iFixIt's teardown of the new Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10e reveals some great tech including two-way charging and a fingerprint reader that's integrated into the display. But those upgrades come at a cost. If you drop and crack the display, a repair is going to cost you plenty. Here's the low-down.
Samsung has made quite a big deal of its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor in the S10 and S10+. But the new biometric device is "pretty much fused to the display" according to iFixIt.
In the Galaxy S10, if the fingerprint scanner fails - you'll need to replace the entire display. They couldn't separate the banner from the display without damaging it. And while the S10e retains capacitive fingerprint tech in the power button, fixing that will put the display at risk according to their boffins.
Given cracked displays are the reason for most repairs, this is a pretty big deal.
On the upside, moving the fingerprint sensors from the back cover has eliminated the flex cable booby trap that has plagued Galaxy hardware repairs in recent years. And they also discovered some heat-dissipating graphite pads on the back covers.
"Something in here is designed to get hot without burning your fingers," they said, speculating that the wireless charging system may be the generator of excess heat. iFixit goes further saying that fast charging and reverse wireless charging put some serious thermal stress on the electronics causing Samsung to pull out all the stops to keep things cool.
The S10 batteries are also a massive pain in the butt. They're adhered to the body of the phone requiring the use of an adhesive remover to separate. Given these phones cost around $2000, it's a fair bet you'll want to replace the batteries before the rest of the phone and that could be a challenging and costly process.
iFixIt gave the Samsung Galaxy S10 a score of 3/10 for repairability.