Tomorrow is the official release date for the Samsung Galaxy Note7 in the US, so it’s fitting that we get the phone’s teardown delivered to us today. The experts at iFixit have done it again and took apart a Note7 unit for science. And public interest.
In the end, the top of the line phablet got a 4 out of 10 repairability score (where 10 is easiest to repair). Despite the Note7 being very similar on the inside to the S7, it’s actually said to be slightly easier to repair than that model, which only got a 3 out of 10 score.
If you’re wondering why the Note7 achieved that rating, here’s the gist of it. Let’s start with the good things, since there aren’t a lot. Many of the handset’s components are modular and can be replaced independent of one another, while good cable routing means the charging port board can be removed without taking the display out. That’s great, because the charging port is something that fails quite often in modern smartphones.
The battery of the Note7 can be removed without disassembling the motherboard, but this is very difficult because of the tough adhesive Samsung used and the glued-on rear panel. That strong adhesive on the rear glass in fact makes it very hard to “gain entry into the device” regardless of what repair you want to perform.
Finally, the curved screen shape means replacing the front glass without destroying the display is probably impossible. And that’s not at all good, because the front glass cracking is possibly one of the biggest reasons why people need their phones repaired. On the other hand, the Note7 employs the new Gorilla Glass 5, which should be harder to shatter than its predecessors (though apparently this makes it more prone to scratching).