Recently, iFixit tore down the Gear 2 smartwatch and found that Samsung had put it together extremely well and it was really a delight to repair. It had got a score of 8/10 which is really good and if not for the display, the Gear 2 may even have gone ahead and got a full on 10/10.
iFixit also tore down the Galaxy S5, tearing it to bits and came to the conclusion that the S5 isn’t quite as flexible as it’s smaller brother, the Gear 2. The S5 straight up got a score of 5/10 which is really poor, if you ask us and incomparable to the Gear 2, which had gotten a score of 8/10. What’s more, the S5 gets a lower score than it’s predecessor, the Galaxy S4, which too got a really good score: 8/10.
While the Gear 2 had just one component which iFixit found tricky, the S5 is the polar opposite: It has got only one component, the battery which is easy to replace and all others are tricky to handle.
First off, you have got to remove the display to reach the internal components. You can just replace the battery, any other repair work by you will probably leave the phone worse of than it started with (Unless you have a steady hand and you know your mods).
Plus to reassemble the S5, you have to reapply the display adhesive.
Plus the device frame is kinda connected to some ribbon cables, so you can render your phone useless by just opening it up. Bad choice Samsung, Bad choice.
Here is how iFixit puts the S5’s ‘unrepairability’:
This is a fairly radical change in design for the S-series. We’re used to seeing internal components riding on the back of a large display assembly. The S5 turns this on its head and sandwiches the components between the display and the battery, in their own difficult-to-access compartment.
The S5’s heart-rate sensor is from Maxim and the S5’s fingerprint scanner is from Synaptics.
Here is the list of identified components in the S5… And yes, Samsung has delivered as promised on the specs:
- Elpida FA164A2PM – The same 2 GB RAM package we found in the HTC One (M8), and different from the 2 GB Samsung chip found in Chipworks’ analysis. Quad-core 2.5 GHz CPU likely layered beneath
- Samsung KLMAG2GEAC-B0 16 GB on-board memory
- Avago ACPM-7617 multi-mode, multi-band RF front end
- Murata KM4220004 (likely Wi-Fi module)
- C1N75R UMR3
- Maxim Integrated MAX77804K (System PSoC) and MAX77826
- STMicroelectronics 32A M41
- SWEP GRG28 antenna switch module (thanks Chipworks)
- Qualcomm WTR1625L RF transceiver (another encore from the HTC One M8) and…
- Qualcomm WFR1620 receive-only companion chip
- Qualcomm PMC8974
- Lattice LP1KSD 84071R25
- Invensense MP65M gyroscope/accelerometer
- Qualcomm WCD9320 audio codec
- SIMG 8240B0 mobile HD-link transmitter and NXP 47803 NFC controller
The video of the teardown is below.
Samsung apparently likes to play on both sides of the game: On one hand, the S4 and the Gear 2 are easily repairable, excellent even with just one flaw. On the other hand, the S5 is an unrepairable nightmare with just one plus point.