Galaxy S5 Earns Lowest Repair Score for a Samsung Phone Yet

It’s Christmas in April at iFixit, and Samsu Claus just came to town with another tasty morsel—the Samsung Galaxy S5!

Following yesterday’s super-fixable Gear 2 smartwatch, the S5 is a bit of a disappointment. Samsung made things harder to fix. The S III and S4 featured internal components on the back of a large display assembly. The S5, however, sandwiches the components in their own difficult-to-access compartment between the display and the battery. As a result, the S5 received a fitting 5 out of 10 repairability score—a full three points less than last year’s model, and the lowest we’ve ever scored a Samsung smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S5 teardown

Teardown highlights:

• The phone includes a 3.85 V, 10.78 Wh battery. Samsung touted a better battery-saving mode, but failed to specify the life of this guy in its advertising—listing the battery spec as 2800 mAh. That is a slight upgrade from the S4’s 3.8 V and 2600 mAh (9.88 Wh) battery.

• The S5 has a little door marked “R1” on the back of the phone that opens to disconnect a sole cable. We found out later in the teardown that disconnecting that very home button cable from the start would have made the display removal much easier. Neato!

• Present and accounted for is the expected fingerprint scanner tech. The control chip is labeled 1200P E43F2.

• Some galaxies have stars. This one has chips:

  • 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. The quad-core 2.5 GHz CPU likely lurks in the shadows within.
  • Samsung KLMAG2GEAC-B0 16 GB on-board memory
  • Avago ACPM-7617 multi-mode, multi-band RF front end
  • Murata KM4220004 (likely Wi-Fi module)
  • Maxim Integrated MAX77804K (System PSoC) and MAX77826
  • 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