Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Teardown Reveals Intricately Assembled Device, Nightmarish Repair Score
At long last, the Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 is here and available to order, provided you have $880 to spend on a smartphone (subsidized pricing and monthly installment plans are available too). One thing you might want to consider if picking up Samsung's latest phablet is warranty coverage, as based on the results of a recent teardown, you should probably avoid trying any DIY repairs.
The nimble fingered folks at iFixIt snagged a Galaxy Note 7 and promptly gutted the device until all that remained were the individual parts, disassembled and naked for all the world to see. The process was met with several challenges along the way starting with the adhesive that holds the rear glass in place. Patience is key here—it's described as "something of a delicate procedure" that's not at all like the days of being able to simply peel off a Galaxy device's plastic back panel.
One of the main reasons why you might want to crack open a mobile device is to swap out the battery. As is somewhat common nowadays, the Note 7 sports a non-removable battery, meaning it isn't easily accessible. Technically it can be removed and you won't even need to oust the motherboard to get to it, but there is "tough adhesive and a glued-on rear panel" that make the process "very difficult."
Should you brave a DIY repair job on a Note 7, you'll find that many of the components are modular. That's good news if something should happen to fail—you'd only have to replace that specific part rather than a cluster of working parts.
The Note 7 also earned praise for its cable routing, which allows for the charging port to be removed without disassembling the display. However, that's dependent on getting inside the handset in the first place. Since there's glass on both the front and back of the Note 7, there's double the opportunity to crack something. Strong adhesive on the rear exacerbates the risk, and on the front, the curved screen makes replacing it without destroying the display virtually impossible.
For those reasons, iFixIt gave the Note 7 just a 4 out of 10 Repairability Score.