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Galaxy S9 Plus receives low repairability score in iFixit teardown

Samsung's latest flagship is as tough to repair as its predecessors, but what else is hidden inside?

Published onMarch 12, 2018

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus scores 4 out of 10 for repairability in iFixit teardown.
  • Glass construction and glue make repairs difficult, despite the heavy use of modular components.
  • Overall grade matches the Note 8 and Galaxy S8/S8 Plus, but is two below the Google Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X.

Samsung has been basking in the warm glow of high review scores for its Galaxy phones for the better part of the past decade, except for one key area: repairability.

With the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus just days away from release, the folks over at iFixit have once again torn apart Samsung’s latest flagship series – specifically the Galaxy S9 Plus – to see how tricky it would be to repair any broken components.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus review: Top-notch notch-less
The Galaxy S9 Plus.

As you might expect from a phone that shares an almost identical design language to its low-rated predecessor, the Galaxy S9 Plus did not fare very well in iFixit’s tests.

In fact, the unimpressive overall score of 4 out of 10 is the same grade the team dished out to the Galaxy S8/S8 Plus, Note 8, and Note 7 FE, but one higher than the Galaxy S7. It’s also two lower than the Google Pixel 2 XL and the iPhone X.

Like before, the main culprit for the low score is the device’s combination of fragile glass on both the front and rear and a large amount of tough adhesive glue. In addition, the iFixit crew also found that replacing the display would require the rear glass panel to be removed first, which increases the chance of breakage exponentially.

Further inside and underneath a two-piece midframe wafer that contains the wireless charging coil, lower speaker, and antenna assembly, iFixit found that Samsung has also chosen to again glue the battery in place. While it would technically be possible to replace the cell, then, actually doing so represents what the team charitably calls “an unnecessary challenge”.

There is some good news, however. In another continuing trend, many of the components inside are modular, including the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Intriguingly, the iFixit experts also found “Star” references on the camera modules and a display cable. “Star” was, of course, the alleged codename for both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus within Samsung during production.

While the Galaxy S9 Plus’ score isn’t anything to write home about, it at least fared better than the Essential Phone which scored a woeful 1 out of 10.

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