Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Teardown Shows Huge Heat Pipe, Bodacious Battery, Repairability Regret
With that being said, now that the Galaxy Note 9 is out in the wild, it means that the gadget repair gurus at iFixit have given the smartphone the teardown treatment. We're now privy to a plethora of high-resolution shots and a step-by-step process on how to disassemble this mobile beast. With a bit of heat and suction applied to the back glass panel (which is glued on), it pops off giving direct access to the battery (which is also glued into place).
Speaking of the battery, it is rated at a potent 15.4 Whr, which is even higher than the explosion-prone Galaxy Note 7 (which came in at 13.48 Whr), though Samsung has ensured structural integrity of the Note 9's battery and has been submitting devices to UL for certification as well. The dual-camera module is easily accessible (located right above the battery), as is the mainboard, which includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB LPDDR4 RAM, 128GB eUFS NAND module, and various other components.
Digger deeper inside the chassis provides us a with a look at the modular USB-C and headphone jacks, which are a welcome change from the more integrated nature of many of today's smartphones.
Also visible with all of the guts removed from the chassis is a massive copper heatsink. It is much larger than the heatsinks that we've seen in previous Galaxy Note devices, and allows the Snapdragon 845 to run at full speed longer without throttling back. That means that you should be able to maintain a consistent frame rate in games like Fortnite for much longer before your FPS start dropping off. We witnessed these excellent thermals in our recent comparison of the Galaxy Note 9 and the OnePlus 6.
Despite the modular components, the ability to replace the battery, and the use of standard Phillips head screws, the Galaxy Note 9 was rated a 4 out of 10 for repairability. The main dings against the device were due to Samsung's over reliance on glue and the fact that a cracked display means that you have to replace the whole chassis, which is both expensive and a bit wasteful. For comparison, both the Galaxy Note 8 and the Galaxy Note 7 before it garnered 4 out of 10 scores.