Jun 13 AT 11:00 PM Sean Riley 30 Comments

Sprint Evo 4G coming apart at the seams for some owners

Reports have begun popping up on several forums that some Evo owners are noticing that the glass at the bottom of the phone is separating from the frame as seen in the image above.

You can catch another example of the problem in the video below from Androidforums user Roman G who posted a scratch test he performed on his Evo screen before returning it to Sprint due to the separation being severe enough to allow him to fit his fingernail in the gap. The beginning of the video features Roman G raking a variety of household objects across his screen which is fairly entertaining (and notably the Evo holds up to the assault just fine), but if you jump to about 2:15 in you can see him describing the screen separation.

Prevailing wisdom seems to be that the adhesive bonding the screen isn’t pulling its weight, but at the moment the problem hasn’t been officially acknowledged by HTC so the precise cause and whether there is a way to correct it remain question marks. Other than causing a little wiggle in your screen this could result in dust making its way underneath the glass and also light leakage which especially in a dark environment can be extremely annoying.

The battery life complaints sound like they are resolving into a non-issue for many users after a week or so and the frame rate throttling can assuredly be corrected via firmware update, but an actual hardware flaw is going to be a little bit harder to correct and could turn into a real black eye for Sprint and HTC if it proves widespread.

So Evo owners have any of you observed this on your device or is everything still sealed up nice and tight?

Update: Here is Sprint’s official response via Facebook. “We recommend that customer’s take their phones to a Sprint Service & Repair Store if they are concerned about their touch-screen. You can locate a repair store closest to you and schedule an appointment at www.sprint.com/storelocator. The store technician will answer any of your questions.”

Via: Engadget

Source: Android Forums

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 4 years and covering mobile for the last 5. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • geniusdog254

    The light leak actually is a HUGE annoyance. I had 3 iPhone’s replaced for the same issue with light leaking from around the bezel. P.S. don’t flame me for the iPhone please, it was before any Android phone was out, I switched to the G1 a month after it came out :)

    Anyways, it can be a huge issue, but I doubt it’s a widespread issue. A lot of people had it with the iPhone too.

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      I had a Blackberry Storm once upon a time which was absolutely infamous for its light leak so I have a special hatred for it myself.

      No question every device off the line isn’t going to be perfect so here’s hoping its a limited sample that have a problem.

  • Uncemister

    Well no device is going to be perfect, Ive had two Nexus One’s, the latter having a less than perfect vibrate motor. i.e. it had erratic operation.

    Hopefully its just this first shipment that has the problem.

  • http://Website rc

    There seems to be a widespread issue with the adhesive at the bottom edge of the screen. I don’t have light leakage (yet), but the bottom of my screen is slightly above the bezel…and I can see and feel it give with slight pressure. The concern is that even though it hasn’t gotten as bad as some that had serious problems right out of the box…HTC has a production issue and the adhesive is weak…more prominently along the bottom of the screen.

    So, if it’s not a serious problem for most phones now, it may well be in 6 months.

  • http://Website Ryan

    Considering HTC’s history of poor construction on their devices, this doesn’t surprise me.

    • http://Website joeskie

      That’s what I’m sayin man. Just because they innovated features never thought possible on a cellphone doesn’t mean they innovated constructuon on one. I would for once like to see one of the companies go back to roots. It is possible to use little screws and make a sturdy device. Instead of doing an exchange whenever somethings wrong and shelling out cheaply made phones as nice as their features may be. Oh well…wish in one hand and shit in the other, see which fills up first.

    • DistortedLoop

      I watched those Google produced design and manufacturing videos about the Nexus One before i purchased mine. The torture tests they put those things through were painful to watch, and suggested to me that HTC made some damn fine phones. My Nexus One hasn’t had any issues at all in terms of build quality, no dust under the screen, light leakage, opening seams, etc.

      Overall the Nexus One with a Cyanogen ROM is amazing, but th touchscreen is wonky, and it makes me nuts enough to want to move to a different phone (awaiting delivery of an EVO today). I could live with the touchscreen wonkiness a bit longer if T-Mobile weren’t so good at dropping/missing calls and losing 3G data. Either one would be tolerable, but the combination of flakey touch input and lousy cell network makes a T-Mobile Nexus One a dead end for me.

