Performing Physical Inspections on BlackBerry smartphones

Article ID: KB35521

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 01-14-2014


Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry 10
Jump to: Environment | Overview
  • BlackBerry 10 smartphones

The following information is intended for retail support representatives who are assisting customers with troubleshooting.

Explore the customer experience

Before performing any troubleshooting on a BlackBerry smartphone, you must understand the customer’s experience to properly troubleshoot their BlackBerry smartphone issue. Ask questions to learn more about the potential cause of the issue.

For example:

  • Determine what specifically is happening on the customer’s BlackBerry smartphone.
  • Determine when the issue started and the frequency of the occurrence.


  • Not all physical damage is immediately evident. Physical damage may affect the BlackBerry smartphone in unexpected ways—always note and discuss physical damage with the customer even if it appears unrelated. If you are in doubt about whether the damage affects the functionality of the BlackBerry smartphone, engage the BlackBerry Repair Technician to participate in the physical inspection.
  • If you find damage that does not cause the customer issue, ask the customer if they would like it fixed and proceed to explore the customer experience. For example, there may be a scratch on the housing of the BlackBerry smartphone that does not affect its usage.

Physical inspection checklist

The first step to troubleshooting any issue is to perform a physical inspection of the BlackBerry smartphone. Use the following list as a guide for physical inspection.

Note: If you are part of a Walk In Service Center, refer to the Inspection job aids for further information. There is an Inspection job aid for each BlackBerry smartphone model. For more information, log into BlackBerry Universe.

Physical abuse or damage

  1. Inspect the exterior of the BlackBerry smartphone for any signs of physical abuse or damage.
  2. Inspect the display of the BlackBerry smartphone for any signs of physical damage or abuse.

Liquid damage

  1. Inspect the entire BlackBerry smartphone for any signs of liquid damage; if possible, examine the liquid damage indicator (LDI) and any visible areas of the circuit board.
    1. Examine the small white rectangular LDI on the battery (adjacent to the terminals) and in the battery compartment. The number and exact location of LDIs can vary by BlackBerry smartphone model. Make sure you are familiar with the BlackBerry smartphone model you are inspecting. BlackBerry 10 smartphone LDIs may appear either solid white or have a distinct red pattern when they are not exposed to any liquid (inactive). If a previously solid white LDI shows any red at all, or if the previously distinct red pattern appears fuzzy or smudged (active), the BlackBerry smartphone may have come in contact with liquid, directly or indirectly. Direct exposure could be a result of immersion or splashing; indirect exposure might be a result of the operating environment, such as an indoor pool or extended usage in a very hot or humid country.
      Note: Even if the LDI is inactive, liquid damage may be present if the BlackBerry smartphone is exposed to liquid in another area. Always thoroughly examine the BlackBerry smartphone for liquid damage prior to disassembly, and reexamine it after disassembly.
    2. Examine any visible areas of the circuit board with a magnifying lens. Liquid damage on the circuit board may appear as very tiny wrinkles, white powdery residue, or corrosion. Liquid damage may be undetectable without significant magnification.

Tamper seal

  1. Verify that the tamper seal on the BlackBerry smartphone is not broken. The location, size, color, and number of tamper seals varies by BlackBerry smartphone model. Make sure you are familiar with the BlackBerry smartphone model you are inspecting.
    • BlackBerry smartphone tamper seals are adhesive, circular, and placed over screws required for disassembly. Any attempt to remove the tamper seal results in visible damage to the seal.
    • A broken tamper seal generally indicates that the BlackBerry smartphone has been disassembled. You cannot know if the tamper seal was broken due to an authorized disassembly, however, anyone authorized to disassemble a BlackBerry smartphone is required to replace the tamper seal. Always be careful in how and what you ask the customer as a result of finding a broken tamper seal.
    • An unbroken tamper seal does not mean the BlackBerry smartphone was not disassembled; the person who reassembled the BlackBerry smartphone could have placed a tamper seal onto the correct location. An unbroken tamper seal is a good indicator of a tamper-free BlackBerry smartphone, but it is not conclusive.

Batteries and chargers

  1. Inspect the BlackBerry smartphone battery:
    • Determine if the battery charges.
    • If possible, inspect for a swollen battery.
    • If possible, determine if the customer uses a battery other than the one recommended for the specific BlackBerry smartphone model.
  2. Inspect the charger:
    • Determine if the customer uses a charger other than the one recommended for the specific BlackBerry smartphone model.
      Note: To test for a faulty battery, charger, or other component, swap the customer’s components with known good components where possible to help isolate the fault. For example, if you suspect a faulty customer battery, place the customer battery in a known good BlackBerry smartphone of the same model and record its behavior. Then, place a known good battery in the customer's BlackBerry smartphone and record its behavior.

Start up

Check if the BlackBerry smartphone starts up. If the BlackBerry smartphone starts up, leave it untouched during the entire start up period and for 15 seconds after the start up has completed to detect any software errors.

Note: Some models require pressing the Lock key to start up the BlackBerry smartphone.

Other items to inspect

Visually inspect all accessible parts and surfaces on the BlackBerry smartphone, paying particular attention to moving parts and areas of frequent customer interaction, then test basic software functionality.

Start by examining the connectors with a magnifying lens in locations such as the following:

  • Battery compartment
  • Micro USB port (on the BlackBerry smartphone or the customer’s laptop, if applicable)
  • Micro USB cables (if applicable) or use of a micro USB cable other than the one recommended for the specific BlackBerry smartphone model
  • Docking station or a USB hub (if applicable)

The following inspection list is not an exhaustive guide, as some BlackBerry smartphones may have different features than listed below:

  • Keypad
  • Backlight and light sensor
  • Lock key
  • Holster
  • Camera, microphone, and headset


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