How a Mobile Phone’s Case Can Imitate Its Maker

Why is it fairly easy to open some smartphones and tablets, while others seem designed to thwart a user’s effort to repair them — or even replace the battery?Some devices, like my Android phone, a Galaxy Nexus by Samsung, have a back cover that slides off and a battery that pops out. And when evaluators at iFixit, a Web site offering do-it-yourself repair manuals and parts, disassembled Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet for a “teardown” review, they found that it was easy to open and repair.In iFixit’s video review, the narrator describes how the battery can be replaced without unscrewing a single screw. She is moved to declare, “The sustainability-geek inside me wants to hug Google for this.”

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