    • http://Website wesley h

      Poor quality? I’ve dropped my g1 on concrete so many times its insane the thing still works.

  • http://Website rex

    I drop my Evo from my holster clip from my belt on hard concrete a few days ago. Phone had a minor scratch but everything worked fine and unit was solidly intact.
    I’m leery to conclude all Evo’s having similar problem from ONE flawed phone.

  • http://Website vlade31

    i have this problem and i called sprint, they said to bring it in they will swap it out on Friday when their batch comes in. Hopefully, the new one won’t have this problem, if it does I am returning the EVO.

  • http://Website Cameron

    This is happening on my Evo

  • http://Website JinxDroid

    No separation or light leakage from mine yet… keeping my fingers crossed.

  • http://Website rvajuggalo

    I got one like like that, with the light leak and makes kind of a clicking sound in the home corner.

  • http://Website jay555

    Wow…maybe Sprint should include this as another feature for that stupid “premium” fee you guys agreed to pay every month – detachable touchscreen – can’t get that on any other phone that’s for sure!

  • http://Website DistortedLoop

    Since we’re just now starting to hear of this (right?), I have to wonder which group of users/owners are experiencing the problem? How long have they had and used the phone? Are the ones with problems the phones that were handed out at Google I/O a few weeks ago, the ones that were picked up from Sprint on the first day of public availability, or both?

    If it’s unique to one group, then HTC had a bad batch go through the plant, but obviously more data is needed. If it’s only Google i/O issued phones, then newer owners may start seeing the problem pop up (pun intended) in another couple of weeks. If the I/O phones aren’t having the problem, then that points to a bad batch in the first public release.

    My EVO is scheduled for delivery today. Hopefully it’s a new manufacturing run device and they’ve figured out the problem and addressed already. Either way, the EVO is making more and more nervous and I don’t even have it yet (battery life, screen issues, no hint of 4G in my part of Los Angeles).

    With the iPhone 4 out in less than two weeks, and the Samsung Galaxy S on it’s way in 5 weeks, the EVO’s looking like less of winner anyways, unless you’re in a confirmed WiMax/4G area on Sprint, or just can’t stand T-Mobile’s lousy network in general, or won’t put up with Apple games. Sadly for me, I fit into all three of those exceptions at this time, though I’ll surely check out the iPhone’s new screen – it sounds pretty cool, but so does the Galaxy S’s Super AMOLED.

    Arrgh, too many choices!!! LOL

  • http://Website DistortedLoop

    @Cameron & @ rvajuggalo – Have you guys contacted Sprint for replacements? How long have you had your phones?

  • http://Website Usman

    This issue seems to be very similar to what some of us Nexus One owners were experiencing. While light leakage wasn’t an issue, dust accumulation was! The fix that I came up with, which was very successful for us, was to use a blow dryer to heat up the screen, with the phone off of course, and then to push firmly down all around the screen to get a better seal. Shouldn’t have to heat for more than 2-3 minutes. I did this with my swapas soon as I received it, and had no problem at all after. I strongly suggest you all do the same. It’s a shame that HTC still hasn’t gotten this right, and points to a bigger problem..I know for a fact that they knew it was a problem in the Nexus..to not address it in the Evo suggests that they’re getting too big too quickly.

    • DistortedLoop

      How hot a hair dryer? How far do you hold the nozzle from the screen? Can you tell the glue’s softened up by looking, or is it mostly guess work?

      • http://Website Usman

        Five to six inches… you just want the glue/adhesive to get somewhat gluey. Just getting it slightly tacky ain’t gonna cut it. The screen will be hot to the touch…not warm…HOT. As for knowing when the glue’s softened, that’s all a matter of guesswork. If you heat up the screen/bezel area for a minute or two, you can be sufficiently sure that the adhesive will have softened. If you **just** get the screen hot and try to press it down right away, I doubt the glue will have softened much. Just sustain the heat for a bit. That’s why I suggest powering off the phone and even taking out the battery. It will cool off rather quickly thereafter though.

        • DistortedLoop

          Thanks for the reply. Just got my EVO on Monday. I’ll keep this in mind.

