Degraded Nexus 5 Battery Demands Immediate Removal

I’m happy I found a way to make use of the HP Stream 7 tablet, though I have no immediate use for it so I jotted down some notes before putting it away in my pile of old hardware. When I did so, I found an unpleasant surprise in that pile: my old Nexus 5 cell phone shows signs of lithium battery degradation. It has puffed up, pushing against the back panel of the phone and popping a few clips loose. This is not good. I don’t know how long it’s been in this state, but I need to pay immediate attention.

With the first few retaining clips popped loose by the puffy battery, it was relatively simple to pop the remainder loose in order to remove the back panel. However, more disassembly is necessary before the battery could be (nicely) removed.

Further disassembly meant removing six screws holding this inner shield.

Once that inner shield was removed, I could disconnect the data cable running between the top and bottom halves of the phone, and I could electrically disconnect the battery. Mechanically, the battery itself is held by adhesive strips. The puffiness pulled some loose, but the remainder required some persuasion to release. I used a bit of thin clear plastic cut from some thermoformed product packaging.

The battery has puffed up roughly triple of its original thickness. No wonder it didn’t fit inside the phone anymore.

I’m glad I was able to remove the problematic battery before it expressed its degradation in unwanted and exciting ways. (Fire? Maybe fire.) But now I have removed the battery, I might as well take a closer look.

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