Video Overview

Introduction

Samsung's line of phones-that-don't-fit-in-your-pocket is back! And in a Microsoftian move, they're going from Note5 straight to Note7. On the surface, it looks like an S7 Edge with a bigger screen and a fancy stylus, but we know better: no guts, no glory. It's teardown time!

Update: We added some sweet X-ray imagery, from our friends at Creative Electron.

Do you enjoy the odd teardown? We’ve got three (way cooler than two) ways to stay up to date with the latest repair news: find us on Twitter, join our inner circle on Facebook, and check out our Instagram!

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Samsung Galaxy Note7, use our service manual.

Image 1/3: Curved panel 5.7" Super AMOLED display with 2560 × 1440 resolution (518 ppi) and Gorilla Glass 5 Image 2/3: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4 GB RAM + Adreno 530 GPU Image 3/3: 12-megapixel, ƒ/1.7 rear camera with OIS, dual pixel autofocus, 4K video; 5-megapixel/1080p selfie camera
  • It's a mix of new and familiar as we peruse the Note7's specs:

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

    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4 GB RAM + Adreno 530 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 (phew)

    • IP68 dust and water resistance rating

Add Comment

Image 1/3: [http://ifixit.org/blog/8242/headphone-jack-iphone/|Headphone jack|new_window=true] Image 2/3: USB-C port Image 3/3: Microphone port
  • As we boldly go where no tinkerer has gone before, we come across some starports hiding out near the bottom edge. From left to right we observe:

  • That last one's not a port at all, it's the illustrious S Pen. Removing the S Pen is as smooth as slicing warm butter.

  • Building off the Note5's mid-production design modification, the S Pen doesn't fit into its slot backwards. Now that's progress.

Add Comment

Image 1/2: First impressions: this stylus stacks up pretty well against [https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/accessories/pen|Microsoft's Surface Pen|new_window=true] and [http://www.apple.com/apple-pencil/|Apple's Pencil|new_window=true]. Image 2/2: The S Pen is smaller (and more stow-able) than either, but still has a scan rate of 360 Hz and senses 4,096 levels of pressure compared to the Pencil's 240 Hz and the Surface Pen's 1,024 levels of sensitivity.
  • Our teardown hands are itching to get down to business, but we take a moment to test out the S Pen.

  • First impressions: this stylus stacks up pretty well against Microsoft's Surface Pen and Apple's Pencil.

    • The S Pen is smaller (and more stow-able) than either, but still has a scan rate of 360 Hz and senses 4,096 levels of pressure compared to the Pencil's 240 Hz and the Surface Pen's 1,024 levels of sensitivity.

  • In an additional level of customization, the S Pen comes with two interchangeable tips: a soft tip for writing on smooth glass, and a hard tip for use with screen protectors.

Add Comment

  • If opening stubbornly adhered Samsung devices was an Olympic sport, our teardown room would be filled with gold medals.

  • We take a minute to stretch while the iOpener works its magic, softening the adhesive under the rear glass.

  • Bang! The gun sounds. We fly off the starting blocks, iSclack and opening pick in hand. Pop! The rear glass dislodges from the chassis. Whoosh! The rest of the adhesive didn't stand a chance. Ka-pow! We're in.

    • And the crowd goes wild. Okay, but really. This is something of a delicate procedure, and we still miss the days of plastic peel off rear cases.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Samsung states that "once you've had wireless charging, there's [http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/galaxy-note7/performance/|no going back.|new_window=true]" It's like having the event horizon of a black hole right in your phone, with all the convenience that entails. Image 2/3: We suspect the NFC antenna is also bundled into this wafer-thin assembly. NFC is no stranger to [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+S7+Teardown/56686#s122897|Galaxy|new_window=true] [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+S6+Edge+Teardown/39158#s88452|Phones|new_window=true]. Image 3/3: With that, we get our first full reveal of the Note7. [Cue oohs and aahs]
  • Tinkerers love Phillips screws. Seeing these good ol' familiar screws draws our focus down to what they're securing: a sweet wireless charging coil.

    • Samsung states that "once you've had wireless charging, there's no going back." It's like having the event horizon of a black hole right in your phone, with all the convenience that entails.

  • We suspect the NFC antenna is also bundled into this wafer-thin assembly. NFC is no stranger to Galaxy Phones.

  • With that, we get our first full reveal of the Note7. [Cue oohs and aahs]

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Fortunately for us, a flick of a spudger is all it takes to pry the (off-kilter) battery connector cable off the motherboard. Image 2/3: With battery disconnected we delve deeper. Image 3/3: First victim: the single speaker, with built in antenna.
  • We come across an unusual battery cable design. At first glance, this is most definitely a slide. We're getting a little motion sick just looking at all of those winding curves.

