector at the top of the phone up and pry at the four corners of the heat sink.

Board Analysis
In this section, we go over the chips and features of the motherboard. For the digitizer, skip to the next section

At this point, the phone should be in several peices:

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Back view of the board:

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In the above, you can clearly see the contacts for the keyboard.

Front view of the motherboard:

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Another view:

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Sorry, these are the highest resolution photos I have. If you need some numbers off a specific chip, E-mail me and I'll see if I can get them for you. Also see the Galaxy S Relay below

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  1. RTR8600 - Qualcomm multi-band/mode RF transceiver WEDGE

  2. RTR8605 Qualcomm IntelliCeiver transceiver for cellular RF management

  3. KLM8G2FE3B-B001 - Samsung eMMC 8 GB NAND flash

  4. K3PE7e700D-XGC2 - 8gb 500MhZ LPDDR2 RAM 1.2V 2CH x32/ch 220-FBGA, 14x14 PoP, DDP, 128Mx32*2

    MSM8960 - 1.5 GhZ Snapdragon S4 Plus 28 nm ARMv7 Processor with integrated Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n (2.4/5 GHz)
    L0: 2x4 KB; L1: 2x16 KB; L2: 1 MB

    The above (RAM and CPU) are integrated onto one chip.
    For a schematic of the above, see this PDF For a full "hack pack" for this chip, check out this link.

  5. PM8921 - Qualcomm PM8921 is a power management IC

This board appears to be extremely similar to the SGH-T699 aka Galaxy S Relay 4G (See this)

Additional information about the SGH-T699:

Other devices that use this board are:
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (3G/4G version), BlackBerry Z10, HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE, HTC Evo 4G LTE, HTC One X (North America), HTC One XL, HTC Windows Phone 8X, LG Mach, Motorola Atrix HD, Motorola Droid Razr M, Motorola Droid Razr HD, Motorola Razr HD, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD, Nokia Lumia 820, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 925, Nokia Lumia 1020, Panasonic Eluga Power, Samsung Galaxy S III (select versions), Galaxy S Relay 4G, Samsung Photon Q 4G, Sharp Aquos Phone sv (SH-10D), Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta (SH-09D), Sony Xperia GX, Sony Xperia TL, Sony Xperia SX, Sony Xperia V, Toshiba Regza Phone (T-02D), ZTE Grand Era LTE, ZTE Grand X LTE, ZTE V96, Pantech Vega Racer 2 IM-A830L

Digitizer/screen replacement
This is incomplete since I didn't need to replace my digitizer or screen. I didn't go any further than this because I didn't want to have to.

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Step 1: Slide the hinge halfway open to reveal all 6 screws on the back to of the screen and remove the screws

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Step 2: Begin prying the back of the LCD off.

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Step 3: Flip up the hinge on the connector to allow you to disconnect the ribbon cable. This is the only hinged connector on the phone. The others just snap together. This connector is similar in style to the ones pictured here.

Note: Reassembly of the LCD is very tricky as you have to slide the hinge halfway between open and closed in order to leave enough ribbon cable to reconnect to the LCD. In the picture below, I will have to flip my hand over and keep the hinge in it's current position (and try to keep my thumb out of the way) and then try to reattach the connector by reaching my fingers through the space in the sliding hinge to flip the ribbon connector closed. I definitely needed about 5 hands to do this and I didn't get the cable as securely attached as it had been initially. I suspect this cable will be the cause of a lot of failed displays. Here is a picture of me halfway through this process:

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So, a few miscellaneous note:
  • I think I found the JTAG interface. If you can identify the pinouts circled in the graphic above, please E-mail me so I can update this teardown


aclear said...

THANK YOU for posting these awesome instructions! I accidentally dropped my Samsung Stratosphere II in water the other day. Despite fishing it out immediately, and keeping it in rice, the screen showed signs of water damage, and then it went completely blank. I saw on another forum that the best thing to do in that case is to take it apart, bathe the components in isopropyl alcohol & let it air dry. I was at my wit's end on how to take it apart until I found your post. I hope the alcohol bath works! If not, I'm no worse off than I am right now, and I now have a lot more confidence with cell phone maintenance than before. (And, I didn't have to ask my husband for help!) :)

Arlene Whiting said...

Thanks for your post. I am going to spend a weekend doing electronics. My phone is completely dead. Been that way for a year and a half. I want to experiment and see if I can revive my Samsung.

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