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An initial Samsung Galaxy S21 teardown hints at the future of reparability for its new flagship series

The Galaxy S21 without its rear panel. (Source: YouTube)
The Galaxy S21 without its rear panel. (Source: YouTube)
The first Galaxy S21 disassembly video has arrived on YouTube, courtesy of the channel P3K. It suggests that repairing this base-model smartphone might not be too difficult, even though Samsung makes it look that way with its new rear panel. The device's thermal management system is also on show in this post.

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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.

Buy a Galaxy S21 on Best Buy

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 4217 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > An initial Samsung Galaxy S21 teardown hints at the future of reparability for its new flagship series
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-01-19 (Update: 2021-01-19)