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Samsung Galaxy S4 easy to repair says iFixit, after a teardown leaves the flagship naked

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 easy to repair says iFixit, after a teardown leaves the flagship naked
With a score of  8 out of a possible 10 from iFixit, a teardown of the Samsung Galaxy S4 reveals the phone to be easily repairable. Unlike most high-end smartphones these days, the new Samsung flagship model offers (you might want to be sitting down for this one) a removable battery. Yeah, we know it's hard to believe, but it is true. The teardown also reveals the genius behind AirView and Air Gesture. With IR sensors placed on both sides of the earphone jack, light reflecting from your hand is compared by each sensor allowing the sideways motion of your hand to be tracked without your finger touching the screen. Air View allows you to hover over the screen with your finger to see previews of emails, information from contacts and your calendar along with thumbnails from a video. Air Gesture lets you control the movement of the screen using gestures without touching the glass.

Behind the screen is the Synaptics S5000B touchscreen controller which is so sensitive that a user wearing gloves can still control the screen. The parts in the phone are exactly as expected for the U.S version of the device which means that the octa-core Samsung Exynos 5 processor is replaced by the quad-core 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064T processor, which was hidden underneath a large Samsung chip on the motherboard. Interestingly, the Qualcomm WTR1605L Seven-Band 4G LTE chip is inside the device. This is the same chip found inside the Google Nexus 4 that gave owners of the device the hope that there was hidden LTE support on the unit. The Qualcomm MDM9215M 4G GSM/UMTS/LTE is the modem used on the phone.

Last week, Samsung said it would stop using tin solder sourced from dangerous mines in Indonesia, but the new supply of the solder has probably not had enough time to make it through to models already produced and boxed.

source: iFixit


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posted on 26 Apr 2013, 17:59 20

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2110; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


One more reason to choose it over the competition. Phones are imperfect, rushed and price-cut so you want the best rapairability possible for your own sake.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:16 10

14. akki20892 (Posts: 3312; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


right dude, this is more important thing.

posted on 27 Apr 2013, 01:58

31. chocolaking (Posts: 430; Member since: 22 May 2012)


without surprise, sFall has a high score of getting it fixed.
feels like a desktop computer structure. you can actually just open it and change out the parts and make upgrades. sorry, I see zero design quality in it.

posted on 27 Apr 2013, 06:02 2

34. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 762; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


design quality IS not just about its looks
It includes ergonomics and design flexblity w/ rplacble battry

posted on 27 Apr 2013, 12:16 1

35. Nephylim (Posts: 131; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)


u right

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 18:10 5

2. Hemlocke (unregistered)


Easy to repair, or in this case, cheap with 11 screws and a bunch of plastic holding it together, and only 8.8GB free to use on the 16GB model. Of course, the screen is one fused unit that is glued in, which won't be cheap or easy to repair, so there is that.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 18:33 6

4. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2941; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Wow that is the stupiest thing I have ever seen on here.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 19:13 14

8. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


Apparently a unbody aluminium back that cost a few dollars more than a plastic back makes your phone special. Alumnium isn't a premium metal and is very cheap, just like plastic.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 19:55 6

10. SleepingOz (unregistered)


"But it feels great in the hand!"

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:00 10

13. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


Actually the S4 feels better in your hands than the HTC One, not preference its fact.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:44 1

22. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5559; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


uhh huh, i'll just go ahead and take your word for that. :P

posted on 27 Apr 2013, 02:01

32. chocolaking (Posts: 430; Member since: 22 May 2012)


LOL....are you making wishes here??
I am not saying which one feels better.
until you hold both on your hand.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 19:57 9

11. umadden (banned) (Posts: 90; Member since: 14 Apr 2013)


cheap recycled soda can aluminum is cheaper than plastic

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:22 7

17. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


SGS4 is like a SuperCar; lightweight, flexible material on the outside with the best V12/V10 Engines on the inside.

Teaching one person at a time about

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 18:36 14

5. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


Just FYI HTC One scored a 1/10 on this test

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 18:52 4

6. Hemlocke (unregistered)


I know. Out of the 60+ smartphones I have owned, care to guess how many I have broken and need to repair? I pay $600+ for each device, so I don't want some plastic POS that looks like it came out of a Lego Mindstorm box. There are plenty of undiscriminating sheep out there who buy for a brand or some elusive percentage better performance that is only measurable on a benchmark, so I think Samesung will do fine without my money.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 19:04 5

7. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


The space between the black plate and screen is metal on galaxy devices andhttp://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=galaxy%20s4%20metal%20back&sprefix=galaxy+s4+m%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Agalaxy%20s4%20metal%20back , have fun with believing that samsung is cheap, the galaxy s4 cost a decent amount more to make then the htc one to make. Also "better performance" matters, and the s4 (exynos 5) destroys the snapdragon 600 in battery life.

