The Essential PH-1 has now been featured in a new teardown video and uploaded to the prominent YouTube channel JerryRigEverything. As the teardown's title – which reads "Essential Phone Teardown – Complicated and Pointless – laments, the prognosis for anybody who may want to fix their own Essential PH-1 is not good. However, the problem here isn't that the device is necessarily difficult to take apart. The channel's host describes the process as being similar to tearing down one of Google's original Pixel devices. Those devices, both the new versions and the prior versions, were actually given a "decent repairability" score by iFixit.
Instead, the problem lies in the availability of spare parts for Essential's first foray into the smartphone manufacturing business. More directly, there are no official replacement parts available for the Essential PH-1. That means that, unlike with many other, more mainstream Android devices, users will need to find another of the devices for sale online, search individually for used parts, or find one that is being parted out to make repairs for themselves. Unfortunately, even that will give users a difficult time, as it appears that spare parts aren't readily available.
Setting that glaring caveat aside, the fact that Essentials device is effectively glued together will be the most difficult problem to overcome when taking apart the PH-1. It's possible for the screen to be ruined in the process, even with heat applied to loosen up the adhesive. However, there also isn't much concern with damaging internal components while prying the screen off because those are protected by a metal plate between the display and other internals. That plate also features a copper heatsink, with a separate heatsink also included for the camera assembly. The layout of the internals is a bit disorganized, making deeper repairs complex. However, with consideration for the irony that there aren't any available replacement parts, most of the internal components come apart fairly easily. That's because they are mostly connected by variously-sized Phillips screws and lego-style connectors – which are in turn protected by brackets. There are even convenient pull-tabs for the battery. Strangely enough, seems as though Essential put a lot of effort into making a phone that is relatively easy to repair but for which it hasn't made spare parts available.