  • Fortunately for us, a flick of a spudger is all it takes to pry the (off-kilter) battery connector cable off the motherboard.

  • With battery disconnected we delve deeper.

    • First victim: the single speaker, with built in antenna.

    • Of note, the speaker pass-through has a gasket and mesh liner, in addition to the grille punched into the case (likely a waterproofing measure).

Add Comment

Image 1/3: This 3500 mAh, 13.48 Wh battery is significantly more powerful than the 10.45 Wh one found in the similarly sized [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+6s+Plus+Teardown/48171#s107895|iPhone 6s Plus|new_window=true], but it falls just a bit short of its smaller sibling, the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+S7+Edge+Teardown/56845#s123311|Galaxy S7 Edge|new_window=true], which comes in at 13.86 Wh. Image 2/3: Curiously, the Note7's battery is fortified by walls carved from the rear case, providing extra structural integrity, and maybe even some water protection. Image 3/3: Curiously, the Note7's battery is fortified by walls carved from the rear case, providing extra structural integrity, and maybe even some water protection.
  • We could almost hear the battery laugh in our faces when we tried to pluck it out bare-handed—but our inner Hulk emerges as we muscle with all the might our spudger can muster.

  • This 3500 mAh, 13.48 Wh battery is significantly more powerful than the 10.45 Wh one found in the similarly sized iPhone 6s Plus, but it falls just a bit short of its smaller sibling, the Galaxy S7 Edge, which comes in at 13.86 Wh.

  • Curiously, the Note7's battery is fortified by walls carved from the rear case, providing extra structural integrity, and maybe even some water protection.

Dongguan ITM Electronics Company LTD, interesting that this name never appears in all the news stories about the exploding batteries.

Bruce Goren - Reply

Image 1/3: Front and rear cameras are familiar fare on smartphones, so what's the ''third'' camera for? Image 2/3: That would be the Note7's trick [http://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-note-7-iris-scanner-700377/|iris scanner|new_window=true]. It's actually a two-part system: a nearby infrared blaster invisibly lights up your eye,  while the sensor captures an image that's said to be more [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dFAyT4K0a4|secure|new_window=true] than a fingerprint. Image 3/3: For comparison we have the iris scanner (right) with the Note7's 5-megapixel, ƒ/1.7 selfie cam (left).
  • Out comes the motherboard, with three little cameras in tow.

  • Front and rear cameras are familiar fare on smartphones, so what's the third camera for?

    • That would be the Note7's trick iris scanner. It's actually a two-part system: a nearby infrared blaster invisibly lights up your eye, while the sensor captures an image that's said to be more secure than a fingerprint.

  • For comparison we have the iris scanner (right) with the Note7's 5-megapixel, ƒ/1.7 selfie cam (left).

Add Comment

Image 1/3: It's déjà vu all over again as we pull out what appears to be the same Sony [http://www.chipworks.com/about-chipworks/overview/blog/samsung-galaxy-s7-edge-teardown|IMX260|new_window=true]-based main camera that we uncovered in the S7 and S7 Edge. Image 2/3: ... And the similarities go further, all the way down to: Image 3/3: the Winbond Q32FWXGIG serial flash memory
  • With the motherboard deftly extracted, we take our tweezers to the hefty main camera and line him up for closer look.

  • It's déjà vu all over again as we pull out what appears to be the same Sony IMX260-based main camera that we uncovered in the S7 and S7 Edge.

  • ... And the similarities go further, all the way down to:

    • the Winbond Q32FWXGIG serial flash memory

    • and OIS-enabling gyroscope, likely the next generation of the one found in the S7 Edge

what is the GPS chip this device is using

Jason Chuang - Reply

Image 1/1: Samsung [http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/products/dram/mobile-dram/low-power-ddr4/K3RG2G20BM-MGCJ?ia=3107|K3RG2G20CMMGCJ|new_window=true] 4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM layered over a [https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon/processors/820|Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 |new_window=true]
  • We're down to the meat and potatoes of this teardown, and it seems like Samsung unified more than their product numbering—this chipset is nearly identical to that found in the S7 and S7 Edge.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: Samsung 3420S7 G707A3 Wi-Fi module (most likely contains a Broadcom Wi-Fi SoC)
  • More note-worthy chips hide on the backside:

    • Samsung 3420S7 G707A3 Wi-Fi module (most likely contains a Broadcom Wi-Fi SoC)

