The new Samsung Galaxy S8 is among the hottest smartphone of this year and it's certainly an impressive powerhouse, but it won't be easy to fix should something go wrong.
Each time a new flagship device hits the scene, the folks over at iFixit take it apart and look at every inch of screws and chips and everything in between to see what makes it tick.
This process is useful because iFixit teardowns not only offer a glimpse of a device's internals, but also assess how easy the device would be to repair. iFixit rates devices on what it calls a repairability scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the easiest to repair.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Repairability Score And General Observations
The lower the score a device gets on iFixit's repairability scale, the toughest it would be to repair. On that note, the new Galaxy S8 scored a 4 out of 10 in repairability, which means that it will be quite a hellish challenge to fix it.
The Galaxy S8 comes with a sleek redesign and a new eight-point battery safety check to ensure that it won't catch fire like the late Galaxy Note 7, and it has some big expectations to rise up to since it's the first flagship to launch after the ill-fated Note 7.
Before diving right into the teardown, iFixit highlights that the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ are roughly identical save for the size difference. Both flagships got the same repairability score of 4 out of 10.
At the same time, iFixit notes that the new flagships don't stray too far from the Galaxy S7 design, they're more like a "save evolution on the S7 Edge - proportions." The Galaxy S8 is fairly similar to its predecessor aside from the new display, the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and the flash setup.
Samsung Galaxy S8 iFixit Teardown
Moving up to the actual teardown, cranking the Galaxy S8 open requires some heat to loosen up the adhesive holding the panels in place. iFixit warns that this stage is highly sensitive, as there's a high risk of cracking the glass panels. The rear glass design cuts a corner to facilitate the integration of antennas into the back of the smartphone, but it takes a heavy toll on repairability.
On the bright side, the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is modular and thus easily replaceable, albeit iFixit points out that it remains unclear whether Samsung prepared some software locks like Apple did with its iPhone 7, to make the replacement possible only with a company-approved recalibration.
The battery, meanwhile, is supposedly upgraded and safer than the fiery unit powering the Galaxy Note 7, but to the iFixit team it looks no different. That said, the Galaxy S8 battery is firmly glued into place and there's no quick way to remove it for replacement, which further affects repairability.
Lastly, the teardown also offers a glimpse of the home button that's now housed in the display, as the Galaxy S8 no longer comes with a physical home button. iFixit didn't find any pressure sensor in the display.
Galaxy S8 Teardown Conclusion
Overall, the folks over at iFixit note that although most of the internal components are modular and appear to be easily replaceable, but with the curved glass display, things are not quite that easy. The battery is not impossible to replace, but that firm adhesive and the glued-on rear panel do make things "unnecessarily difficult."
The glass panels on both the smartphone's front and back mean double "crackability," while the strong adhesive on both panels makes it difficult to access the handset's internals for any repairs. Lastly, because the Galaxy S8 has a curved screen, it's extremely tough to replace the front glass without damaging the display.
All in all, the Samsung Galaxy S8 may be sleek and powerful, but it will be a nightmare to repair. For more of the same, you can also check out the Galaxy S8+ iFixit teardown.