  • http://Website Jason

    I had the same issue with my Evo 4G, also had issues with connectivity, no 4G in my area, battery wont last pass 3 hours. Going for the iPhone 4.

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      If you’re concerned about connectivity I have my doubts that AT&T and the iPhone are the way to go.

  • http://Website pleased

    Boy am I glad I waited before going for the hype around the Evo 4G…..especially after reading sites.google.com/site/sprintcustomersunite/…….it would have been bad enough being ripped off on the unlimited plan costs, but if the phone had been faulty as well I would have been real mad!! A narrow escape from both Sprint and a bad phone!!!

    • http://Website Simon S.

      That website is a joke. This person obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about when referring to the price difference between Boost Mobile’s unlimited plan and Sprint’s unlimited plan.

      Even ignoring the terrible phones one must use for Boost Mobile service, the name difference between Sprint and Boost is no coincidence. Both services run on two COMPLETELY different networks that are as incompatible with each other as T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s!

      Boost runs on a proprietary mobile technology called iDEN which uses TDMA and was developed by Motorola. Sprint’s network is a much larger CDMA network which features a fast EVDO Rev. A 3g connection not available on Boost.

      You’re paying more for a much more robust and feature-rich network, “pleased.”

  • http://Website just met asdfljksfd

    I’m having no problem with my Evo after having it for a month now. Maybe this is some of this is Apple fanatics spouting off. You got to admit some Apple fans are fanatics.

  • http://facebook.com/ronkirby09 Ronnie

    I’m suffering from the light leakage all the way across the bottom buttons and there is light leak on the left side near the center portion. So far no screen has not separated yet. I will get pictures posted as soon as possible.

  • http://Website Rangergrrl

    I was just searching for this issue when I came upon this news! I’ve had my EVO since the 4th and it has been in a protective case. About day 2 I noticed a squeak come from the home key and it felt like it was giving way or moving. At that time no one had posted this problem. I have had a case on it since it left the store and just finally removed the case…only to find mine worse than the above video.

  • http://Website Eric

    I’ve got a little bit of light leaking from the bottom. No separation. I could care less about a little extra light, I don’t notice it at all when I’m actually using the Evo, the screen is way too nice for that.

  • http://Website Dubbs

    I am having the same problems with my evo. I have had it for only 4 months but the screen is starting to separate on the bottom left hand corner. And the battery lasts for3 hours so the phone is constantly plugged in. I like this phonw but it feels cheaply made at times. Htc needs to address this
    issue.

  • http://sprint3g4g KEN RODENBERG

    what a rip off sprint gave me. i been with sprint cell phone for over 10 years. last year 2010 in august i sighned up for wireless internet. i have been paying $66.00 a month for 3g 4g service. 3g is fine, but no 4g in az or okla. they did not tell me that when i signed up. i have tried about everything i know to recoup this, but nothing. i think i got ripped off. they keep saying az will have have it last fall 2010. this is feb 2011. why are they lieing about this.

  1. The light leak actually is a HUGE annoyance. I had 3 iPhone’s replaced for the same issue with light leaking from around the bezel. P.S. don’t flame me for the iPhone please, it was before any Android phone was out, I switched to the G1 a month after it came out :)

    Anyways, it can be a huge issue, but I doubt it’s a widespread issue. A lot of people had it with the iPhone too.

    • I had a Blackberry Storm once upon a time which was absolutely infamous for its light leak so I have a special hatred for it myself.

      No question every device off the line isn’t going to be perfect so here’s hoping its a limited sample that have a problem.

  2. Well no device is going to be perfect, Ive had two Nexus One’s, the latter having a less than perfect vibrate motor. i.e. it had erratic operation.

    Hopefully its just this first shipment that has the problem.

  3. rcGuest 5 years ago

    There seems to be a widespread issue with the adhesive at the bottom edge of the screen. I don’t have light leakage (yet), but the bottom of my screen is slightly above the bezel…and I can see and feel it give with slight pressure. The concern is that even though it hasn’t gotten as bad as some that had serious problems right out of the box…HTC has a production issue and the adhesive is weak…more prominently along the bottom of the screen.

    So, if it’s not a serious problem for most phones now, it may well be in 6 months.