    • Wacom W9018 touch control IC

    • ZF10 110630 0625

    • Qualcomm PM8996 and PM8004 PMICs

    • Qualcomm QFE3100 envelope tracker

    • Qualcomm WTR4905 and WTR3925 RF transceivers

    • IDT P9221S wireless power receiver (likely an iteration of IDT P9220) + MPB02 603PD9 1625ELn + MAX77838 power IC

Add Comment

Image 1/3: This phablet ships with an [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code|new_window=true|IP68] water resistant rating, meaning it is dust tight, and can survive under 1 meter (or more) of water. Image 2/3: The USB-C port is [http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-note-7/706933-note-7-vs-note-5-differences.html?_ga=1.130201423.171962739.1471459233|new|new_window=true] to the Note line—and while reversibility is handy, change is hard. Samsung kindly includes a micro-USB-to-C adapter to keep your cables relevant. Image 3/3: Out goes the [https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/DElnJrR6KZTodyMs|daughterboard array|new_window=true]! Unlike the one found in the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+S7+Teardown/56686#s122936|S7|new_window=true ], this board used rigid PCB interconnects. This keeps the spidery cable from being flimsy. No one likes flimsy.
  • Heading south, we hit the modular headphone jack—ready to let the music flow while keeping water out, with a nice sealing gasket.

    • This phablet ships with an IP68 water resistant rating, meaning it is dust tight, and can survive under 1 meter (or more) of water.

  • The USB-C port is new to the Note line—and while reversibility is handy, change is hard. Samsung kindly includes a micro-USB-to-C adapter to keep your cables relevant.

  • Out goes the daughterboard array! Unlike the one found in the S7, this board used rigid PCB interconnects. This keeps the spidery cable from being flimsy. No one likes flimsy.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Nearby, a ''note''-able amount of glue secures this plastic cover over the S Pen chamber. It's probably there to help ingress-proof the stylus' slot. Image 2/3: We're not normally fans of glue—but this waterproofing effort doesn't seem to hinder repair much. Image 3/3: Inside, a simple clip grabs the S Pen notches, and a gray rubber bumper protects the nib.
  • If you like tiny heat pipes, Note7 has you covered. This looks like the same "liquid cooling" copper heat dispersal apparatus we pulled from the vanilla S7 and S7 Edge.

  • Nearby, a note-able amount of glue secures this plastic cover over the S Pen chamber. It's probably there to help ingress-proof the stylus' slot.

    • We're not normally fans of glue—but this waterproofing effort doesn't seem to hinder repair much.

    • Inside, a simple clip grabs the S Pen notches, and a gray rubber bumper protects the nib.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: First out are the microswitches, followed by a reinforcement bracket full of rubber gaskets. Not quite the same, but similar to another [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+6+Plus+Teardown/29206#s69180|waterproofing approach|new_window=true] we've seen. Image 2/3: But...what's this? The button covers are oddly trapped ''within'' the outer case. We can't pop them out! Image 3/3: Could this mean the case is double-walled? Is this a waterproofing feature? Perhaps a structural feature? Your guess is as good as ours.
  • The volume buttons look pretty complicated, but that doesn't slow us down. Braced with years of experience plucking our unibrows, we dive in, a pair of tweezers in hand.

  • First out are the microswitches, followed by a reinforcement bracket full of rubber gaskets. Not quite the same, but similar to another waterproofing approach we've seen.

  • But...what's this? The button covers are oddly trapped within the outer case. We can't pop them out!

    • Could this mean the case is double-walled? Is this a waterproofing feature? Perhaps a structural feature? Your guess is as good as ours.

Add Comment

Image 1/2: Status LED Image 2/2: IR blaster to enable iris scanning
  • We're down to slim pickings, and the last component to surrender is this front-facing sensor array containing:

    • Status LED

    • IR blaster to enable iris scanning

      • We saw the iris scanning sensor earlier—this component provides the infrared illumination to really make your eyes pop.

    • Proximity sensor

Add Comment

Image 1/1:
  • And here's the moment you've been waiting for—the exploded (edit: no pun intended) diagram of the Note7.

Add Comment

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)

43 Comments

would you think its worth upgrading from the s7edge to the Note 7?

Scott Ream - Reply

I would do that.

Gama Goat -

I would get the iPhone 7 :)

Gigabit878 -

Yeah I would, that stylus is so %#*@ sexy.

okdna -

For sure, note 7 is a beast of a phone, you wont regret it

Chad Preslar -

我对三星手机不感冒,note 7爆炸已经是人心惶惶

geeker -

Is it possible to keep the water resistance after opening the phone for something simple like battery replacement

CesarMarne Landeros - Reply

I will take my chances with this device to replace my note 4

pablo alvarez - Reply

I just did that and I dont like it.... The screen is not as wide because of the curve

Bill Gates -

Can you verify whether the phone will support 4x4 MIMO for LTE?

thomasukylaw - Reply

Some versions ll support 4*4 MIMO with qualcomm 820 chipset.

