You may have already seen a Galaxy S7 get disassembled, but now the iFixit teardown is out, complete with a worse repairability rating than its predecessor the Galaxy S6. Let’s take a look at what iFixit found in the belly of beast and why it comes out with a worse score than last year’s model.
With no exterior screws the Galaxy S7 must be heated to loosen the glue bonds. The glue seems to be slightly stickier, which might have something to do with the Galaxy S7’s IP68 water-resistance rating. Either way, suction cups are required to pop the front and back glass off.
People in glass houses…
iFixit found a lot of the internal components of the Galaxy S7 to be modular, meaning they can be replaced easily enough individually. However, just to get access to them means you need to remove two panels of glass. As iFixit notes: “replacing the glass without destroying the display is probably impossible.”
“Replacing the glass without destroying the display is probably impossible.”
As if that isn’t bad enough, the entire display needs to be removed just to replace the USB port. This means that if your charging port wears out you’ll need to remove both the display and rear glass, which are both easy to break, just to replace it. This is pretty devastating, because the charging port is the component most likely to fail on almost any smartphone, due to its heavy usage day in and day out.
The teardown continues to uncover a Sony IMX260 sensor paired with the Snapdragon 820 – not the ISOCELL sensor and Exynos SoC most Europeans will be receiving – along with 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM made by SK Hynix and 32 GB of Samsung-made flash storage. Last but not least, there’s a variety of rubber seals protecting the headphone port, speaker and microphone.
Liquid cooling system
Of course, the Galaxy S7 retains the standard micro-USB port rather than opting for the newer USB Type-C standard, so it can maintain compatibility with the Gear VR headset, which Samsung is throwing around like confetti for anyone that pre-orders the S7 or S7 Edge. But again, considering you’re either going to break the display or lose the soft-key LEDs when replacing the USB port, this is probably the worst part of the teardown.
Finally, we get to the copper liquid cooling system, which iFixit calls a “thermal spreader”. This is probably a more apt description as it is just a thin copper heat pipe with copper micro-fibers inside for dispersing heat from the CPU. As a previous Galaxy S7 teardown revealed, there’s no visible liquid in there at all, although there might be vapor of some description to assist in the wicking process.
When all is said and done, the ease of breaking the display and rear glass and problematic USB charging port replacement mean the Galaxy S7 gets a repairability score of 3/10, compared to the Galaxy S6’s 4/10. The lesson to be gleaned from all of this is to look after your charging port with extreme care, because replacing it might end up costing half the price of the phone.
What do you think about the teardown.? What are your thoughts on liquid cooling?