Sony Xperia X1i hand polished chrome battery cover
Posted on Jul 22, 2009 by Paul White
One of the great things about the Sony Xperia X1 is the unlike most other phones that are wrapped in plastic. This phone has a Metal Battery Cover and I believe the front bezel is also metal ( could be mistaken on the bezel ).
So I decided I wanted to take the battery cover of my Sony Xperia X1 from a dull black finish, to a chrome like finish. Rather than having it professionally chromed ( which sounded expensive ), I decided to just use some old fashioned elbow grease.
Here is what I used to get this done
All of these can be purchased at your local auto parts store.
1. 240 Grit Sand Paper
2. 1000 Grit Sand Paper
3. Blue Magic Metal Polish Creme
4. Couple of old Cotton T-Shirts
Now before you go off and buy these and try to do this yourself, keep in mind that I did this the hard and what many would say the wrong way. This is the way I did it, which works but will take longer and the end product will not be 100% perfect.
Step 1. Remove Battery Cover
Step 2. Sand off black paint with 240 Grit sand paper.
Step 3. Sand 240 scratches with 1000 Grit sand paper
Step 4. Buff with Metal Polish
The right way to get this done would be to get many different Grits of the Sand Paper.
To do this the right way it would be best to get the following
1. 300 Grit Sand Paper
2. 600 Grit Sand Paper
3. 1000 Grit Sand Paper
4. 1600 Grit Sand Paper
5. Blue Magic Metal Polish Creme
The only reason I didn't do it the right way is because I didn't want to buy all the sand paper, as I already had the 240 and 1000 grit at home. If you use multiple grits you will spend less time sanding, as trying to sand out 240 grit Scratches with 1000 Grit Sand Paper will take a very long time. Be prepared to take your time doing this. Don't move on to a finer grit sand paper until you have completely finished with your current grit. Also you could possibly use an electric sander for this, but what would the fun in that be?
Here you can see what the battery cover looked like before I started on it.
This is just a picture of the battery cover next to the Metal Polish Creme I used. I was testing the cover to see how it would react to the polish.
After Sanding with 240 Grit Sand Paper
After Sanding with 1000 Grit Sand Paper
After using Blue Magic Metal Polish Creme
When using the polish you don't need a lot, Just a tiny amount will go a long way. As you buff it on the metal, you will notice your T-Shirt will turn black. This is the polish removing a thin layer of the metal from the surface. Once your T-Shirt goes black, use a clean part to continue polishing. The polish also works great to remove scratches form your cell phone's display, and for polishing plastic to a gloss finish.
Here you can see the side profile of the battery cover. Notice the reflection of the penny.
As far as I know I am only the only person with a Chrome Sony Xperia X1. The only bad part is the finish gets dirty quick. Since I didn't use all the different grits of sand paper the finish is not 100% perfect, but its good enough. I could use it to shave if I needed. But more practical use would be as a mirror for self portraits with the phone's camera.UPDATE 5/18/2010
I am preparing to sell my Xperia X1i on Ebay. As part of my preparation I am going to polish the battery cover again to get out any small scratches from normal use. I think I might have found an easier and cheaper way to polish the cover. I may post a new blog using this technique.
The Xperia is a great phone, but it won't be able to compare to the HTC HD2
that is on its way. The HTC HD2
also has a metal battery cover ( larger one too ) and yes I will be polishing this one as well. Keep posted for a tutorial on polishing your HTC HD2
battery cover coming soon.