I Fixed It.

And Samsung’s very special friend in Iceland (Tæknivörur) – well, they didn’t. Which isn’t really all of the story – see, they wouldn’t. Didn’t want to. “Moisture detected” they said – “unrepairable” they claimed.

So they managed to push my buttons in all the wrong ways. When repair shops behave professionally, I’ll be happy to carry their good work on the west wind – but when they ‘tard me, I’ll throw in a few bad words in the South-Eastern storms. And that’s what happened here. See the picture above? That’s a picture of a taped-over cracked heart-rate sensor. On a Sunday or Monday, the sensor seems to have cracked – why I don’t know – and it’s kind of irrelevant. What is relevant is that once cracked, sweat managed to seep in (I sweat quite the bit when training) and the watch started overheating (I guess from shorting the HR sensor) leading it to deplete the charge in “less than no time” and being unable to charge fully. I immediately stopped using the watch and took it in to Tæknivörur (the only “official” Samsung repair shop in Iceland) a couple of days later. It took them several work days to get to the point of saying “It’s broken, we ain’t gonna fix it”. For the privilege, I had to pay 3250 Icelandic krona (around US$26). Not accepting this as a valid solution, I opened up the watch using my trusty screwdriver and the Y-head. Once inside, surely enough, there was a small ticket that shone red in the back of the case. The sweat must have worked its way into the watch. But everything seemed unaffected. Perhaps it was only fumes, as there was no corrosion? I decided to try to bet on it – I made sure the ribbon cable (heart rate sensor) was disconnected as everything else on the back case was connected via spring-loaded contacts – and put the watch together. Then, I cut out a piece of tape and covered the back side (we didn’t want more sweat entering the watch, eh?). Charging the watch revealed the truth – it was only the sensor and nothing else. So what could I do? Well, I found a seller on eBay selling original SM-R800/R805 back covers – so I ordered one. $26 for the back and $27 in shipping and then an additional $26 in customs and handling. It doesn’t come cheap to live on an island… Once I had the box in my grasps begins the real I fixed it story.

First we get ready

A mat, magnetic mat, screwdriver, watch – and the back cover

Unpack the back…

… and visually inspect that it is indeed the same – and ok.

Turn off the watch

Ready, set go.

Remove the screws

Then, open the back

If I hadn’t opened it before

I would have to make sure to be extra careful because of the ribbon cable

All open – inspect it (again)

Just to make sure I’m happy to close it up again

Fasten the ribbon cable

Be very careful – it’s fragile.

Make sure it’s perfectly closed

There’s a gasket – you may need to move it from the old back to the new – I got a new one included

Screw it together again

And remove the stickers

Turn it on…

And verify that the HR-sensor is in fact working as it should

I’m now on the 3rd day after replacing the back. I didn’t replace the battery (I didn’t feel a need even though the watch is more than 2 years old as it still held a charge for more than 1.5 days).

As I said – I’m now on the 3rd day after replacing the back – and the second day after the initial charging. I still have 46% battery left. I still haven’t used the Bluetooth audio like I used to – this evening will show how that goes.

In total, I had to pay about US$105. If Tæknivörur had manned up, called me and said “we did detect moisture – we can’t guarantee that the watch will be ok long-term, do you still want us to change the broken back?” then I would have had to pay $83. That would have been nice. I feel they OWE me the difference since they didn’t. I also requested to BUY the spare part and do it myself. They refused. Instead, they chose a very common Apple-tactic of “computer says no, we don’t sell spares, fuck off” (very politely, but the message was still received both loud and clear).

Unfortunately, they are still required for in-warranty repairs, but honestly, I cannot but hope that companies like this quickly seize to exist.