If you want an all metal galaxy then its going to cost you $10 extra. The stock ones don't come with them because they break NFC.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:22 3

16. papss (unregistered)


Dude SS is cheap.. He'll the inside looks about as generic as the outside... It's like a fing cult with you SS suckers

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:23 9

18. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


SGS4 is like a SuperCar; lightweight, flexible material on the outside with the best V12/V10 Engines on the inside.

Teaching one person at a time about, you are welcome

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:27 2

20. papss (unregistered)


Thanks for the analogy and pretty funny too

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:35 2

21. Hemlocke (unregistered)


Except supercars aren't made with the cheapest possible materials. This is more like the derp kid on your block with the Civic with a fart can exhaust who stuffs a JDM twin turbo K23 under the hood. Fast? Yeah, but at the end of the day, it's still just a Civic, not a Skyline.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:48 5

23. joey_sfb (Posts: 2761; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


How you know the SS plastic is cheap, maybe its the most expensive plastic for SS pay much more for it than other manufacturers.

You don't know and yet to proclaim loudly like you did the procurement.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 21:28 2

24. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


Its not even part of the phone thats plastic its a polycarbonate backcover lol, anyways a majority of the s4 body is metal. People are blind and obviously don't realize between the back and glass is metal.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 19:47 2

9. tiara6918 (Posts: 1357; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


I wonder what is the repairability score for the HTC butterfly. I did mention in a previous article that my dad's butterfly screen cracked and it will cost him $300 to get a new screen and I'm trying to see if there are any alternatives. HTC is charging way too much,for$300 I could already get a brand new sensation xl and a few bucks more a galaxy grand

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:00 1

12. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


The batterys also cost $150 to replace in HTC phones.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:23 2

19. papss (unregistered)


I've never had to replace a battery so that's a moot point for me

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:22 1

15. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6254; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Pretty impressive? what a dumb blonde. ifixit only have a hot girl in their videos so they can get more views. and in this case her comments bout how too tear apart the GS IV is simple. just open the cover and take out the screws. what a idiot

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 21:48 1

25. Daftama (Posts: 563; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Drop test

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 22:29 2

26. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


It will still break, should be harder to break though.

posted on 27 Apr 2013, 01:16

29. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 762; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


Go to youtube there is a drop test, gorlla glass 3 isnt yet that strong:) but the plastc and everything that wraps d phone are brilliant :)

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 23:59 1

27. kinnizle (Posts: 12; Member since: 24 Apr 2013)


Well I must say I have been reviewing the one and the s4 for some time. Its was like having to pick from two hot girls and imagining which one was best to sleep with. I decided on the One, yes I'm a sucker for aluminum. After the painful ordering process for the 64gb version I quickly found out that the unit that was shipped was defective. The top speaker grill and injection plastic molding were not fused all the way by the it blaster, I could stick my fingernail in between. Now I'm forced to go with an S4 because Att can't get me a replacement in Time. Granted its a switch that I'm ok living with but ill be up and early at the atstore probably in a long line. Moral of the story the hottest girl isn't always the best one to go for because at tines she can be severely flawed. I still give credit to HTC for trying something bold and new, it will open a new market of android phones to be availible for consumers with time to come. So for those of you going into the battle of plastic vs aluminum its getting old guys lets keep it constructive and positive.

posted on 27 Apr 2013, 01:30

30. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 762; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


Well off topic,
As far as all d reviews are concerned, the results are pretty interestng and mixed..
Htc one and gslaxy s4 are d greatest phones to date, it will just come to ur prefernce. I recommnded htc one for my bro and ill be getting s4
But im really disappointed that some reviewrs arent that professional esp when it comes to design, for exmple the verge gave 5/10 for galaxy s4 design while 8/10 for s3, thats a pretty damn thing consdering s4 is actually beautiful compared to the ugly s3 w/ large bezels.. for me design includes ergonomics so giving 5/10 is so unprofessional and it seems that reviewing a phone only boils w/ design as d main factor..
It is just so true that s4 created a lot of expectations thats why its overachievements were disclosed in minor ways, an underrated overachiever..

I cudnt say that gs4 is d best ryt now, htc one is also d best, just a matter to who will use the phone..
And if teue, samsung admttd in a lab test that gs4 isnt d best ryt now and i truly appreciate that humility :) and that makes me so excited with note3 and s5 coz for sure samsung will fill every possible shortcomings they have given that their devices are almost total package.

posted on 21 May 2013, 12:43

36. carper33 (Posts: 2; Member since: 21 May 2013)


We know this phone is full of plastic but hey it's one of those "if you dont like it dont buy it" :) I smashed mine after the first day and had to get it fixed by a third party repairer lol if anyone smashes theirs i recomend these guys repairsuk.co.uk/samsung-galaxy-s4-i9500-repairs

posted on 08 Jul 2013, 05:53

37. nopsts (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Jul 2013)


You can see detailed teardown and repair on this video: youtube.com/watch?v=ixnHfkXYunw

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