Samsung’s Galaxy Note lineup never really fared well for its repairability. Last year’s Galaxy Note 9 got a poor score of just four out of 10 in iFixit’s repairability score. However, according to the latest teardown by iFixit, the new Galaxy Note 10+ 5G takes its internals to a whole new level. It’s the worse of the lot, scoring only three out of ten for its repairability.
Why the low score you ask? Well, everything seems to be glued down inside the phone, right from the back cover to the battery, which is now wider than before. The biggest change inside the new Note 10+ 5G is the use of a stacked motherboard (similar to Apple) in order to save space. But this makes for a trickier mother and daughterboard connection which forced Samsung to use “annoying interconnect cables” (as iFixit puts it) which further block access to the battery.
Another notable change inside was the use of the square-ish vibration motor instead of the regular circular one found on its predecessors. iFixit notes that this should result in better haptics on the new model. You’ll also find three mmWave antenna modules inside for 5G, two on each side of the phone and one facing the screen.
But what gave this phone the worst repairability score is the mess you have to go through for something as simple as replacing its beautiful display. iFixit says that the Note 10+ 5G will either require a complete teardown or you’ll have to replace half the phone just to change its 6.8-inch screen! That’s too much of a hassle and it practically kills any possibility of doing it yourself.
In short, the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G is an amazing smartphone as long as you don’t break it.