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3 min read 154 Shares 12 comments

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ teardowns reveal bad news

If you've already pre-ordered your shiny new Samsung flagship, or you're merely considering getting one, you might like to know if the phone will be easily repairable when that almost inevitable drop or crack occurs. Well, iFixit has done a full teardown of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and given both a rather poor repairability rating. Read on for the details.

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These days, we spend hundreds on the latest and greatest tech, while companies make their devices so tough to repair that you have to give up and buy a new one instead. Planned obsolescence, to say the least, is annoying - and it looks like the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are going to be especially difficult, as the repair website iFixit has given them a four out of 10 repairability score in the latest of their many teardowns.

Why such a poor score? Due to having glass on both the front and back, you've got twice the chance of cracking - plus, these glass panels are held in place with strong adhesive, making the phone more difficult to open up to make internal repairs. Worse yet, the curved screen means that replacing the glass on the front without destroying the display is "extremely difficult." Yikes.

On the up side, though, some of the components inside (the headphone jack and fingerprint sensor, for example) are modular, so they can be replaced easily. The battery can theoretically be replaced, too - however, again, the adhesive on the rear panel makes accessing the phone's internals tough.

Opinion by Brittany McGhee
The beauty of the S8 isn't worth much if the screen cracks and you can't repair it
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Samsung's S series has had an interesting evolution when it comes to the back panels of their devices. Unlike its Galaxy S5 predecessor with IP67 and a removable back and battery, the Galaxy S6 was given a glass back, making the battery non-removable - effectively giving the device a shorter lifespan. Since battery capacity wanes over time, and the battery wasn't easily replaceable, this was basically a built-in expiration date. That was the main downside to having a shiny glass back and being thinner and lighter than the S5. While planned obsolescence is becoming more prevalent in mobile phones, at least the S8, and the S7 before it, have an upside that the glass-backed S6 didn't enjoy: IP68 certification. We may have lost the removable battery, but we (eventually) gained better waterproofing. Samsung gives, and Samsung takes away.

The S8 and S8+ are both beautiful devices, but the way they have been put together makes them prohibitively difficult to repair. A phone covered in glass on both sides is an accident waiting to happen, making this a real issue to consider before purchasing one of Samsung's latest flagships.

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  • Read somewhere there's a lot of problems with the s8's screen turning red and people are returning them. Sounds like a heating problem affecting the screen. Will the note 7 fiasco return?

  • not surprised.. it's become an item that's fashionable desirable and luxurious, priced accordingly with some very powerful marketing, all of which is more than justified by the profit and global sales that Sammy will achieve..
    they must be doing something right cos they sell millions.

  • Its not just phones that companies are producing that are making it a lot harder to repair,its nearly everything you buy now days,companies now days want you to pay them to get the product repaired instead of you just going to a local shop and they will repair for you,or you watch a video on you tube and you have a go at doing the repair yourself,which some people still do even though its a big gamble to take

  • Really!? When the average user started to repair their own cellphone hardware? "Oh, I won't buy this phone anymore, It seems very hard to replace its integrated circuits".

    • Brittany McGhee
      • Admin
      • Staff
      4 months ago Link to comment

      A lot of people prefer having a phone with an easily removable back so that they can access the battery and replace it when the phone gets older and the battery life diminishes. Simply popping the back off of a phone and putting in a new battery doesn't require a high level of technical knowledge and it extends the life of the device considerably.

      While the majority of people don't do their own complex phone repairs, there are some who do - and many more who just want to replace their battery when needed.

      • I've managed to replace the screen on my daughter's S5, a little nerve racking but with care achievable, there's no way I'd attempt doing anything with the S8.

  • I still do not understand why a company with the resources and technology of Samsung feels they have to make an expensive device that we use so much each day from glass? Surely its the worst material you could use for a device that is so easy to drop, the glass actually makes it more slippery. We probably pay a premium for the glass back but like most people i use a case to protect my phone so the look of the back is not important. If expensive watches can be made waterproof with a removable battery why cant phones? The answer is money, Samsung or any other manufacturer will lose money if there phones are replaced every 3 years instead of every 1 or 2 years. The one thing that bothers me is contracts, if you sign up to a 2 years contract and your phone has a non removable battery thats lasts just over 1 year being charged twice a day what do those people do? I think with non removable batteries should come a minimum 2 year guarantee with the battery charge life.

  • Mark
    • Admin
    4 months ago Link to comment

    Time to kick the dead horse. Removable batteries increases the life of a phone and also make easy to repair. Letting manufacture get away with planned obsolescence is crazy. Why should they decide how long you can use YOUR device. Even if you buy a new phone every year or 2 years that phone still has life being handed down or sold. Without a removable battery the resell value drops because of the limited life spam. By buying a phone with a non removable battery is just throwing money in the trash can. In my opinion

    • That's why I did not and will never buy a phone with a non-removable battery, it's a waste of money, I don't care about the last technologies if the phone is not going to have a removable battery. Durability comes first. Phones in the past used to work for 5 years or even more and were cheaper as well with the latest technologies ( My Galaxy Young from 2011 is still working 100% ) . Now we are almost close to reach 1000$ phones that might not surpass 1 year. This is crazy.

    • Because people buy them therefore they think people like them that way.

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