Unbreakable 2: Thoughts on swapping out my Nokia Lumia 920 Chassis and going grey

You may recall reading about my account of what happened when I took my Nokia Lumia 920 out for a spin on my bike with a sub-standard bike mount (opens in new tab) back in June and how it took a beating that only an action hero could withstand.

I figured I would post a follow up on how my Lumia 920's story, like those of the silver screen, had a fairly happy ending, complete with a new grey chassis.

After receiving a refund for the bike mount that wasn't strong enough to carry the phone it was designed for, I decided that I would swap out the battle-scarred body of my white Lumia 920 with a brand new grey one that I procured from eBay (opens in new tab). Once it arrived, I set up my Surface tablet tuned the video that Windows Phone Central user Lemmiwinkles made that we used in a post we did about changing the body of your Lumia 920.

Armed with a mini multi-head screwdriver set, razor blade, and a hairdryer (Thankfully my wife has a full head of hair because I am balder than an old tire), I got to work, following Lemmiwinkles' video pretty much to a T. I was pretty nervous, considering this is my daily driver of a phone and I am only about 4 months into ownership, so I am not even close to being eligible for an upgrade.

To my surprise, the process was easy and everything went incredibly smoothly. Even the steps that the video said would likely be challenging did not present any difficulty. The screen assembly popped out of the chassis with a little light prying with a tiny flathead screwdriver, as did the USB jack. The headphone port came out after briefly heating it with the hairdryer.

Using the hairdryer to loosen up the adhesive on the headphone jack and wireless charging pad worked like a charm. However, the charging pad was the toughest part. I found it tricky to heat the adhesive enough for it to become workable and then carefully scrape the wireless charging pad up with the razor blade before it cooled down too much. I probably shouldn't have risked using a razor, and opted to go buy a plastic scraper or something, but I will admit I was too excited and impatient to do that.

When the charging pad first pulled up from the body, it did so without the adhesive and a tiny square of material from the center of the pad. This not how it happened in the video (my own fault), so freaked out a little, thinking that I killed the ability to charge wirelessly. My fears soon proved to be false once the phone was back in one piece and I heard that familiar "doop-a-doo" jingle when my Lumia hit the charger.

It was worth it

From busted white to slick grey

All in all, the whole swap took me about 20 minutes, including the time it took me to rewind and watch parts of the instruction video. It could have taken longer if I had run into trouble getting the phone apart or back together, but I was fortunate that I did not. It was a positive and rewarding experience to not only fix my busted Lumia 920, but also add a little panache with the matte grey.

I likely never would have given this a try had my phone not fallen off my bike onto the asphalt and been run over by four cars, so I suppose you can find some kind of silver lining here.

Thanks to Lemmiwinkles for his excellent video. And just remember, if you decide you give this a go with your Lumia 920, you do so at your own risk. Good luck!

