Video Overview

Introduction

Okay, this phone may have been cracked open a couple times already, but we're eager to investigate the mysterious thermal spreader ourselves. Will the fancy new tech in the S7 be as cool as it's cracked up to be? Only a teardown will tell.

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Samsung Galaxy S7, use our service manual.

Image 1/3: 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 × 1440 resolution (576 ppi) Image 2/3: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4 GB RAM + Adreno 530 GPU Image 3/3: 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixel autofocus, 4K video capture; 5-megapixel selfie camera
  • While legend has it that the number 7 has magical qualities, there's no knowing what qualities the S7 has. If we were to guess completely at random:

    • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 × 1440 resolution (576 ppi)

    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4 GB RAM + Adreno 530 GPU

    • 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixel autofocus, 4K video capture; 5-megapixel selfie camera

    • 32 or 64 GB internal storage, expandable via MicroSD card (up to 200 GB additional)

    • IP68 water resistance rating

    • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

  • Since the S7 has never been seen on the internet before, there's no way to know if these educated guesses are right.

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Image 1/2: Sorry—which one's the S7 again? We have to flip them over to double-check. Image 2/2: That's better. Unlike its predecessor, the S7's back panel curves gently on the sides, making it a more grabbable handset.
  • Compared with its predecessor, the Galaxy S6, the all-new S7 is... uhhhh...

    • Sorry—which one's the S7 again? We have to flip them over to double-check.

  • That's better. Unlike its predecessor, the S7's back panel curves gently on the sides, making it a more grabbable handset.

  • The S7 also shaves off roughly a millimeter from the S6's length and width, while packing on nearly a full extra mm in thickness. That said, at 7.9 mm, it's plenty thin—and even sports a reduced camera bump.

  • After tearing down the S6, we weren't exactly wowed by its glass-on-glue construction; it scored a 4 out of 10 and a big "meh" in the repairability department. Here's hoping that, appearances notwithstanding, the S7 will fare better...

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Image 1/3: Many new flagship phones (Nexus 6P, LG G5, OnePlus 2) feature Type-C, though few fully utilize the power of the connector. Image 2/3: For now, Samsung seems to think that the older, more widely compatible standard is good enough. Image 3/3: Or, they just thought it would be awkward if all those [http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/02/samsung-galaxy-s7-pre-orders-come-with-free-gear-vr-headset/|free|new_window=true] Gear VR headsets weren't compatible with the phones they shipped with.
  • Interestingly, Samsung chose to stay with a run-of-the-mill micro USB port, instead of the new USB Type-C standard.

    • Many new flagship phones (Nexus 6P, LG G5, OnePlus 2) feature Type-C, though few fully utilize the power of the connector.

    • For now, Samsung seems to think that the older, more widely compatible standard is good enough.

      • Or, they just thought it would be awkward if all those free Gear VR headsets weren't compatible with the phones they shipped with.

  • Samsung has also made upgrading to a new phone incredibly easy, with an included USB adapter. It's almost like they expect you to buy a new phone before your current device is completely worn out beyond repair. Weird.

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  • With no exterior screws to be found, there can only be one form of dark matter holding this Galaxy together. Yep, that'd be glue.

    • Fortunately, it's nothing a hot iOpener can't handle.

  • We love any excuse to break out our trusty twin-suction-cupped iSclack tool, and the S7's front and rear glass panels make it a perfect target.

  • With the rear glass lifted by a smidge, we attack with an opening pick and slice apart the adhesive.

  • All in all, it's the same drill as last time—with maybe a slight increase in stickiness.

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Image 1/2: Removing the back cover hasn't given us access to anything useful—just a smooth surface for the glass to stick to. Image 2/2: Fortunately, part of that surface consists of screws.
  • Where last year we found gooey white adhesive, we now find gooey black adhesive. Possibly it was reformulated for waterproofing purposes—or, it could just be a matter of better color-matching.

  • Removing the back cover hasn't given us access to anything useful—just a smooth surface for the glass to stick to.

  • Fortunately, part of that surface consists of screws.

Hey how hard was it really to get the back off, I ask because I cracked the glass on the back of my S7 already. Two days into having it... Which is why I never spend more than $100 on a phone, until now......

