Asus Zenfone 9 repairability is put to the test in a new teardown video
The Nothing phone (1)'s transparent design was found not to do a lot for its repairability in its recent PBKReviews teardown video. Accordingly, it was up to the next 2022 flagship with dual rear cameras to appear on that YouTube channel to do better. The Zenfone 9 has a plastic back, but whether that makes it more sustainable or not remains to be seen.
PBKReviews reported that it takes some heat to get the aforementioned vibrant red rear panel off, just as with many glass-backed premium Android devices out there. The teardown process also proceeded to give the impression of being not much more complicated or difficult compared to other similar handsets (certainly less so than its 8 Flip forebear), even with the relatively cramped dimensions of the trend-bucking 9.
On the other hand, PBKReviews also found that a display replacement might get a little convoluted, particularly as its flex cable is fed through a gap in the mid-frame, meaning the phone's entire internals need to be removed and that the display also needs to be subjected to a heat-gun in the case of a replacement.
There were some highlights for the Zenfone 9 nonetheless, mostly in the form of compliments for its cooling system (particularly important to contain that Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC in a smaller body than usual), containing lots of graphite tape; a copper vapor chamber with a potentially appreciable interface with the processor and its thermal paste; and then yet more copper on top of that.
However, the Zenfone 9 was ultimately given an arguably indifferent 4.5 out of 10 for repairability - not that much more than the Nothing phone (1), in fairness. Nevertheless, a user might yet stand a decent chance of getting their little 9 working again after taking it apart.