The team over at iFixit have just published their in-depth teardown of the Galaxy S7, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy handset for 2016. The publication notes in its teardown that the repairability score of Samsung’s Galaxy S handset have fallen heavily since 2014, and the Galaxy S7 continues that trend.
While the Galaxy S6 received a repairability score of 4 out of 10, its successor has done even worse and only got a score of 3 out of 10 from iFixit in the repairability department. The reason for the S7 regressing in this repairability department are quite a few: replacing the microUSB port requires you to either sacrifice the backlight of the capacitive buttons or break the display.
To make the handset IP68 waterproofing, Samsung has sealed everything tight and used rubber gaskets around the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port. It has also placed the mid-frame deeper into the chassis to avoid any contact with the water. The team also confirms that the water cooling system on the Galaxy S7 is nothing but just a glorified heat spreader and does not actually contain any liquid.
The only positive thing about the Galaxy S7 was some of the modular components used by Samsung, including the NFC and wireless charging coil, that makes replacing them easier. Overall though, the Galaxy S7 is a tough device to repair, and certain simple repairs like changing the microUSB port can even require you to break the costly AMOLED screen in the process.
Since the Galaxy S7 now has an IP68 rating, it is now less prone to water damages, but it is still susceptible to day-to-day wear and tear that can cause the microUSB port to stop working over the long run, or its display to crack due to a fall, which can then turn out to be an expensive repair.