Blackberry Facelift

Filed under Hardware, How-To

Blackberry 8830 WEMy trusty Blackberry 8830 World Edition phone had become heavily scratched, dirty, and generally yucky so I decided to do something about it.  I gave it a facelift – and here is the why and how…

The reason it had become scratched, dirty, and yucky is two-fold.  For one, I had been carrying it in my pocket the last few months and two, I had recently swapped my phone with my wife’s pink Pearl Blackberry.  Being the globe-trotting scientist that she is, she needed a phone that could make and receive calls internationally so I swapped her mine (you can only imagine the grief that the Verizon specialists gave me when I told them I was putting a pink phone on my line).  Anyways, after a couple of weeks of field work in Africa, and a few more weeks in my pocket, this is what my phone looked like:




Here it is, stripped down to the bare core components after stripping the existing red housing off.


Before I went any further, I used a toothbrush and compressed air to clean/blow off all of the accumulated dirt, dust, and grime on the inner parts of the Blackberry.  The steps to get to this point and remove the housing are pretty straight forward:

  1. Backup you data and settings
  2. Remove battery cover
  3. Remove battery, SIM card, and microSD card
  4. Remove 4 hex screws surrounding battery socket (will need a T4 Torx wrench)
  5. Remove side panels (use fingernail or old credit card to pry them off)
  6. Remove remaining back panel
  7. Unscrew last 2 T4 screws on back of unit at the top
  8. Remove front half of housing assembly, including trackball and keypad

To install the new housing:

  1. Reverse steps 2-8 with the new housing components
  2. Restore data and settings (if needed)

If you would like to see a video of this whole process, click here.  Here is what my Blackberry 8830 looks like with the new, factory-fresh housing:


I did make some minor changes/upgrades to the factory red housing that it came in from Verizon.  I opted for an all black, unbranded housing and swapped the clear/white track ball for a black one.  My 8830 now looks more like a true Blackberry, though my daughter now calls it a Stealthberry.  Either way, I am pleased with the facelift.

If you are interested in giving your Blackberry, or any other current model cell phone a facelift, you can likely find your parts to do so where I did – Cellular Nationwide Network.  Their shipping is reasonable and fast given that it is shipping from overseas.  Additionally, they included the correct Torx wrench (T4) for my model Blackberry and a plastic tool to help remove the side panels. Not that I needed either tool, but still, these are nice touches in terms of customer service.