In case you missed it, Samsung released its newest flagship phone last week. The hotly-anticipated Galaxy S8 is Samsung’s first major phone release since the Note7’s battery exploded right in their face. Naturally, we already took apart the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+. And with those teardowns behind us, we thought we’d take a moment to remember all the Galaxy S series teardowns of times gone by.
We haven’t been taking apart Android phones quite as long as we have iPhones. In fact, we didn’t tear down our first Galaxy phone until 2011, when Samsung released the Galaxy S 4G. That phone scored a mid-pack 6/10 for repairability (10 being the easiest to repair), though the next iteration of the phone—the SIII—jumped to a more impressive 8/10 for repairability. Among the SIII’s merits: a user-replaceable battery, an easy-to-open design, and non-proprietary fasteners (in fact, there were just 12 screws in the whole phone—all of them Phillips).
Since then, Galaxy phones have gotten a little … well, stickier. The Galaxy S line has moved from screws to glues and shifted to a battery that isn’t user replaceable. Recent models also have glass on the front and back—for double the crackability.
Earlier this month, we scored the S8 and S8+ phones at 4/10 for repair, partially because the liberal use of adhesive makes it hard for your average DIYer to open the phone’s outer case. It’s still pretty straightforward to remove and replace the entire display assembly once you get past the glue—but it’s gonna be an expensive fix because of the fancy OLED panel. So, if you’ve got the new S8, best to stick it in a case. And don’t drop it. Ever. Because these little beasts are gonna be a bear to repair.
Here’s a quick tour through time of all the Samsung Galaxy S phones we’ve taken apart:
Samsung Galaxy S 4G, 2011 (6/10 repair score)