  4. RyanGuest 5 years ago

    Considering HTC’s history of poor construction on their devices, this doesn’t surprise me.

    • joeskieGuest 5 years ago

      That’s what I’m sayin man. Just because they innovated features never thought possible on a cellphone doesn’t mean they innovated constructuon on one. I would for once like to see one of the companies go back to roots. It is possible to use little screws and make a sturdy device. Instead of doing an exchange whenever somethings wrong and shelling out cheaply made phones as nice as their features may be. Oh well…wish in one hand and shit in the other, see which fills up first.

    • I watched those Google produced design and manufacturing videos about the Nexus One before i purchased mine. The torture tests they put those things through were painful to watch, and suggested to me that HTC made some damn fine phones. My Nexus One hasn’t had any issues at all in terms of build quality, no dust under the screen, light leakage, opening seams, etc.

      Overall the Nexus One with a Cyanogen ROM is amazing, but th touchscreen is wonky, and it makes me nuts enough to want to move to a different phone (awaiting delivery of an EVO today). I could live with the touchscreen wonkiness a bit longer if T-Mobile weren’t so good at dropping/missing calls and losing 3G data. Either one would be tolerable, but the combination of flakey touch input and lousy cell network makes a T-Mobile Nexus One a dead end for me.

    • wesley hGuest 5 years ago

      Poor quality? I’ve dropped my g1 on concrete so many times its insane the thing still works.

  5. rexGuest 5 years ago

    I drop my Evo from my holster clip from my belt on hard concrete a few days ago. Phone had a minor scratch but everything worked fine and unit was solidly intact.
    I’m leery to conclude all Evo’s having similar problem from ONE flawed phone.

  6. vlade31Guest 5 years ago

    i have this problem and i called sprint, they said to bring it in they will swap it out on Friday when their batch comes in. Hopefully, the new one won’t have this problem, if it does I am returning the EVO.

  7. CameronGuest 5 years ago

    This is happening on my Evo

  8. JinxDroidGuest 5 years ago

    No separation or light leakage from mine yet… keeping my fingers crossed.

  9. rvajuggaloGuest 5 years ago

    I got one like like that, with the light leak and makes kind of a clicking sound in the home corner.

  10. jay555Guest 5 years ago

    Wow…maybe Sprint should include this as another feature for that stupid “premium” fee you guys agreed to pay every month – detachable touchscreen – can’t get that on any other phone that’s for sure!

  11. DistortedLoopGuest 5 years ago

    Since we’re just now starting to hear of this (right?), I have to wonder which group of users/owners are experiencing the problem? How long have they had and used the phone? Are the ones with problems the phones that were handed out at Google I/O a few weeks ago, the ones that were picked up from Sprint on the first day of public availability, or both?

    If it’s unique to one group, then HTC had a bad batch go through the plant, but obviously more data is needed. If it’s only Google i/O issued phones, then newer owners may start seeing the problem pop up (pun intended) in another couple of weeks. If the I/O phones aren’t having the problem, then that points to a bad batch in the first public release.

    My EVO is scheduled for delivery today. Hopefully it’s a new manufacturing run device and they’ve figured out the problem and addressed already. Either way, the EVO is making more and more nervous and I don’t even have it yet (battery life, screen issues, no hint of 4G in my part of Los Angeles).

    With the iPhone 4 out in less than two weeks, and the Samsung Galaxy S on it’s way in 5 weeks, the EVO’s looking like less of winner anyways, unless you’re in a confirmed WiMax/4G area on Sprint, or just can’t stand T-Mobile’s lousy network in general, or won’t put up with Apple games. Sadly for me, I fit into all three of those exceptions at this time, though I’ll surely check out the iPhone’s new screen – it sounds pretty cool, but so does the Galaxy S’s Super AMOLED.

    Arrgh, too many choices!!! LOL

  12. DistortedLoopGuest 5 years ago

    @Cameron & @ rvajuggalo – Have you guys contacted Sprint for replacements? How long have you had your phones?

