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How to make your black Lumia 920 snap necks

When you picked up your Nokia Lumia 920 a few months back you probably had a color in mind before heading to the store. Maybe you wanted Cyan or Yellow to stand out from the crowd. But you get to the store only to have your selection limited to whatever was on hand. You could have waited for more colors to come in, but you said screw it and took black because you wanted that Windows Phone 8 goodness right then and there. You could throw on a case and get a new color, but you’ll lose out on the beautiful industrial design of that high-end Lumia.

Why not just swap the shell?

Reddit user lego_hobbit did just that. He took his stoic black Lumia 920 and turned it into head-snapping yellow. He took to eBay and found a replacement shell in a variety of colors: black, yellow, red, and white. Opting for a slightly more expensive one that included ceramic buttons and camera lens. This item on eBay (opens in new tab) is the one he went with. It only costs $36 and included the tools needed for the job. Edit: Since posting this the price has gone up to $49. Supply and demand baby. 

Yellow inside

The process was fairly straight forward, at least if you’re somewhat comfortable/familiar with taking apart electronic devices like smartphones. If not, check out this 33 minute video taking apart a Lumia 920. The yellow replacement pieces were identical to the black ones on his Lumia 920. The only difference was the lack of a code insight the SIM slot. The kit from eBay included everything he needed for the swap. The wireless charging coil and headphone port were the only two pieces that needed to be swapped over.

Final Yellow Lumia 920

The final result is a yellow Lumia 920 that is indistinguishable from an official one. He even reports that the phone no longer creaks and the volume button doesn’t “snap”. Now he just needs to adjust to the glossy finish versus the matte black. Check out more photos at the Imgur link below and his follow up answers at Reddit.

I’d do it in a heartbeat for cyan or gray, but those two colors don’t appear to be showing up on eBay at the moment. What do you guys think? Any MacGyver’s out there thinking of doing this?  

Source: Imgur, Via: Reddit, Windows Phone Central Forums

112 Comments
  • So how do you make your Lumia 920 snap necks? Don't throw it at someone, just swap the shell! :)
  • Lumia 920, so versatile that you can snap necks in multiple ways. lol
  • This^
  • http://sdrv.ms/109zBxh
     
    My grey version. :)
  • That's giving me a raging techon. 
  • What did he mean by changing the charging coil and headphone jack? New ones?
  • You have to take those parts from the original shell and use them with the replacement shell.
  • Yeah how about just getting a new case
  • Why would you buy a beautiful phone and throw it in a case
  • you've never seen the CC-1043 have you?  It is a case that actually makes the phone -better-  The way it sculpts around the buttons is the best industrial design I've ever seen.  You can hardly tell a case is on it!
  • Yep. I just got mines yesterday and got two from Amazon for $10 a piece. Can't beat that for OEM cases
  • well i have yellow cc-1043 for my red lumia 920 but after 2 weeks the stunning yellow turns into ugly blue yellow.
    the design is good but the quality is a problem.
  • I have the same problem!
  • I did think they would attract dirt and discolor quickly. Buy eh for $10 bucks I couldn't pass.
  • I have the same problem with my yellow cc-1043. I'm glad it was cheap and it works great but it is now ugly. I've been trying to figure out what causes the dis-colorization.
  • I'm having the same problem, but not as bad. It seems like for me it gets worse when left near dark-colored dyes, like a blue jeans hip pocket. I'm interested in ways it might be cleaned.
  • Its still a case
  • I have both gray and the yellow cc1043, and after a month the yellow is permanently stained. I've tried soft n scrub, goo gone, soap, and even automotive rubbing compound. If you ha e a black cc1043 case you'd probably be ok, but any other color, forget it
  • Thanks for sharing this, I just went on Amazon and bought one. I have been suffering this horrible rubbery case where you can see the phone is yellow but there are bubbles of air that get underneath. I am prone to drop things so a case is a must. So happy a better one is in my near future! So thanks again for passing along : ) just to add my clear rubber one also got discolored from my purse... If this new case gets discolored as well (which people are mentioning) I will just buy another.
  • So I get the CC-1043 case from Amazon and it is hideous! I have a yellow Lumia and the yellow case is a stupid hideous yellow color I would never want or buy. I checked the color online in the pic and it looked like the "correct" yellow. It isn't and sucks so don't bother buying the yellow one. I bought 2 as well so this doubly sucks.
  • Hate my gloss red Lumia, love my matte red cc1043!
  • Matte red?
  • The OEM cases are not glossy looking.  They have a matte look to them, which I like about the red one I bought.  It doesn't have that cheap gloss look Silicon and TPC cases can have.
  • The only problem is the friction caused by the dust trapped between the case and the phone. Hard to get rid of and the effects are rather awful. I now have "abrasion" marks on my glossy white Lumia which aren't very deep but they sure as hell are ugly.
  • Yup. Mine turned black at the edges as well. The yellow case doesn't like jeans pockets.
  • Oh, I don't know, to protect it from being crushed, banged and destroyed? 
  • I would love to do this. I just wish the new shell will be without that "at&t" branding and there is a video specifically showing how to swap the shell.
  • The video that's linked does a pretty good job at explaining removing the headphone jack and charging coil. As far as the ATT logo, that's built into the bezel of the screen, unfortunately :/
  • The video doesn't explain how to remove the headphone jack, as I found out when I did this conversion (I'm lego_hobbit and those are my photos). In the video the headphone jack the person has is a replacement, still with the red sticky covers on. Either he ordered a replacement or someone at the Nokia factory didn't do their job properly! The actual headphone jack is glued to the shell just like the coil. I had to pop it downwards after heating up the glue, whereas in the video it would have just been rattling about. Still an easy job, but was a bit of a surprise!
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKd8tCAH-eY
     
