HOW IT’S DONE

Sam­sung’s lat­est flag­ship is as tricky as ever to de­con­struct.

APC Australia - - Contents -

Sam­sung Galaxy S9+

While phone mak­ers and op­er­at­ing sys­tem de­vel­op­ers of du­bi­ous nu­mer­acy skip straight from eight to ten, Sam­sung stays strong and gives us the Sam­sung Galaxy S9+ (sans notch, even). Only a tear­down will tell if this phone is a true con­tender, or just a weird AR Emoji ma­chine.

MA­JOR TECH SPECS:

Notch­less 6.2-inch AMOLED dis­play with res­o­lu­tion of 2,960 x 1,440 ≠ (570 ppi) Qual­comm Snap­dragon 845 or Sam­sung’s Exynos 9810, de­pend­ing on lo­ca­tion 12MP OIS dual-aper­ture main cam — f/1.5 and f/2.4 modes — plus a 12MP 2x op­ti­cal zoom sec­ondary cam­era, and 8MP selfie cam Head­phone jack and mi­croSD slot IP68 wa­ter/dust-proof­ing rat­ing An­droid 8.0 Oreo

KEY FIND­INGS:

While it’s no S4, the S9 is a wel­come respite from our more re­cent de­struc­tive tear­downs. The stan­dard ap­pli­ca­tion of heat and open­ing pick helps us along, but it’s def­i­nitely no pic­nic! Thanks to prior ex­pe­ri­ence — no thanks to Sam­sung — we are able to safely dis­patch the sen­sor assem­bly ca­ble with no ca­su­al­ties. We head straight to the rear cam­era to get a look at the fancy new dual-aper­ture cam­era in ac­tion. The cam­era auto-ad­justs the aper­ture to ad­just for low light (at f/1.5, it’s got the widest aper­ture of any phone), while main­tain­ing a more stan­dard (and sharper) f/2.4 for nor­mal pho­tos. What do you need to re­move a glued­down bat­tery from a Galaxy phone? Op­tion one: lots of heat, a pry tool, ≠ a fire ex­tin­guisher, a bucket of san, and nerves of vi­bra­nium. Op­tion two: a sy­ringe loaded with a lit­tle iFixit Ad­he­sive Re­mover. We opt for the lat­ter, and splash a bit of the blue stuff into the lit­tle tub that cra­dles the bat­tery. A few min­utes later, ≠ we have our prize. It’s a hot­bed of tear­down ac­tiv­ity as we at­tempt to un­seat the dis­play — ≠ but this glue is try­ing our pa­tience, and we aban­don our pile of iOpen­ers in favour of a heat gun once again. ≠ As be­fore, the heat and open­ing pick can do the job, but it’s a marathon slog to get here if you’re re­plac­ing ≠ a bro­ken screen. The Sam­sung-made dis­play ca­ble, like the cam­eras, ≠ is la­beled “Star” and com­bines ≠ both dis­play and digi­tiser in one sealed unit. Re­pairabil­ity Score: 4 out of 10 (10 is eas­i­est to re­pair). Many com­po­nents are mod­u­lar and can be re­placed in­de­pen­dently. The bat­tery re­place­ment is tech­ni­cally pos­si­ble, but ac­cess­ing it is an un­nec­es­sary chal­lenge. Glued-down glass both front and back means greater risk ≠ of break­age, and makes re­pairs dif­fi­cult to start. Screen re­pairs re­quire a lot of dis­as­sem­bly while bat­tling tough ad­he­sive.

Noth­ing quite beats get­ting rid of those un­nec­es­sary ca­bles and charg­ing your phone wire­lessly.

Sam­sung (thank­fully) still holds on to the head­phone jack for the time be­ing.

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