  13. UsmanGuest 5 years ago

    This issue seems to be very similar to what some of us Nexus One owners were experiencing. While light leakage wasn’t an issue, dust accumulation was! The fix that I came up with, which was very successful for us, was to use a blow dryer to heat up the screen, with the phone off of course, and then to push firmly down all around the screen to get a better seal. Shouldn’t have to heat for more than 2-3 minutes. I did this with my swapas soon as I received it, and had no problem at all after. I strongly suggest you all do the same. It’s a shame that HTC still hasn’t gotten this right, and points to a bigger problem..I know for a fact that they knew it was a problem in the Nexus..to not address it in the Evo suggests that they’re getting too big too quickly.

    • How hot a hair dryer? How far do you hold the nozzle from the screen? Can you tell the glue’s softened up by looking, or is it mostly guess work?

      • UsmanGuest 5 years ago

        Five to six inches… you just want the glue/adhesive to get somewhat gluey. Just getting it slightly tacky ain’t gonna cut it. The screen will be hot to the touch…not warm…HOT. As for knowing when the glue’s softened, that’s all a matter of guesswork. If you heat up the screen/bezel area for a minute or two, you can be sufficiently sure that the adhesive will have softened. If you **just** get the screen hot and try to press it down right away, I doubt the glue will have softened much. Just sustain the heat for a bit. That’s why I suggest powering off the phone and even taking out the battery. It will cool off rather quickly thereafter though.

  14. JasonGuest 5 years ago

    I had the same issue with my Evo 4G, also had issues with connectivity, no 4G in my area, battery wont last pass 3 hours. Going for the iPhone 4.

    • If you’re concerned about connectivity I have my doubts that AT&T and the iPhone are the way to go.

  15. pleasedGuest 5 years ago

    Boy am I glad I waited before going for the hype around the Evo 4G…..especially after reading sites.google.com/site/sprintcustomersunite/…….it would have been bad enough being ripped off on the unlimited plan costs, but if the phone had been faulty as well I would have been real mad!! A narrow escape from both Sprint and a bad phone!!!

    • Simon S.Guest 5 years ago

      That website is a joke. This person obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about when referring to the price difference between Boost Mobile’s unlimited plan and Sprint’s unlimited plan.

      Even ignoring the terrible phones one must use for Boost Mobile service, the name difference between Sprint and Boost is no coincidence. Both services run on two COMPLETELY different networks that are as incompatible with each other as T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s!

      Boost runs on a proprietary mobile technology called iDEN which uses TDMA and was developed by Motorola. Sprint’s network is a much larger CDMA network which features a fast EVDO Rev. A 3g connection not available on Boost.

      You’re paying more for a much more robust and feature-rich network, “pleased.”

  16. just met asdfljksfdGuest 5 years ago

    I’m having no problem with my Evo after having it for a month now. Maybe this is some of this is Apple fanatics spouting off. You got to admit some Apple fans are fanatics.

  17. RonnieGuest 5 years ago

    I’m suffering from the light leakage all the way across the bottom buttons and there is light leak on the left side near the center portion. So far no screen has not separated yet. I will get pictures posted as soon as possible.

  18. RangergrrlGuest 5 years ago

    I was just searching for this issue when I came upon this news! I’ve had my EVO since the 4th and it has been in a protective case. About day 2 I noticed a squeak come from the home key and it felt like it was giving way or moving. At that time no one had posted this problem. I have had a case on it since it left the store and just finally removed the case…only to find mine worse than the above video.

  19. EricGuest 5 years ago

    I’ve got a little bit of light leaking from the bottom. No separation. I could care less about a little extra light, I don’t notice it at all when I’m actually using the Evo, the screen is way too nice for that.

  20. DubbsGuest 4 years ago

    I am having the same problems with my evo. I have had it for only 4 months but the screen is starting to separate on the bottom left hand corner. And the battery lasts for3 hours so the phone is constantly plugged in. I like this phonw but it feels cheaply made at times. Htc needs to address this
    issue.

  21. KEN RODENBERGGuest 4 years ago

    what a rip off sprint gave me. i been with sprint cell phone for over 10 years. last year 2010 in august i sighned up for wireless internet. i have been paying $66.00 a month for 3g 4g service. 3g is fine, but no 4g in az or okla. they did not tell me that when i signed up. i have tried about everything i know to recoup this, but nothing. i think i got ripped off. they keep saying az will have have it last fall 2010. this is feb 2011. why are they lieing about this.