    Here you go (: 
  • Where do you get the adhesive from? Any particular kind?
  • You re-use the sticky plastic from the original.
  • Is the replacement case as hard as the original 1?
  • Eh. That's is cool, nothing awe inspiring since it's just changing shells to colors already out and voiding the warranty. I hate glossy finishes. Its tacky and cheap looking IMHO. I would live the gray, however. I just bought the OEM Nokia case in Cyan and Red and love them as it gives me the color schemes with a matte look and not adding bulk.
  • why would you buy an expensive phone and then swap a genuine nokia housing with a cheap knockoff, regardless of color
  • They are the OEM shells. I think
  • According to the listing..
    Manufacturer :100% Brand New replacement, High quality guarantee
     
    Not OEM, I would stay away unless you can find actually a Nokia OEM shell. They could be just painted. Not sure why this made news if they are not OEM parts as these could be cheap knock offs.
     
    I would hate to go through the project of changing the color of my phone and find the paint on the case came off 2 weeks later.
     
    What would make this more interesting if they had more colors or even odd ball colors that Nokia didn't make, so people could get a true different color...as well as the OEM colors..
  • Thx. If its not OEM it's a no go for sure.
  • Yep. The discoloration reports is proof enough to go with OEM only shells.
  • Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but the discoloration reports are for OEM cases (that you put on over the shell of the phone), not for these replacement shells. I would also have the worry that these are cheaper or painted, but until people have used them a bit, how would we know?
  • Being ATT branded is a tell tell sign it's OEM.
  • what do you mean, there is no AT&T branding on the plastic housing...
     
  • This sounds super tempting. I do really want that yellow case as an excuse to buy the yellow wireless headphones.
  • Well, I ordered a yellow one.
  • Wainting for cyan :)
     
