Samsung Galaxy S9+ repair difficulty, camera aperture details exposed in teardown

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 11
The similarity between the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and its predecessor are not limited to just the external design, as a teardown of the firm's flagship smartphone reveals its internal construction bears more than a passing resemblance to the Galaxy S8, and is just as difficult to repair.




The teardown of the Galaxy S9+ by iFixit starts off with the use of a heat gun and suction cups to open the back panel, revealing the internal construction to be remarkably similar to the Galaxy S8+. The position of components, including the battery and the shapes of circuit boards, are quite similar to the hardware elements used in last year's iteration, albeit this time with higher specification parts.

The new variable aperture rear camera introduced in this model, which can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4 for one sensor, is revealed to use a pair of rotating rings that move into place when required. While this doesn't use the standard multiple camera blade system that can allow for many different f-stop adjustments, this method limits the selection to just two positions, but does so while taking far less space than if blades were used.

Taking apart the rest of the smartphone revealed to be a challenge for the iFixit team, due to the heavy use of glues to keep components in place and for water resistance. Many parts were able to be extracted intact, but the battery's high glue usage required adhesive removal liquid to pull the part safely.

The list vendors providing chips located on the motherboard is almost the same as the Galaxy S8+, with barely any changes to the lineup. The component producer list includes Samsung itself for the memory, Qualcomm, Toshiba, Maxim, Murata, NXP, Avago, and Skyyworks.

It is noted the battery is a 3.85V, 3,500mAh, 13.48Wh unit, which is the same specification as the version used in the Galaxy S8+ and the infamous Note 7.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Left), iPhone X (Right)
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Left), iPhone X (Right)


The assembly of components on the front of the Galaxy S9+ used to power its Intelligent Scan security is apparently the same as the biometric-related components used in the S8+, consisting of an iris scanner, front-facing camera, IR emitter, and proximity sensor. While it is compared to the 3D-scanning Face ID system and True Depth camera assembly used in Apple's iPhone X, it seems that the Intelligent Scan is purely a software-based security upgrade rather than hardware.

The teardown report suggests it may have been overly ambitious for Samsung to attempt to take on Animoji with its own AR Emoji "without a hardware update to bring it up to speed" with the rival iPhone X.

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ has been awarded a "repairability" score of 4 out of a possible 10, equalling the S8+ but failing to beat the iPhone X's 6 out of 10. While it scores points for being modular, allowing for the independent replacement of components, the tough disassembly caused through the heavy use of adhesive as well as the higher risk of glass breakage worked against the device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Dan!elDan!el Posts: 4member
    O, well..
  • Reply 2 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,297member
    Some might ask why an Apple centric sight would publish an article about Samsung repairability? The answer is quite simple and logical. All we ever hear about in the tech media is how awful Apple products are to repair, followed by bilious protestations of “planned obsolescence.” iFixit is on a constant tirade against Apple yet their own tests show the Samsung flagship product to be harder to repair than the iPhone X. Go figure.
    cornchippscooter63ericthehalfbeerepressthisRayz2016lamboaudi4magman1979jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 33
    No one will buy this junk , so it won’t matter.

    cornchiprepressthislamboaudi4watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,229member
    lkrupp said:
    iFixit is on a constant tirade against Apple yet their own tests show the Samsung flagship product to be harder to repair than the iPhone X. Go figure.
    No they're not. As this article shows, they test all sorts of consumer electronics. The more popular the more attention they get, which is why you're mostly familiar with iFixit teardowns for Apple products.
    muthuk_vanalingamcroprjony0
  • Reply 5 of 33
    No one will buy this junk , so it won’t matter.


    Haven't you heard?  Android enjoys the greatest user loyalty.

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/android-wins-loyalty-test/

    Now, I think the conclusion of the data is wrong because it fails to consider that Android is also the cheapest, but that is another matter.

    I won a Samsung tablet a few months ago.  I have always wanted to try a Samsung product and give Android a spin.  Glad I didn't spend money on something like one of these phones because that tablet and Android are icky.




    cornchipjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 33
    I hope the iFixIt technician was wearing flameproof overalls... "the use of a heat gun" could be risky considering Sammys combustible record!
    racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,229administrator
    No one will buy this junk , so it won’t matter.


    Haven't you heard?  Android enjoys the greatest user loyalty.

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/android-wins-loyalty-test/

    Now, I think the conclusion of the data is wrong because it fails to consider that Android is also the cheapest, but that is another matter.

    I won a Samsung tablet a few months ago.  I have always wanted to try a Samsung product and give Android a spin.  Glad I didn't spend money on something like one of these phones because that tablet and Android are icky.




