Depending on who you ask, Samsung's Galaxy S5
is the best Android smartphone (or smartphone, period) on the planet (Apple and HTC would both object). At the very least, it's in the discussion, as it should be when you consider the spec sheet. Far less impressive, however, is how difficult the Galaxy S5 is to repair on your own.
Samsung's Galaxy S5 was the latest device to receive iFixIt's
teardown treatment. Things started off well enough -- removing the backplate turned out to be "easier than peeling a banana," with no tools needed, just an opposable thumb. Once removed, users have easy access to the replaceable battery, which is a huge plus in Samsung's favor (are you paying attention, Apple and HTC?).
Unfortunately, that's where Easy St. runs right off a cliff. The entire display assembly stands in the way of further tinkering, and removing it isn't all that easy.
"Cable booby traps are like finding a pit of snakes between you and the treasure you are after," iFixIt
notes. "To make matters worse, Harrison Ford is nowhere to be found. After spudging past the cable, we begin to free the display assembly. Unfortunately, Samsung seems to think that the only way to get into this phone be glass-first."
In a change of design compared to previous S Series smartphones, the S5 moves the components from the back of the display and places them "in their own difficult-to-access compartment." It was mostly for this reason, combined with having to remove the display to get to the components in the first place, that the Galaxy S5 ended up with a 5 out of 10 Repairability Score.