Video Overview

Introduction

Breaking news! Updated S9 Teardown Below!

There's a new Samsung Galaxy flagship phone in the world, the S9—and though you may have to squint to tell it apart from its predecessor, we're here to squint into its innards. It's time to tear down the Galaxy S9! Grab a spudger and let's poke around inside.

Were you hoping for something a little bigger? Try our S9+ teardown on for size.

Geek out with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, where we plug in with all our fellow tinkerers.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Samsung Galaxy S9, use our service manual.

This smaller version of the S9+ gets a big hardware upgrade. Let's take a look:
  • This smaller version of the S9+ gets a big hardware upgrade. Let's take a look:

    • Notchless 5.8" AMOLED Display with resolution of 2960 × 1440 (~570 ppi)

    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Samsung’s own Exynos 9810, depending on location

    • 12 MP OIS dual-aperture main camera—f/1.5 and f/2.4 modes—plus an 8 MP selfie cam

    • Headphone jack and microSD slot

    • IP68 water/dust-proofing rating

    • Android 8.0 Oreo

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We start with a sneak peek—X-ray intel provided by our co-conspirators at Creative Electron.
  • We start with a sneak peek—X-ray intel provided by our co-conspirators at Creative Electron.

  • If you liked the S8, we've got good news—Samsung agrees with you. The design seems almost totally unchanged, save for the new (and better) fingerprint sensor location.

  • Props to Samsung for keeping the headphone jack and expandable storage, all while maintaining IP68 protection.

    • Are these things new? No. Are they still good? We say yes.

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  • Getting inside a Galaxy phone hasn't gotten any easier lately, but at least the procedure is familiar:

    • Step 1: get it hot.

    • Step 2: add more heat.

    • Step 3: suction and slice, and don't hit that fingerprint sensor cable that you can't see.

  • You've probably heard us complain about this before, so we'll just add this: yes it's risky and tedious, but at least if you crack the back glass, you stand a chance of being able to replace it economically. (Our favorite fruit company is still working on that one.)

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  • Next we turn our attention to the brains of the phone, and after removing a few friendly Phillips screws, the motherboard slides free.

    • If this board already looks a bit worse for wear, that's because we previously removed the EMI shields for our video teardown. Give yourself a pat on the back if you noticed!

  • Near the top of the board we get a look at the S9's new heart rate and blood pressure sensors, a step up from the standard heart rate sensor seen on many phones.

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  • Compared to some flagships, the S9 has twice the f-stops and half the sensors.

  • Not shown: Samsung's highly touted 2 Gbit LPDDR4 DRAM, layered right underneath the image sensor.

  • Shown: Some other mystery chips.

    • RD938

    • ST Micro 743 2NWT (likely 2-axis gyro for optical image stabilization)

    • GigaDevice GD25LQ32 32 Mb serial flash

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  • We want to try out the S9's new dual aperture, but using the camera app seems a little too conventional.

  • After a bit of disassembly, a spudger seems to do the trick instead.

    • This may seem goofy, but the S9 really will have a small actuator that mechanically opens and closes the aperture—a mechanical bit that can fail.

  • Removing the lens also reveals the image sensor. Taking a closer look we see...yep that's an image sensor. Maybe some X-rays can show us that DRAM...

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  • Lets take a look at the chips that power all that fancy hardware:

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  • There's another gathering of integrated circuits on the flip side:

    • Murata KM7N07016 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module

    • NXP PN80T NFC controller

    • Qualcomm PM845 (likely PMIC)

    • Qualcomm SDR845 RF transceiver

    • Hard to make out, but we think this is likely the same Skyworks SKY78160-11 front-end module we found in the S9+

    • Qualcomm PM8005 PMIC

It is Qualcomm SDR845 RF transceiver, not Qualcomm SDR846

JJ Wu - Reply

Hard to make out but I think you’re right. We updated the text. Thanks for the tip!

Jeff Suovanen -

  • From "S9" to "See ya later!" This teardown is toast!

  • We skipped a lot of the familiar details—if you haven't already, you can get the deeper dive into some similar Samsungs like the S9+, S8, and S8+.

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Final Thoughts
  • Many components are modular and can be replaced independently.
  • The battery replacement is technically possible, but accessing it is an unnecessary challenge.
  • Glued-down glass both front and back means greater risk of breakage, and makes repairs difficult to start.
  • Screen repairs require a lot of disassembly while battling tough adhesive.
Repairability Score
4
Repairability 4 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)

7 Comments

Hello:

So, no radio on this model either?

Thanx for another great video and teardown explanation : )

Héctor Gonçalvez - Reply

that was perfect

mohsen - Reply

Can you identify and break apart the RF front end please

Mikey W - Reply

Can the outer glass be replaced without replacing the entire lce

lovemolai - Reply

I team, I tried using some applications and my device got bricked. What should I do? It is stuck at the logo!

hateman00 - Reply

Is there any physical difference between the Qualcomm Single & Dual-SIM versions (ditto for the Exynos versions)?

Was just curious if the only difference is the software & possibly the SIM Tray,to where you could convert,say,a US Single SIM version to a Dual-SIM version found in the other markets.

KOLIO - Reply

Physically my s9 in okay. Except the back glass in broken most likely ran over by car. It boots up just barely. It was working fine until I tried “Okay Google.” As with most glitches I restarted the phone and that's when I realized something was wrong after I found it in the road at work.  Popped off the Otter box. Saw the back glass all cracked up. Side to side it appears fine, not crushed. But obviously something from failing off the muffler of a Ford explorer and then sitting in the road internally something is damaged. It will charge, I can reach the Boot menu via the Power+volume down button. Any Ideas on where to go to get repaired? Or….Go to E bay and buy something else since Verizon did not here my request for coverage to be added to my phone on 3 separate occasions and there crappy Insurer denied my claim. Thank you greatly for any consideration to a reply. T. Mills [mailto:treeoflife23@hotmail.com|treeoflife23@hotmail.com] or [mailto:westhitter@gmail.com|westhitter@gmail.com]

Trevor Mills - Reply

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