Gavin Ralbag - Reply

Image 1/3: ...and its speaker... Image 2/3: ...[https://33.media.tumblr.com/2e727c5f4e50b0a841180b1c2b5bf830/tumblr_inline_o04r25YEnl1sflqjn_500.gif|and MY axe|new_window=true]. Image 3/3: We'd rather see a user-replaceable battery, or at least an accessible connector for one, but these days we're not expecting much from Samsung. Its once-lofty repairability scores have [https://www.ifixit.com/smartphone-repairability|fallen hard|new_window=true] from the heady days of the Galaxy S4.
  • Actually, that smooth surface contains some useful bits, like the S7's antennas...

  • ...and its speaker...

  • ...and MY axe.

  • We'd rather see a user-replaceable battery, or at least an accessible connector for one, but these days we're not expecting much from Samsung. Its once-lofty repairability scores have fallen hard from the heady days of the Galaxy S4.

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Image 1/2: Last year's Galaxy flagship had a single [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+S6+Teardown/39174#s89600|midframe|new_window=true] with a handful of aggressively adhered parts, so this separation is a welcome change in our book. Image 2/2: All these modular components connect to the motherboard by way of tiny spring contacts, making removal and replacement a snap—once you've muscled your way past all the glue and glass, anyway.
  • We line up the pieces for a closer look at the individual components, including the wireless charging coil.

    • Last year's Galaxy flagship had a single midframe with a handful of aggressively adhered parts, so this separation is a welcome change in our book.

  • All these modular components connect to the motherboard by way of tiny spring contacts, making removal and replacement a snap—once you've muscled your way past all the glue and glass, anyway.

What is that part with H-NA right above it? It's seen in the first picture for step 7. The back side has the part number A6204AV2, which is a speaker housing. When I took the back plate off my phone, I left a dent in that part and I'd like to understand what that might be in case I damaged it.

Roger Barnes - Reply

Image 1/3: That's a significant boost over the Galaxy S6's 2550 mAh battery, and it even beats the much larger [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+6s+Plus+Teardown/48171#s107895|iPhone 6s Plus|new_window=true]'s 2750 mAh powerplant. Image 2/3: Sadly, as evidenced by this important warning label, the S7's battery does not work in the presence of puppies. Image 3/3: Although the battery upgrade means more time to binge on apps and games,  the battery itself is well wedged and adhered in place, making extraction a little tough.
  • Samsung got some flak from consumers for reducing battery capacity in last year's S6. It seems they took the hint and made up for it by including this 3000 mAh battery in the S7.

    • That's a significant boost over the Galaxy S6's 2550 mAh battery, and it even beats the much larger iPhone 6s Plus's 2750 mAh powerplant.

    • Sadly, as evidenced by this important warning label, the S7's battery does not work in the presence of puppies.

  • Although the battery upgrade means more time to binge on apps and games, the battery itself is well wedged and adhered in place, making extraction a little tough.

  • If it wasn't designed to be readily removed, then it wasn't intended to be repaired or replaced. Boo.

I would never buy a phone with this warning against puppies

Alber Einsten - Reply

Image 1/2: Unfortunately, you'll have to work almost as hard to get flawless selfies on the S7 as you did on the S6. The only front-facing camera upgrade here is the shiny new ƒ/1.7 aperture. Image 2/2: With the front camera out of the way, we lift up the motherboard and find a [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+S6+Teardown/39174#s89614|new_window=true|familiar daughterboard connector] on its underside.
  • Working our way to the motherboard, we pluck out a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

  • Unfortunately, you'll have to work almost as hard to get flawless selfies on the S7 as you did on the S6. The only front-facing camera upgrade here is the shiny new ƒ/1.7 aperture.

  • With the front camera out of the way, we lift up the motherboard and find a familiar daughterboard connector on its underside.

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Image 1/3: However, the sensor in the S7 sports Dual Pixel autofocus technology (a.k.a. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autofocus#Phase_detection|phase detection|new_window=true]) for every pixel. Image 2/3: Additionally, these pixels measure in at 1.4 µm—a full 25% increase from last year's model—which will reduce noise and improve overall image quality. Image 3/3: So, despite having fewer pixels, even photos taken in the worst lighting should come out clearer in a head-to-head comparison.
  • Compared to the 16-megapixel rear camera on the S6, it seems the S7 got a downgrade with a 12-megapixel/4K rear camera .

    • However, the sensor in the S7 sports Dual Pixel autofocus technology (a.k.a. phase detection) for every pixel.

    • Additionally, these pixels measure in at 1.4 µm—a full 25% increase from last year's model—which will reduce noise and improve overall image quality.

