During the launch event of its flagship Galaxy Note 9, Samsung talked a lot about the phablet’s built quality. On the front, the device is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that melts on the sides to meet the metal chassis. There is a glass back that leaves no space for the phone to carve open easily.
Several YouTubers, including the famous “jerryrigeverything” appreciated the phones build quality giving it high marks when it passed rigourous scratch, burn and bend tests. But it seems this very build quality will force the Galaxy Note 9 users to spend more money and time to get their phones repaired. These claims were made by famous smartphone teardown platform iFixit.
The platform gave the smartphone a repairability score of 4 out 10 on three major counts. First is the difficulty in repairing the battery. You can replace the battery but according to iFixit, two extremely stubborn glue barriers make it unnecessarily difficult. “To service any component you must first painstakingly un-glue (and later re-glue) the glass rear panel,” the teardown expert said. Thirdly, the display repairs require replacing the entire chassis or tediously separating the gluey cracked glass which is time consuming and costly. Even for opening up the S-Pen, the platform says that it couldn't find “a non-destructive way to crack it open” and had to take the special help from the “heavy weapons” - the ultrasonic cutter! iFixit didn’t say everything bad about the smartphone.
The Galaxy Note 9’s components are more modular than ever due to the subtle changes to the USB-C hardware, headphone jack and the S Pen dock's flex cable. Also, the screws that Samsung has used in the smartphone are standard Phillips screws. It could be said that, better the build quality of a smartphone, lesser its repairability score, and a low repairability score doesn’t mean that a smartphone is shoddy.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was announced on August 22 in India. It packs the Exynos 9810 processor and is offered in two storage/RAM variants: a 6GB RAM and 128GB storage model and an 8GB RAM and 512GB storage variant. It houses a massive 4000mAh battery to support the smartphone’s 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display that sports Quad HD+ resolution and HDR. You can read our review of the smartphone here and watch the phablet unboxing and first look in the video below.