  • I would see the point in this if the shell was replaced by something really custom, like aluminium, different colored plastic or something engraved. Or maybe wood. That would be nice. Real wood, not a sticker.
  • wood... You sir are a man of taste. I mean that. I imagine it looking like a dark cherry finish, sort of like a hardwood floor.
  • Wood would be sick!
  • Your ideas are all great!
  • I had the option of any color I wanted, but went with black anyway (and I got a black CC-1043 too!). Black is timeless, and any tile color you pick looks vibrant and will never clash.
  • I do love the black. And that's what i originally had. When I had to get a replacement, they only had white. Since I'm somewhat of an exhibitionist I like how everyone asks about my white phone. Not many people did when i had black. :P
  • Awesome.... Fortunately my latest replacement from Nokia I convinced them to give me yellow cause they sold out blacks. Otherwise this would be plan B. Will this void your warranty?
  • Yes. This would void your warranty.
  • Voided warranty or not be careful as to not brick your 920. I have a red 920 here bricked from replacing the screen and can't un brick it.
  • Any black/grey carbon fiber ones?
  • I'll be turning mine grey soon!!
  • I felt like this article was about me. I did something much easier. Bought a yellow 920 on eBay and sold my black one. Even made a $5 profit. AND the warranty is not affected... BAM!!!
  • Only problem is your buying a used phone and giving up your new one. You'll probably be all right but you never know how that used one was handled.
  • Excellent point. I do have the yellow 920 and using it right now to type this. It is in near mint condition and the seller had a return accepted policy. It was a positive and easy transaction for me. Saw iron man 3 last night and the WP8 wedding commercial came on. After it ended, I heard several people behind me talking about my phone that I just happen to have out.. The black one never got any attention.
  • Now it would be great if someone got hold of a good pattern to 3D print a shell here :)
  • Why don't you take the black shell off and repaint it whatever color you want?
  • Cause the paint would eventually wear off and then you'll have an ugly case.
  • Not if its done correctly and sealed
  • For the WP8 UI I love the steel grey and taupe colors and would absolutely love to have a case to match.  I know it would be dificult to do on the L920, but you would think it would be really easy to come out with a color pack for some HTC or cheaper Lumia phones that match the available WP8 themes.
  • my volume button just started "snapping"! I'm definitely going to pull off this mod as soon as I find a $36 bill somewhere.
  • Even better. I took my wife's california blue 8X and swapped out the back cover for a black one. (She originally wanted a black one, but we are on ATT) I left all the blue buttons and the blue speaker grill. So it is now a black 8x with california blue accents and I think it looks really slick. Wish I had some pictures of it to show off.
  • I'm also waiting on grey.
  • I wanted a white one and got stuck with black, but black would have been my 2nd choice anyway (though, I didn't understand why the AT&T corporate store had a yellow, red and white on display if they didn't have stock... how stupid).
    Anyhow, I don't find the task daunting (I dabbled in taking apart and fixing iPods for a bit), but I'll wait until my 'honeymoon' with my Lumia fades before doing this... and maybe by then there will be other shells in other colors or made from other materials.
    These non-OEM replacement manufacturers really could make more sales if they offered colors and materials that DON'T exist.  Someone make matte dark maroon or Ford Mustang forest green and I'm on it!
  • i ordered the yellow one. im excited!!!
  • I would have painted the black. Save money and get a completely original color.
  • Funny I saw this.. I actually was going to do this last year when I got stuck with my black 920 from Rogers. But my girlfriend talked me out of out and said to "Just be patient" for the yellow one to come. Well, the yellow one did eventually come. But it took about 4 months.
  • I can do this then? (My name)
  • So these are not the official ones Nokia uses but a knockoff? Is there a place to buy the exact ones made for Nokia?
  • The guy that did the swap is fairly certain these are OEM. He couldn't distinguish the two. 
  • "....and then he threw on a black TPU protective cover."
  • Awesome, I want to turn my red into cyan! The red is beautiful but I would prefer a matte finish.
  • Did this with my L800 a few months ago. Never looked back to that black shell since!
  • I just bought a white Lumia 822 on EBay but it didn't have a back cover. Anyone know a good resource to find one? Searching the web and EBay only turned up 1 black one.
  • I've never seen a white one... Best bet may be to try and find a Qi enabled back cover in white
  • Hopefully there are some cases for the 822
  • I replaced the LCD on my Lumia yesterday.  I put it all back together and was amazed it still worked.
  • I really hope they get the hot pink one. I thought about painting one of them, but eh. Also thinking about getting a replacement white one since my has a boo-boo on it.
  • No inofficial colors available? I'd like a matte purple one.
  • I would care less about the color, just be happy your able to get a Lumia 920...
  • this seller on ebay just jacked their pricing... now $49...
  • lol supply and demand on display. 
  • he is getting greedier by the day, it's $59 now!!!
  • I actually did this exact same thing two months ago. I had a white one and swap it yellow. So my phone used to be stormtropper but now it's big bird!!! Lol the hardest part was the wireless charging. I didn't have a hair dryer so I winged it and sort of messed up the core part of the wireless charging, it still works though.
  • If you want another color just order from Amazon UK or Germany....or look at ebay there..
  • Apparently it's already up at $79...this is getting to be not so affordable! This is why I HATE eBay.
  • Now it is $39, May be it is out of stock before. so this seller rised the price.  I had bought Red one!  it is $39
  • Or maybe it was just a tactic to get me to buy it immediately before the price goes up again. It worked!
  • Question boys? Has anyone personally changed the glass on their 920 before? If so can any one point in the direction of where I can go to buy a replacement glass.
    Thanks
  • http://www.etradesupply.com/nokia/other-models/nokia-lumia-920.html
     