  • So, despite having fewer pixels, even photos taken in the worst lighting should come out clearer in a head-to-head comparison.

Why is that I see dislocation on the plastic above the SoC?

ivanikona - Reply

What is the package named 'RAY0P' for?

kevin rho - Reply

Image 1/1: SK Hynix [https://www.skhynix.com/static/filedata/fileDownload.do?seq=280|H9KNNNCTUMU-BRNMH|new_window=true] 4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM layered over the Qualcomm [https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon/processors/820|MSM8996|new_window=true] Snapdragon 820
  • Our friends at Chipworks may have beaten us to the punch, but that doesn't stop us from giving this board our due diligence. Squirreled away under the EMI shields, we find:

    • SK Hynix H9KNNNCTUMU-BRNMH 4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM layered over the Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820

    • Samsung KLUBG4G1CE 32 GB MLC Universal Flash Storage 2.0

    • Qualcomm WCD9335 Audio Codec

The part number of the memory should be H9HKNNNCTUMUBR-NMH.

H9KNNNCTUMU-BRNMH is incorrect.

JJ Wu - Reply

Image 1/1: Avago AFEM-9040 Multiband Multimode Module
  • And some more:

    • Avago AFEM-9040 Multiband Multimode Module

    • Murata FAJ15 Front End Module

    • Qorvo QM78064 High Band RF Fusion Module

    • Qorvo QM63001A Diversity Receive Module

    • DSP DBMD4 Audio/Voice Processor

S7 snap 820 dual sim is not

Englishbui - Reply

Image 1/1: Samsung 1316S7 Wi-Fi Module
  • And on the flip side...

    • Samsung 1316S7 Wi-Fi Module

    • NXP 67T05 NFC Controller

    • IDT P9221 Wireless Power Receiver (likely an iteration of IDT P9220)

    • STMicroelectronics LSM6DS3 always-on 6-Axis IMU

    • Qualcomm PM8996 PMIC

    • Qualcomm QFE3100 Envelope Tracker

    • Qualcomm WTR4905 and WTR3925 RF Transceivers

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Image 1/3: Complete with cute rubber seal! Image 2/3: Looks like Samsung decided to take its ruggedized "Sport" standards to their flagship, with a hefty IP68 rating (the highest level being IP69). Image 3/3: Perhaps responding to a certain fruit company's recent [https://ifixit.org/blog/7408/iphone-waterproof/|new_window=true|waterproofing efforts]?
  • Next up is the S7's modular headphone jack.

    • Complete with cute rubber seal!

  • Looks like Samsung decided to take its ruggedized "Sport" standards to their flagship, with a hefty IP68 rating (the highest level being IP69).

  • We find more rubber seals around the lower microphone and speaker making for some serious ingress protection.

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Image 1/3: These sandwiched cables make a daughterboard replacement (including the charging port) next to impossible, since freeing these cables means removing the OLED screen. Image 2/3: Undaunted, we bring back our iOpener to ease the ~~tension~~ adhesive. Image 3/3: While we're at it, we grab a trusty opening pick and set to work on the terrible task of prying open the OLED.
  • Just like its predecessor, the cables for the S7's soft buttons are wrapped around the display-backing frame.

    • These sandwiched cables make a daughterboard replacement (including the charging port) next to impossible, since freeing these cables means removing the OLED screen.

  • Undaunted, we bring back our iOpener to ease the tension adhesive.

  • While we're at it, we grab a trusty opening pick and set to work on the terrible task of prying open the OLED.

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Image 1/3: Just for those of you keeping score, this messy situation prevents easy replacement of: display and digitizer (of course), USB port, microphone, and soft button LEDs. Image 2/3: If you need to replace the charging port, unless you have some microsoldering skills, you have two options: sacrifice those soft button LEDs or replace your display in the process. Image 3/3: Remember that fake "midframe" made of antennas? Turns out the S7 just buried its midframe deeper, and adhered the display to it, rather than secure its [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+S6+Teardown/39174#s89600|display assembly to a midframe] with screws.
  • Peeling up those pesky soft button LED cables lets us finally free the daughterboard.

  • Just for those of you keeping score, this messy situation prevents easy replacement of: display and digitizer (of course), USB port, microphone, and soft button LEDs.

    • If you need to replace the charging port, unless you have some microsoldering skills, you have two options: sacrifice those soft button LEDs or replace your display in the process.

