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Galaxy Note 9 continues Samsung trend of disappointing iFixit ratings

Samsung's streak of disappointing repair scores continues with the Galaxy Note 9.

Published onAugust 27, 2018

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 teardown by iFixit.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has received a four out of 10 rating from iFixit for its ease of repair.
  • The gadget repair outlet criticized the amount of glue used in the Samsung phablet.
  • iFixit also bemoaned the need to remove the rear panel for all component repairs.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 isn’t a big upgrade over its predecessor at first glance, and that also seems to be the case when it comes to repairs. Gadget repair website iFixit has conducted its teardown of the new phone, giving it the same score as the 2017 model.

The Galaxy Note 9 scored a dismal four out of 10, matching the Galaxy Note 8. In fact, iFixit’s “final thoughts” box is virtually copy/pasted from its 2017 teardown. That means praise for the phone’s “modular” components (e.g. headphone jack, USB Type-C elements) and the use of standard Phillips screws. But it also means criticism of the “stubborn” glue barriers, and the fact that component repairs require removing the rear glass panel.

Screen repairs are a similarly complex procedure on the Note 9, as you either have to replace the entire chassis or painstakingly separate the “gluey cracked glass.” So if you wanted to use YouTube tutorials to fix your new Note 9, well, good luck.

The Galaxy Note 9 teardown, via iFixit.

Samsung’s biggest addition this year is arguably the new, Bluetooth-enabled S-Pen, and iFixit notes that it opens up “like a banana.” Unfortunately, there wasn’t a way to open it without actually breaking the casing, but at least there didn’t appear to be much (if anything) in the way of glue.

Otherwise, iFixit also noted a more sensible fingerprint scanner location, and a heat sink with a larger surface area.

How does it stack up?

It’s not the only recent flagship to receive a four out of 10 score though, as the Galaxy S9 Plus, LG G7 and HUAWEI P20 Pro earned the same score. The Google Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, earned a seven out of 10 rating. Then there’s the Essential Phone, which scored an utterly terrible one out of 10 rating. So while the Note 9 and other big-name devices could definitely be better, it’s far above the dismal Essential Phone score.

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Disappointing repair rating aside, David Imel was pretty happy with the phone in his Galaxy Note 9 review. He praised the phone’s screen, battery life, and improved S-Pen, but felt the Galaxy S9 Plus was a better deal.

“…we’ve already seen S9 Plus deals dip down as far as $559 unlocked, and at almost half the price, you might be better off grabbing the phone with 90 percent of this phone’s functionality for 55 percent of the cost,” David elaborated.

What do you make of iFixit’s rating? How important is ease-of-repair to you?

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