Seth Brodeur
  • Ugh for some reason grey ruins the look for me, imo. But good to see you giving something new a try haha
  • Battle scars? WTF? Get a case on it man!
  • Couldn't have a case on it while in the bike mount. ;)
  • Cases are for girls. Real men go naked and raw. Man up.
  • Uhm.. well.. Ok then...
  • +920 ;)
  • Not with my lifestyle, haha. My screen would be toast. the otterbox defender is bulky, but it does the job well.
  • I have this, I won't use any other case: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009T8YXCA/ref=cm_sw_em_r_am_wp_am_us?ie=UTF8&t...
  • I have same one, in red. Excellent case.
  • i have been looking at those, but it doesent appear that you get any screen protection from them.  is that true?  or do they cover the screen from the accidental slide across the table, etc.
  • Very minimal screen protection. The case sticks out about 0.5 millimeters
  • I have it in yellow and it gets dirty really fast. I don't know how to clean it.
  • My fiance has one of those on her 920. They must be the best 920 cases, but I don't like how hard the buttons are to operate with that thing. I have had my 920 since launch day without a case, and it still looks great.
  • Best case I've ever owned on any phone. Try it, you'll love it!!
  • Are these the super thin neoprene skins, that came with the 800/900s? They're fantastic. I was looking for something similar for my 820 but as I'm getting a 920/925 soon I'll wait.
  • Very brave soul lol....couldn't fathom doing this to my daily driver
  • I really really want to change mine to grey... i use the grey background.  If i was to do it, it'd purchase a seperate wireless charger pad...so i wouldn't have to pry that sucker off.
  • Try the grey case that Nokia makes. You almost can't tell it is a case, most people I show it to think I just got a new phone:
  • i heard the CC-1043 loses its colour and fades in the corners... 
  • It is showing a little black around the corners. I'm not sure if it is loss of color or just dirt. I'll try cleaning it tonight and reply back.
  • It's just dirt. 
  • That goes for the color cases. Like I had a yellow and this happened, but I've been having the grey and just the corners are a tad discolored.
  • I might turn my red l920 white at some point. Great to hear you found it doable :)
  • You can swap with me if you want? I have a white one and want a red one, although I'm in the UK and mine is locked to EE
  • Couldn't ever do that by myself, I don't have the courage and I'm pretty sure something would go wrong. Good job, haha :)
  • I have a 2 yr old kid at home and he just gets too excited when I pull out my toolkit for some work. I don't think I can attempt such a delicate job with him around.
  • Lol
  • I agree, I too wouldn't dare to do anything delicare nor precise within his reach :P
  • Get a babysitter? Do during nap time? Put up for adoption?
  • Ah! Great to know. I was pretty excited about doing this myself but was too scared since it would void the 1-year warranty. I'm probably (definitely) going to attempt this later just for a bit of change from white but I'll wait for the warranty to die out first so a) I'll be less remorseful if I manage to screw it up and b) it'll give me a new excuse to get the latest Lumia if I really screw everything up.
  • The camera doesnt seem centered??
  • That's just the case/shell.
  • Where did you get the housing? I am looking to change my black to the cyan but really want an official nokia housing. 
  • Think I will be changing my white Lumia to a grey one and then sell it on eBay. And use the money towards a yellow 1020.
  • I turned my red Lumia 920 yellow to "repair" some drop damage around the sim corner. Glad I did, but wishing I could have found the gray cover...
  • Hmm, I'm tempted to do this myself.  My 920 flash stopped working, and the vibrate motor doesn't always work, so I was thinking about opening it up anyway, and that would be a perfect opportunity to attempt this.
  • That's why I chose to do it. I noticed my flash stopped working. Walk thru videos made the task less scary. Got it open and found the flash leads were bent flat, away from the LED leads.
  • Same here my flash has stopped working too! Does the new case come with a new led flash unit??
  • Yes its built in to the new cover.
  • Looks great Seth
  • A bit like a beige computer case... Understated yet... Nope. Just plain dull.
  • Hollywood should make this into a movie. It has everything, love, loss, suspense, action, mystery, I mean I was on the edge of my seat. I'm thinking Brad Pitt for the lead and maybe a schwinn or huffy for the bicycle.
  • Love this!
  • see the link for a good discussion on bike mounts. Its all RAM products for me from now on: http://forums.wpcentral.com/nokia-lumia-928/231577-lumia-920-vs-928-dimensions-bike-mount.html
  • Thanks for the tip. My mount snapped where the ball connects to the phone bracket. The RAM one looks much more robust. And you can have a case on your phone while in the RAM mount, too, right?
  • yep, it's just a spring loaded "four fingered claw". very grippy.
  • Has anyone tried spraying their phone with plastidip?
  • I just turned my white 920 to yellow, had a problem with pushing out the screen, somehow on mine it was really tight, but it gave up in the end. Yellow rocks!
  • Your phone looks ugly now. Good job
  • Thanks, buddy!
  • That is your opinion.
  • LOL wut.
  • I need a new screen more than a new shell unfortunately. It has light scratches yet is kept in a leather case when in my pocket and the screen itself creaks when pushed firmly on the right hand side.
  • Good work, and a good read too. Phone looks really nice. I also don't use a case, risky but I don't like it anymore.
  • Where can tou find a cheap lumia920 screen?? Mine is kinda cracked so I want to get a new one
  • I was thinking that he was lucky to only smash the plastic casing with that much glass surface sticking out like it does. I dropped mine once from waist level height and that glass bevel chipped right off on the corner. One would think the glass would be something people wanted to replace more often than the casing. But those casing changes are mostly for a new color makeover I guess.
  • Too bad this couldn't be said for my 8X when it fell off my mount on my little vespa going 25mph. At least I have assure, but im hoping I can cash that insurance in and get the 925.
  • Looks great! I'm glad my video helped :)
  • My black 920's been naked since day 1! It has a few light scarrs from some pretty abusive heavy handed use to be fair! I was thinking of doing exactly what you did cos i originally wanted the grey. Think its gonna have to be done, but I'll prob stay nude .. Because its a tank! and its a damn shame to cover it up.
  • Was it difficult to move over the wireless charging coils?
  • It wasn't very difficult, but it was the toughest part of the process. It just took some coordination to heat it up and then scrape it up without wrecking anything. It may have been easier if I didn't use a razor. That made me nervous.
  • Seth, what do you ride?
  • I was just riding my bicycle, a Trek 7.3. Good thing it wasn't my Vespa, or it could have been worse.
  • I use the Arkon waterproof case for handlebars. Got it shipped from Amazon for $25 (total). It's stood up to over 130mph on a fairingless Streetfighter, so I'd classify it as solid.
  • I will check that out. Thanks.
  • I bought the cheap housing off ebay for $30.
    I wish I had shelled out the extra for the proper one
  • What i really want is to Matte my lumia920 , without actually taking it apart (although i get how hard of a challenge that is .
  • Grey was my first choice but was not available in North America as a color choice.  Not sure why!
  • How to replace my glass ( on Nokia Lumia 900 )
  • Aaaand then you dumped your warranty card.
  • Just finished with my L920. Gone from yellow to cyan. Job was pretty easy with right tools (came with the shell), and a hairdryer.