Video Overview

Introduction

Last year's Galaxy Note7 fanned the flames of our smartphone discontent, but it also fanned the flames of ... well, flames. Now it's back, reincarnated as the Galaxy Note Fan Edition. Let's tear it down. Hopefully no flames this time. For more detailed analysis, check out our Note Fan Edition blog post.

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition, use our service manual.

Stop us if you've heard these specs before: Curved panel 5.7" Super AMOLED display with 2560 × 1440 resolution (518 ppi) and Gorilla Glass 5 Exynos 8890 Octa Core processor with 4 GB RAM + Mali-T880 MP12 GPU
  • Stop us if you've heard these specs before:

    • Curved panel 5.7" Super AMOLED display with 2560 × 1440 resolution (518 ppi) and Gorilla Glass 5

    • Exynos 8890 Octa Core processor with 4 GB RAM + Mali-T880 MP12 GPU

    • 12-megapixel, ƒ/1.7 rear camera with OIS, dual pixel autofocus, 4K video; 5-megapixel/1080p selfie camera

    • 64 GB internal storage, with an additional 256 GB available via MicroSD expansion

    • Iris scanner, fingerprint scanner

    • S Pen stylus, USB-C, and headphone jack

    • IP68 dust and water resistance rating

There is one important difference. A change in the placing or removal of the chip that talks to the led & s view covers meaning they will not work with original note7 accessories. But you get a free clearview case now. I'll stick with my original & enjoy my extra 300mah & led covers.

David Berry - Reply

Hats off to Samsung for giving new life to at least some of these ill-fated Note7 units, rather than consigning them all to the e-waste bin. Reportedly only 400,000 Fan Editions are being produced, well shy of the ~4 million phones recalled. Still, something is better than nothing. We dust off our Note7 for a quick visual comparison, sticky notes and all.
  • Hats off to Samsung for giving new life to at least some of these ill-fated Note7 units, rather than consigning them all to the e-waste bin.

  • We dust off our Note7 for a quick visual comparison, sticky notes and all.

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After finally prying that nasty glass panel off the back of the newest Note (spoiler alert: it's just as bad as last time), we get a peek at the refurbished hardware. At first glance, it seems like nothing has changed. On second glance, there's a subtle difference in the antenna traces.
  • After finally prying that nasty glass panel off the back of the newest Note (spoiler alert: it's just as bad as last time), we get a peek at the refurbished hardware.

  • At first glance, it seems like nothing has changed. On second glance, there's a subtle difference in the antenna traces.

    • Judging by the "KOR" on our Korea-sourced phone, we're gonna guess it's for compatibility with Korean cellular networks.

  • With the antenna assembly peeled away, we finally get a glance at the battery...

No mention of change or removal of the chip that talks to covers via nfc

David Berry - Reply

Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.
Baby's got a brand-new battery. This one's dated June 20th, so it's real new.
  • Baby's got a brand-new battery. This one's dated June 20th, so it's real new.

  • The capacity is indeed smaller, clocking in at 12.32 Wh compared to the OG Note7's 13.48 Wh whopper.

    • That's still more than the comparably sized iPhone 7 Plus (with 11.1 Wh), but apparently this ~9% reduction is enough to make the Note safe again.

  • For the data hungry: at 45.4 g the new battery weighs 2.3 grams less, and measures in at 37.4 mm x 97.2 mm x ~5.0 mm compared with the Note7's 37.9 mm x 97.8 mm x 4.9 mm. So it does seem to have lost a bit of mass.

  • Let's not lose sight of the fact that Samsung's entire recall fiasco could have been largely avoided if they'd simply designed the Note7 with a removable battery. You know, like they used to do?

Can we buy the battery itself? I have my Note 7 and I would like to switch the battery.

Fernando Colindres - Reply

There were some rumors that this refurb'd unit would ship with a newer Snapdragon 821 processor versus the Samsung Exynos Octa Core found in the Note7. So we removed the shields over the CPU to take a closer look:
  • There were some rumors that this refurb'd unit would ship with a newer Snapdragon 821 processor versus the Samsung Exynos Octa Core found in the Note7. So we removed the shields over the CPU to take a closer look:

    • Samsung K3RG2G20CM-CGCJ 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM layered over an Exynos 8890 Octa Core CPU

      • No, there're no markings on the RAM to ID the CPU, but the box says Octa Core while the Snapdragon 820/821 have 4 cores. Our best guess is that there is no change.

    • Samsung KLUCG4J1CB-B0B1 64GB UFS 2.0

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The Fan Edition inherits just about everything else from the Note7, including its repairability score.
  • The Fan Edition inherits just about everything else from the Note7, including its repairability score.

  • That's a wrap! We've given Samsung a hard time for the Note7 fiasco, but credit where credit is due: they owned up to the problem and did the responsible thing.

    • Here's hoping the rest of the mothballed mobiles see the light of day!

  • We wrote a ton about the whole Note7 fiasco, plus some analysis about this refurbished edition, in our Galaxy Note Fan Edition blog post

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Final Thoughts
  • Many components are modular and can be replaced independently.
  • Improved cable routing means the charging port board can be removed without disassembling the display.
  • The battery can be removed without first ousting the motherboard, but tough adhesive and a glued-on rear panel make replacement very difficult.
  • Front and back glass make for double the crackability, and strong adhesive on the rear glass makes it very difficult to gain entry into the device.
  • Because of the curved screen, replacing the front glass without destroying the display is probably impossible.
Repairability Score
4
Repairability 4 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)

6 Comments

Everyone keeps calling it the 'fan' edition, but I can't see a fan anywhere. You'd think there would be space next to the smaller battery, and the fan could also help stop it exploding.

- Bob from Hartlepool.

Adrian Scarlett - Reply

Have you tried putting the Fan Edition battery in the original Note 7?

nicjames - Reply

Doubt it'd be worth the effort, since the OG Note 7 they showed was a VZW model, which got software updates to disable charging, along with most of the other Note 7's out there.

JJ Davis -

On my of note 7 now which is supposedly imei blocked in Australia but my stock note 7 is magic & gets cellular data again after being wifi only for a while there. Still 100% charge & blocked all updates. Never a sign of heating. I think the early ones from 1st recall of exynos versions were safe b4 the got flooded trying to replace all the usa 820 versions too. Mine has never been over 38degrees when my note5 died from overheating. I use fast wireless&wired & never an issue with heat. I even slept on it once so no sharp welding bits in my battery. I get led covers too. I wanna find a cheap s view cover. I've got a spare black one too i may root as i got an s7e for its imei.that 1 is blocked. Hopefully I can clone this 1 over with all its app data to keep the disabler apps working but i can root or keep for spares.might order a new back glass just in case. Note7 is still the greatest. Last sammy with real buttons.

David Berry - Reply

Is the cost to swap out the battery on the Note 7 just waaay too much to make it worth sending back out on the American market with a proven safe battery? It seems like a no brainer to refurbish this phone and sell to the public to recoup some of the loss that Samsung had to take. Does anyone know how the reception in Korea was? People waiting in lines/camping out to get one of the F.E.'s?

Damon - Reply

I would not be surprised to see refurbed Note 7S sold through prepaid US carriers like Tracphone.

P Schmied - Reply

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