We’ve seen YouTuber JerryRigEverything make transparent versions of other phones in the past – so what makes the Pixel 3 any different? Well the Pixel 3 has the dual-texture glass on the back – most of the glass has a “frosty” texture that feels almost like ceramic.
Making this device totally clear would make for an interesting appearance, but the way that the glass on the Google Pixel is colored is not different: there’s a layer of material under the glass. To get the transparent effect, all you have to do is get rid of the layer of material. It’s easier said than done.
To start, Zack heats the adhesive around the rear glass and uses a suction cup and razor blade to penetrate through the thick adhesive. Once cut all the way around [and careful not to cut the fingerprint scanner’s ribbon cable], the rear glass can be removed once the fingerprint scanner’s cable bracket is taken off.
The supporting parts for the camera and LED flash are removed before beginning the stripping process. Zack uses a razor blade to manually scrape off all the white material from behind the glass. Once cleaned up and wiped free of fingerprints, the Pixel 3’s glass can be reinstalled with some fresh strips of double sided tape.
Unlike previous transparent phones that JerryRigEverything has made, the frosted glass gives it another level of depth since it somewhat blurs the frosted part and keeps the “window” part crystal clear. Zack found that the high-contrast copper orange of the Pixel 3’s wireless charging coil and NFC antenna were perfect for the see-through glass.
We have to end this by saying: please don’t try to do this yourself. You run the risk of messing up your perfectly good Pixel 3, not to mention your perfectly good fingers as well. You should really know what you’re doing if you attempt this.
Although Zack’s transparent phone videos get a lot of attention from viewers, it doesn’t seem like any smartphone companies are really committed to making a fully transparent version of anything. HTC came pretty close a couple of times with the HTC U11+ and the U12+ translucent color options as well as Xiaomi with the Mi 8 Explorer Edition.