An initial Samsung Galaxy S21 teardown hints at the future of reparability for its new flagship series
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The YouTube channel P3K has posted a teardown video for the new Samsung Galaxy S21. It is the "starter" variant of its new line-up, which famously has a rear panel made of "glasstic" rather than Gorilla Glass Victus as in the S21+ and S21 Ultra. They also have new rear camera humps that are supposed to blend into their metallic frames.
However, according to the new clip, this is not exactly the case in the regular S21. Its rear camera housing comes off with the rest of the back panel in response to heat, showing that it is in fact separate from the rest of the frame. P3K did not speculate as to how much easier this first step in the disassembly process might be in comparison to other phones with higher-end casing materials.
The vlogger also found that, once inside the phone, its front-facing rear camera was glued down. This is not normal practice, and potentially impacts replacement, should it become necessary. Otherwise, the S21 seemed fairly standard, if sophisticated, internals-wise, with display cables that could be removed completely from the phone. It also had a multi-layer main board, attached to the rear shooters.
P3K also observed that the S21 has a graphene-sheet-based heat-dissipating solution for its processing and wireless charging components, as well as some graphite to underpin it. There are also 2 speakers: a conventional bottom-firing unit and one underneath the upper part of the display.
Finally, the battery was glued into the phone, albeit in a relatively moderate way. It will be interesting to see if the S21's bigger siblings respond as relatively well when it comes time for their own online reparability assessments.