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2013 Smartphone Repairability Index: Galaxy S4 gets 8/10, HTC One at the bottom

2013 Smartphone Repairability Index: Galaxy S4 gets 8/10, HTC One at the bottom
The skillful folks from iFixit posted their 2013 smartphone repairability chart, which includes the handsets they've been working on so far, trying to pry the screen open with a spudger, removing thick layers of adhesive, and analyzing what they find inside according to their own repairability standards.

From this year's flagships, the Samsung Galaxy S4 takes the top with an 8/10 rating, which is also the score for most smartphones from the Koreans, due to their flexible plastic design that lets you easily remove the back cover, swap the battery, or access internal components. 

The only downside of the S4's repairability is that the internals are glued to the back of a "fused display assembly," which is quite expensive to replace, too, as only Samsung is making those Super AMOLED Full HD panels. The iPhone 5s is in the middle of the road with a 6/10, while the unibody aluminum HTC One gets the worst of it with the lowest 1/10 score.


Apple iPhone 5s Apple iPhone 5s 2013
  • Front panel is fairly easy to remove and replace.
  • Battery is adhered in place and difficult to remove.
  • Proprietary pentalobe driver required for opening.

6

Apple iPhone 5c Apple iPhone 5c 2013
  • Front panel is easy to remove and replace.
  • Battery is adhered in place and difficult to remove.
  • Proprietary pentalobe driver required for opening.

6

Motorola Moto X Motorola Moto X 2013
  • Modular design allows replacing of individual components.
  • Only a single type of screw is used throughout.
  • Strong adhesive on the rear cover makes opening difficult.

7

Samsung Galaxy S4 Samsung Galaxy S4 2013
  • Battery is easy to replace.
  • Very easy to open for access to internal components.
  • Components adhered to the back of a fused display assembly.

8

Blackberry Z10 Blackberry Z10 2013
  • Battery is easy to replace.
  • Standard screws make the device easy to open.
  • Smaller components are strongly adhered in place.

8

HTC One HTC One 2013
  • Solid external construction improves durability.
  • Virtually impossible to open without extreme damage to rear case.
  • Battery is buried under motherboard and adhered to midframe.

1

Google Nexus 4 Google Nexus 4 2012
  • The back cover can be removed with common tools.
  • Pressure contacts throughout the phone ease disassembly.
  • The battery is held in place with strong adhesive.

7

Samsung Galaxy Note II Samsung Galaxy Note II 2012
  • Battery is easy to replace.
  • Very easy to open for access to internal components.
  • Components adhered to the back of a fused display assembly.

8

Apple iPhone 5 Apple iPhone 5 2012
  • Front panel is easy to remove and replace.
  • Battery is relatively easy to replace.
  • Proprietary pentalobe driver required for opening.

7

Samsung Galaxy S III Samsung Galaxy S III 2012
  • Battery is easy to replace.
  • Device is easy to open.
  • Components adhered to the back of a fused display assembly.

8

Motorola Droid 4 Motorola Droid 4 2012
  • LCD and front glass are not fused and can be replaced individually.
  • Tons of adhesive seals the phone and its components.
  • Replacing the front glass requires complete phone disassembly.

4





source: iFixit

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