Lee -

I see no home button :/

MacArthur Lingenfelter - Reply

First picture in step 2 has it

Steve Fice -

Phone support 4x4 mimo ?

actcomm - Reply

The ones that support 4x4 mimo are the qualcomm 820 ones not the exynos powered note 7s

leadtwister101 -

4/10 repairability for the Note 7, and 7/10 repairability for the 6S? Come on Samsung, give that corruption money to iFixit so they can give you good scores arbitrarily...

Augure - Reply

do you even see an open iphone ? or you are just a troll that wants to say anything...I changed my iPhone screen without any knowledge about phone repairing...

Hadi -

dude iphone 6s doesn't have adhesive to open the phone, so yeah they have higher score in that.

beside see iphone7 which has a lot of adhesive for protect from water and dust

Stefanus Alfian -

I wouldn't call going from Note 5 to Note 7 the same as what Microsoft had to do. Do you realize how many websites and web based software apps rely on OS detection? It would make all the systems looking for windows9x break, badly. Samsung just want their version to start matching to help prevent confusion with the consumers.

maus - Reply

Is it possible to see what brand the fingerprint sensor is?

Albert - Reply

Can this phone make a call from Ireland to Northern California? What about from Portland, OR to Portland, ME??

MrKnowItAll1903 - Reply

Yes and yes, if you have international calling.

Gigabit878 -

Anyone k now if taking off the back cover messes up the waterproofing in any way? On my Note 5 I took the back cover off (very easy) and was able to repaint it a nice black with no logos and also put in small pieces of tin paper so it stuck on my magnetic car holder. But I'm hesitant to remove the Note 7 back. The process looks as easy as the Note 5, but I'm afraid of ruining the waterproof design.

R B - Reply

Is it possible to tear down the iris scanner? How many lenses does the iris scanner have?

Shirley - Reply

The Power Management is MAX77838 not MAX77830

sleepless - Reply

I think you're right, good catch! Thank you!

Paige Reisman -

Unfortunately they've all been recalled because of exploding batteries.....

Bill Mesker - Reply

Well the note 7 battery explodes

Dragon Slayer - Reply

It reads "Li-ion battery" on the battery label, so is it actually Li-ion cell using liquid EL or Li-polymer cell?

Daniel Xu - Reply

怎么全是英文评论?我是中国小伙,么么哒

geeker - Reply

Because ifixit is a website of USA...

因为iFixit是美国网站

lenovotcldellhp -

how about a tear down for the replacement unit?

GMA1008 - Reply

I would get the note 7

Ali2 - Reply

太可惜了 这么好的设计!

tombghostking - Reply

So I wanna buy a Galaxy Note 8

所以我想买Note8

lenovotcldellhp -

Did anybody try using external lipo battery with this device (or even a few 18650 cells in 4p1s configuration) :-)?

(instead of internal combutible one), or just slot in 1.5 AH 20C cell from the RC lipo pack instead of 3.5AH combustible one?

If coupled with good BMS circuit it would make this device safe instantly :-).

markcam - Reply

Perhaps you can add a battery from a different Samsung phone. Or only fast-charge from the wall and place the charger on a timer, 15m on and 15m off to prevent battery heating.

digitallyhere - Reply

And something Samsung can do with the people that refuse to turn over their phone is to ask them politely if they want battery logging data stored on the phone to help find the cause of the problem, turn it into a research project (using a new app I guess). This would prevent their next phone doing the same thing. The app could send a SOS (known from the phone’s rising temperature) and the collected data as the phone is combusting if it is WIFI/4G connected at the time. If the problem is found, the recall could be halted if it can be solved with a software patch (even if it is a battery problem – although liion tech is susceptable to insulation peircing from crystal growths in the battery and that is not avoidable).

digitallyhere - Reply

when's the date of this teardown article?

JOJ - Reply

ifixit 可以新增繁體中文嗎!

tpec01 - Reply

翻译这些文章实在是个麻烦事,所以目前只有英文版和法语版,而且法语版内容还很少。。。

It's so challenging to translate these articles, so only English and French versions of iFixit are available, and there's much less contents in French version.

lenovotcldellhp -

تشكرات ^_^ كثيرات

yaserkaray - Reply

May I know the model number of the panel of Note 7 ?

Eason Lin - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 73

Past 7 Days: 377

Past 30 Days: 1,446

All Time: 126,544