    The conclusion of the data is wrong as it was presented by percent. Because the devices are cheaper, there are more users. As such, there are more users to migrate to iOS.

    In a year, Samsung will probably sell 28-30 million of the S9 family.
    edited March 11 Solimejsricracerhomie3repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 33
    I'd have to assume the "right to repair" bills that are being introduced here in US would have to affect Samsung phones too. That's going to have just as much effect on them as it will Apple. Maybe I'm listening in the wrong places, but I'm not hearing of them doing any opposition to the bills, instead they're just leaving Apple to do the heavy lifting. 
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 33
    tipootipoo Posts: 936member
    It's interesting, isn't it, that they dedicate significant internal space to that heat pipe for better thermal management. However even so, neither chip (I assume, more testing needed) catches the A11s sustained performance over time. 

    Makes me wonder what a heat piped version could do, or let alone an actively cooled one. The Apple TV 4K has an actively cooled A10X which is cool, but with more limited apps and games taking advantage of it, imagine an actively cooled A11X clamshell running iOS or something. I'd actually love to see Apple start small internal studios, or partially fund other studios, to take advantage of the impressive actively cooled chip in the A10X. 
    edited March 11 repressthiscornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 33
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,402member
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:
    iFixit is on a constant tirade against Apple yet their own tests show the Samsung flagship product to be harder to repair than the iPhone X. Go figure.
    No they're not. As this article shows, they test all sorts of consumer electronics. The more popular the more attention they get, which is why you're mostly familiar with iFixit teardowns for Apple products.
    Their entire branding revolves around Apple products — it’s iFixit, as in iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad... the rest of their stuff came later. Don’t kid yourself.
    racerhomie3mwhitecornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,229member
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:
    iFixit is on a constant tirade against Apple yet their own tests show the Samsung flagship product to be harder to repair than the iPhone X. Go figure.
    No they're not. As this article shows, they test all sorts of consumer electronics. The more popular the more attention they get, which is why you're mostly familiar with iFixit teardowns for Apple products.
    Their entire branding revolves around Apple products — it’s iFixit, as in iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad... the rest of their stuff came later. Don’t kid yourself.
    Apple popularized the lowercase 'i' with camelcasing, but they aren't the first outlets to use it and if you spent even a second on their website you'd see that they teardown and create repair guides for a lot more products than what comes out of Cupertino.
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,229member
    This is far from being poorly engineered, but it's not in the ballpark of what Apple is doing with their iPhones.

    Here's what Apple is doing these days…

    edited March 11 StevenSterkrepressthiscrossladcornchipjbdragon
  • Reply 13 of 33
    Soli said:
    This is far from being poorly engineered, but it's not in the ballpark of what Apple is doing with their iPhones.

    Here's what Apple is doing these days…


    Who said it was poorly engineered? 
  • Reply 14 of 33
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,735member
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:
    iFixit is on a constant tirade against Apple yet their own tests show the Samsung flagship product to be harder to repair than the iPhone X. Go figure.
    No they're not. As this article shows, they test all sorts of consumer electronics. The more popular the more attention they get, which is why you're mostly familiar with iFixit teardowns for Apple products.
    Their entire branding revolves around Apple products — it’s iFixit, as in iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad... the rest of their stuff came later. Don’t kid yourself.
    Apple popularized the lowercase 'i' with camelcasing, but they aren't the first outlets to use it and if you spent even a second on their website you'd see that they teardown and create repair guides for a lot more products than what comes out of Cupertino.
    If something is worth NOTHING, like most craptastic Android devices after 2 years, you are not spending anything to fit it.
    Many people even thought spending $80 on a $350-$400 dollar Iphone after 2-3 years was "too much" (sic).
    Just imagine what they're doing for a $100 phones. Not happening.

    So, their business mostly has been built around fixing Apple devices. They may have branched out a bit, but their core business is there.
    edited March 11 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 33
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,735member
    tipoo said:
    It's interesting, isn't it, that they dedicate significant internal space to that heat pipe for better thermal management. However even so, neither chip (I assume, more testing needed) catches the A11s sustained performance over time. 