  • Remember that fake "midframe" made of antennas? Turns out the S7 just buried its midframe deeper, and adhered the display to it, rather than secure its display assembly to a midframe with screws.

    • This beefs up the S7’s waterproofiness, but means more of a fight to repair the thing should you suffer non-water related troubles.

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Image 1/3: It's a tiny copper twig. Image 2/3: Actually, it's a ''teeny'' [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pipe|heat pipe|new_window=true] (thin copper tube) with less than half a gram of material, measuring less than half a millimeter thick. Image 3/3: This may not be as revolutionary [https://youtu.be/O6KeASdz2AI?t=25m42s|as Samsung describes it|new_window=true], but most heat pipes ''do'' technically use liquid to transfer heat.
  • Alright, the moment we've all been waiting for: the legendary "liquid cooling" system in the S7.

  • It's a tiny copper twig.

    • Actually, it's a teeny heat pipe (thin copper tube) with less than half a gram of material, measuring less than half a millimeter thick.

  • This may not be as revolutionary as Samsung describes it, but most heat pipes do technically use liquid to transfer heat.

  • In the case of the S7, we're guessing that the pipe transfers heat to the phone's metal midframe, where it can then radiate out to the side—or directly into your hands.

  • We've seen heat pipes in phones before, but the growing need for them shows how phone processors are getting faster (and sometimes hotter) each year.

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Image 1/2: Many components are modular and can be replaced independently. Image 2/2: Unlike the S6 Edge, the battery can be removed without first ousting the motherboard—but tough adhesive and a glued-on rear panel make replacement more difficult than necessary.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Repairability Score: 3 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • Many components are modular and can be replaced independently.

    • Unlike the S6 Edge, the battery can be removed without first ousting the motherboard—but tough adhesive and a glued-on rear panel make replacement more difficult than necessary.

    • The display needs to be removed (and likely destroyed) if you want to replace the USB port.

    • 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.

    • Replacing the glass without destroying the display is probably impossible.

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49 Comments

Fantastic breakdown, shame that Samsung refuse to have easily repaired phones (or even replace the battery). Its as if they want you to buy a new one... At the end of the day, I love my S4 (CM13) and until there is a reason to up(down)grade I am happy with it

Lucas - Reply

brightness of the photos is the best reason

m2k -

You mean, shame that customers dont want big fat heavy slow phones?

grevichjon -

Thanks for helping me decide which phone to get. Samsung is out of my list because I keep my phone longer than the battery lasts. So the shortlist is down to Nexus 5X and LG G5. Keep on your good work:-)

Jens Anders Salberg - Reply

G5 man

It's compatible with that little rolly ball thing

Albert Einstein -

This thing looks like, in the real world, it's a throw away.

T Peter - Reply

Considering you can replace both the battery and the display I don't consider it a throw away. Sure it is way harder than it should be, but it isn't impossible. P.S, I doubt the G5 will get a much higher repairability score. Have you seen its design? Thing is sealed in tighter than a space shuttle, except the battery

nikolaskovack -

So uhhh how about that G5 repairability score niko?

Salem Techsperts -

Another reason the LG G5 wins, it's not a freaking lazy throw away. This kind of e waste design needs to be banned. We don't have unlimited materials on earth to waste on a phone.

John Ross - Reply

who says you can't replace the components inside, the worst you can get is destroying the back unless you are extremely dumb/careless

Ethan Chow -

The model is G930V (Verizon) and not G930F(Global) as the top right of the page suggests?

don - Reply

It looks like a dual SIM slot. So it cannot be a US model afaik.

Abhijeet Gogawale -

Why not do a teardown on Exynos 8890 version?

cddule - Reply

the USB port could be changed without removing the display. it can be desoldered and replaced. unless your soft buttons broke it need not be removed. i think the above statement is misleading,

" The display needs to be removed (and likely destroyed) if you want to replace the USB port."

Sri Kumar - Reply

*hater gonna hate* iFixit is shameless Apple coward sites. Who &&^&^$^ cares. Because these sites and its writers are apple-biased. This is not true. The exaggeration in this post. They campaign (Apple cowards) against Samsung S7.

mrkumaran - Reply

Nice teardown iFixit! Question I hope you can answer: There is a Flex coming from the Display back next to the Battery holder, where the heatpipe bends. Where is this Flex coming from?

