After a brief period of uncertainty that it would ever come out, the Essential phone, the latest brainchild of Android creator Andy Rubin, finally became available to the relief of pre-order customers. It’s still not quite out of the woods yet with the recent security leakage during pre-order verification but the new smartphone on the market has somehow acquitted itself well with its features, capabilities and sheer durability. The last one is thanks to the tough titanium casing, seemingly a reassurance that the Essential Phone will not break easily if dropped.

But repair expert company Ifixit has an alternative take on Rubin’s smartphone as the sturdy construction also makes it near-impossible to repair.

Hard to crack, even for repairs

iFixit, aside from their catalog of repair parts, is especially famous for their publicly accessible “product teardown” of various consumer electronics. The Essential Phone is the latest product on their disassembly table. The teardowns are supposed to be an easy guide for customers to take apart their devices and easily identify individual components as an aid to effect repairs and small damage. But the amount of difficulty iFixit went through to disassemble Andy Rubin’s pride and joy made them give the smartphone a flat 1 (out of 10) in their “repair-ability” scale.

What it means is that the Essential Phone will be difficult to fix if there is internal damage as disassembling it could do more harm than good. The vaunted titanium-ceramic casing of the Android smartphone was so hard to open up that iFixit took the extreme measure of freezing the assembly to crack the screen and get at its internals.

Another sticking point that the repair specialists found was how the Essential’s USB-C port was soldered to the motherboard. In fact, many of the pieces inside the phone were held together by adhesives, which is almost a guarantee that something might break if anyone tries to tug some components apart.

Worst offender

At the conclusion of their product teardown, iFixit proceeded to give the Essential PH-1 smartphone the lowest score on their scale of 1 to 10.

This means that the smartphone Andy Rubin made was too cumbersome to fix compared to say, the iPhone 7 or the Google Pixel XL (both 7/10). In fact, even the Samsung Galaxy S8, which iFixit tested for 'repair-ability,' was better graded at 4/10.

The only advantage the Essential Phone had was the fact that any internal components that were not glued together were connected by standard screws. The Galaxy S8 used uncommon pentalobe screws inside which was not much of a plus. It is now up to consumers to decide if the Essential PH-1 is worth buying.