Samsung Galaxy Z Flip teardown suggests reasonable repairability

George, 15 February 2020

The Galaxy Z Flip is the second iteration of a commercial foldable smartphone from Samsung following the Galaxy Fold, and it's been available in stores since yesterday. It didn't take long for someone to get a unit on an operating table and take it apart and we're now looking at a teardown video, courtesy of PBKreviews.

In the video, we get to witness the usual process of prying off the glass backs (two in the Flip's case) after liberal application of heat. This gives access to the PCBs revealing a stacked design on the mainboard. Two separate batteries are to be found - smaller one on top, bigger in the bottom half.

Only after unplugging a number of connectors and removing the batteries, can you replace the display, but it takes some work on the front as well. You need to remove the plastic bezel that covers the perimeter of the screen, which takes some prying of its own. Remove that, and you're looking at even more heat gun action and further prying. The UTG-covered display can then slide out the bottom - piece of cake.

While replacing the display is a lengthy process with several steps where things can go wrong, it's encouraging that it's the YouTuber's second go at the procedure on the same unit and it still powers on at the end. Additionally, if you're to be replacing the screen, it's got to be broken already by definition. Meanwhile, replacing the batteries or the USB port assembly appears straightforward and not much different than on most other current smartphones glued shut. Makes us wonder what the iFixit rating is going to be, compared to the Motorola Razr's dismal 1/10.

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Reader comments

  • hmm

I dont think people that buy $1000 phones were or will ever repair their phones. I know I dont.

i have not verified this yet, but according to some tech websites the "utg" on the z flip is actually topped with a plastic screen protector like the one used on the galaxy fold. this is not confirmed by samsung yet as well.

Now when there are reviews out on youtube Samsung should apologize for calling phone screen - glass. It is just plastic and it can be scratched with nails. It is still nice phone though but Samsung is playing marketing games to attract more buyers...