First I thought this was perhaps the Touchscreen controller, however the S6 had this integrated in a single 60ckt. connection to the board, whereas the S7 has a 64ckt. connection using the same screen as the S6. So perhaps this is something else?

Thanks for your advise on this!

Ferdi - Reply

That's the home button cable :)

Andrew Optimus Goldberg -

Historians has noted how technology has regressed to the point that there was no proper solution of sealing a mere phone's back without destroying it while opening in 2016.

J87 - Reply

It has got really strong equipment...

http://alemicihan.com/post/140742414501/...

Merve Yilma - Reply

Planned obsolescence at its best. Too bad, Samsung was one of my favorites.

Techie Purple guy - Reply

and I just got an S5 two weeks ago, from Verizon, for $550. I knew about the S7, but not its release. Literally the next day after I got the phone, I looked up the S7 on Phone arena, and found the release date was much sooner than expected.

chris kalkman - Reply

$550 for an s5? Dude you got ripped off BIG TIME, you can't even get an S6 for that high

nikolaskovack -

Definitely ripped off man, I got my s5 last year for $300

Dan Grimes -

Is the rear panel full glass? or glass over metal? I just cracked my rear glass from really small (18inch) drop. and I'm wonderingn if I ruined my IP68 rating? or can i still use it until repair parts are available.

insang song - Reply

Any Answers to this? is there a "sub layer" under the rear glass so that if the glass cracks the IP68 rating will remain? or is the IP rating toast.

insang song -

Many thanks guys great fantastic work

best regards

andres

andrzejczarnecki - Reply

Did i see right? The glass is no longer permanently cemented to the screen? That seems like an improvement...

kylegreenhow - Reply

So glad I held onto my S5... the last good Samsung phone, and a battery that can be removed without removing multiple layers of glue and risking breaking your whole fscking phone.

Scott Remick - Reply

Instead of usb charging cut this down by maybeva %tage and use a wifi set up my s5vusb port jacked no ordinary fixer would touch it lucky me Sam done it free

robbiewilkie2004 - Reply

What, what ?

maitaioneone -

Here's my advice in response to this so-called tear down...DON'T DO IT. YOU WILL REGRET IT

samadams72 - Reply

Very easy to desamble s7 is no complicade

Lankins - Reply

Is not complicade to desarme new s7 before s6 is moré easy

Lankins - Reply

Very important articule about s7

Lankins - Reply

Just because something is slightly complicated or in the "too hard and delicate basket" to fix, doesn't mean it's a great phone. It is and I just love my Samsung S7 edge. Man up, and get it done.

Jason Edwards - Reply

Here's a rule of thumb for all computers, grevichjon: the larger the device, the more space available to make it fast and keep it cool.

If you don't know something as simple and fundamental to computing as that, how did you even find this place? In any case, don't hurt your tender wrists with all those extra grams.

fbhmtk - Reply

Where can I find instructions for the iOpener for a Galaxy S7. How long in what power microwave? How long on phone before opening?

Alan Kmiecik - Reply

What's the rear camera and flash glass made from? Gorilla?

kelvinmickelson - Reply

I was told Himax Technologies has controllers or other components (cameras, ect) in the Galaxy S6's and S7's- is this true?

Richard Smatt - Reply

I was also told that this came from Himax: 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 × 1440 resolution (576 ppi)

Richard Smatt -

Is it necessary to remove the back cover and components just to replace the front lens? If so, why?

Moira Dougherty - Reply

Who's the supplier for speaker amplifier?

Wayne Park - Reply

cool! you break the display.. and also all adhesives that correctly removed can be reused perfectly :) but respect!... with such teardown you earned the phone price 10x

albert einstein - Reply

Can you switch a verizon logic board to att or are they different?

cartmanlad - Reply

does anyone know how to get my data off my phone with a black and broken touch screen?

Is it possible to remove the internal storage card and somehow get the data off the card directly?

Whitney Prossner - Reply

Hi, Want to repair your Samsung Galaxy S7? Here's what you should be reading

https://techyuga.com/samsung-galaxy-s7-r...

Try it, I found it really useful.

Mona Sen - Reply

Is a FM radio chip set installed inside S7 ?

Quattro Lee - Reply

Does anybody know where I can get the small red and white wires from?

Luke - Reply

Is it possible the Canada version of the S7 has the dual sim slot, but they are not offering the dual tray ?

Mb Robich - Reply

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