    Makes me wonder what a heat piped version could do, or let alone an actively cooled one. The Apple TV 4K has an actively cooled A10X which is cool, but with more limited apps and games taking advantage of it, imagine an actively cooled A11X clamshell running iOS or something. I'd actually love to see Apple start small internal studios, or partially fund other studios, to take advantage of the impressive actively cooled chip in the A10X. 
    Well, there isn't much space in there for a "heat pipe" ;-). In fact, it's obvious Apple has a lot more tech in their smaller phones and yet get the same specs.
    If you look at Ipad performance, you probably get an idea of what a heat pipe would do (since there is more space for heat dissipation).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,229member
    Soli said:
    This is far from being poorly engineered, but it's not in the ballpark of what Apple is doing with their iPhones.
    [image]

    Here's what Apple is doing these days…
    [image]
    Who said it was poorly engineered? 
    No one, but I didn't my contrasting of the two boards to imply that one Samsung's design was poor, only that it's not in the same league as Apple.

    If you want to see some examples of poor, take a lot at the Moto X and the Echo Show, although the Echo Show gets a little leeway since the device isn't designed to be pocketable or portable so condensing the logic board doesn't have a high priority. Still, it's pretty grotesque and looks like it was designed by tyro interns.

    edited March 11
  • Reply 17 of 33
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,735member
    No one will buy this junk , so it won’t matter.


    Haven't you heard?  Android enjoys the greatest user loyalty.

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/android-wins-loyalty-test/

    Now, I think the conclusion of the data is wrong because it fails to consider that Android is also the cheapest, but that is another matter.

    I won a Samsung tablet a few months ago.  I have always wanted to try a Samsung product and give Android a spin.  Glad I didn't spend money on something like one of these phones because that tablet and Android are icky.




    Ahem, "loyalty" is not "loyalty" if you can't switch because you can't buy a phone 3-4 times more expensive.
    So, the definition itself is pretty sketchy.

    IOS users can mostly buy any phone they want which is not the case for the average demo of the Android user.

    If there are 2.5B Android users and 1B IOS users,
    just about equal "loyalty" (they're close despite the disparity in pricing) would mean IOS is seriously gaining users.

    Considering the average sales price for IOS devices, that gain would mean plummeting revenues and profits for Android phone makers. while Apple is already at about 90% in profits.

    I'm sure Apple will take this "loyalty", no problem, Android users can just pray Apple users are not more loyal to really put the boot on their throat..

    That's the problem with "stats" and abuse of them, or people like you who spout them without a clue.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Let's see: it costs as much as iPhone X, a choice of three authentication methods instead of just one on iPhone -- but none of them works (and the iris scanner will blind you), a guarantee that you will NOT get timely OS updates making your phone an ideal target for hackers, and half the CPU performance of the latest iPhones, who buys this garbage?
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,229member
    foggyhill said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:
    iFixit is on a constant tirade against Apple yet their own tests show the Samsung flagship product to be harder to repair than the iPhone X. Go figure.
    No they're not. As this article shows, they test all sorts of consumer electronics. The more popular the more attention they get, which is why you're mostly familiar with iFixit teardowns for Apple products.
    Their entire branding revolves around Apple products — it’s iFixit, as in iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad... the rest of their stuff came later. Don’t kid yourself.
    Apple popularized the lowercase 'i' with camelcasing, but they aren't the first outlets to use it and if you spent even a second on their website you'd see that they teardown and create repair guides for a lot more products than what comes out of Cupertino.
    If something is worth NOTHING, like most craptastic Android devices after 2 years, you are not spending anything to fit it.
    So, their business mostly has been built around fixing Apple devices. They may have branched out a bit, but their core business is there.
    Their business started years before the iPhone was announced. They also sell more parts for other devices since Apple customers are more likely to have more money, have less time to repair their own devices, have better access to outlets that will do a repair, and have a device for less time thereby likely not needing a repair as often, which is why Apple is just a small portion of what they support. Of the 17 listed on their teardown front page, at least mostly based on popularity, only 2 are Apple products. How the fuck is that only suckling on Apple's teet? 
    If you didn't know that they did teardowns of Samsung phones because AI mostly posts about Apple then you need to branch out a bit. Why are some people so insecure about their Apple products that you're offended that a company creates repair guides for them? These are an added value for those that need them. That's it! It doesn't diminish whatever status you think owning an Apple product gives you, it doesn't diminish their build quality, and it doesn't hurt Apple's stock. Quite the opposite as it shows just how excellent Apple's engineering is.
    edited March 11 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,229member
    Let's see: it costs as much as iPhone X, a choice of three authentication methods instead of just one on iPhone -- but none of them works (and the iris scanner will blind you), a guarantee that you will NOT get timely OS updates making your phone an ideal target for hackers, and half the CPU performance of the latest iPhones, who buys this garbage?
    1) LOL On another thread, today, someone complained that iOS gets regular updates.


    2) Yikes! I hadn't heard about the iris scanner issue. Imagine if that happened with Face ID. That would've been a top news story.

    watto_cobra
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