    They are out of stock now but keep checking. Gey the one with the light guide. That's the part that lights up the windows button at the bottom. And I think if you put LE55 in the coupon code you get like a dollar off.
  • Hmm I've got a white 920 but wouldn't mind a matte cyan ! Maybe one day
  • Now it is $39. a fair price.
  • I just received my yellow case today.  The swap took me about 20 minutes.  The only nerve racking moment was taking out the wireless charging coil.  It was way more difficult to get out then what the guy in the video showed.  But, all is back together and working perfectly.  And I know have the yellow 920 I always wanted:-)  This is just awesome!
  • Yep really good upgrade. I would never buy an external case again when changing shells is this easy. I have just ordered the cyan one too as that has just been listed. Only a few so get in there peoples
  • Can the same be done with lumia 720?
  • Sooooo my Lumia 920 doesn't say "NOKIA" on the back. It says "Carl Zeiss Tessar 2.0/26" If these are OEM, shouldn't they say that? Also, the blue isn't matte, and it doesn't say cyan. WTF
  • They're not OEM, they're just reproduction shells. And if you read on the page, the seller clearly states that the blue is glossy and not matte.
     
  • i just ordered a red one. i see that it come with the antennas and the nfc antenna as well. do the included antennas provide the same call and signal quality and the original?
  • there is another thread here about swapping the case. There are at least two places on ebay. My own experience with a yellow one is excellent. I was not able to tell the difference in quality between my black original one (pliability/flexibility) and the new yellow one from ebay. There is no difference in signal or call quality after the change. Somebody in the other thread went to a Nokia center to check the serial number of the case he received and found it to be genuine.
     
    cheers
  • How is the Authors yellow one holding up? has it discolored yet or anything?
  • got mine a couple weeks. no dicoloration. It's glossy yellow PC and I do not believe it will discolor (unless I use drastic measures like solvent).
    the case looks and feels very good quality and I believe these are OEM cases.
    Here are pictures I've taken a little over three weeks with the new case.
    http://forums.wpcentral.com/nokia-lumia-920/225333-5.htm#post2016616
  • Just ordered a blue one! Super excited!
  • I did mine today. Changed from white to red. Real simple. Took me less than 20 minutes and you can't tell the difference from one or the other. 
  • Hi - how are the qualities of the antennas that come with the casing? are they as good as the original ones?
  • yes, I did not notice any difference
  • Actually, the price went down to $29. I like my black shell, but I would prefer it glossy maybe.
  • Uhmmm ,, Did anyone noticed that the black above looks glossy? is there a glossy version of Lumia 920 in the world!?
  • it's a late reply I know. that shinyness on the black is from the lighting (I believe). it's a matte glossiness ;) a truly glossy black would be much more glossy and shiny.