Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are officially on sale March 16. Both models have made it to the press for review, and teardowns are already popping up online. The updated specs are predictably impressive, but compared to the S8 and S8 Plus, they only amount to minor upgrades, which has a good number of reviewers suggesting that consumers stick to last year’s models.
You can read all about the features in further detail in the provided hyperlinks, but until a broken one comes across your desk, let’s ponder what the upgrades on the S9 and S9 Plus might mean for future repairs.
Noteworthy Aspects on the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
Here are our key repair-related takeaways from early teardowns and reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Screenshots are taken from this teardown.
- Repositioned Fingerprint Scanner: Samsung has made the fingerprint scanner on both phones immensely more reachable (or touchable, tappable, pokable, whatever your vernacular) by placing it underneath the camera module instead of next to it. Will this cut down on butterfingers accidents? Time – and some data analysts with time on their hands – will tell if the more comfortably placed fingerprint scanner cuts down on drops, cracked screens, and splintered glass.
- Front Camera and Iris Scanner: These two are housed together, like on the S8. If one goes, so does the other. A simple removal.
- IP68 Dust-and-Water-Resistant Rating: That spells more insane amounts of adhesive to carve your way through.
- Full Glass Back: For wireless charging, naturally. Still as fragile as ever.
- Smaller Bezels: The screens appear bigger, so damage to the corners or edges might be more of a nuisance to users than scuffs and scratches on the S8 and S8 Plus.
- Charging Port and Headphone Jack Still Intact: You can expect these to remain high-wear items.
- Main Back Camera has a Mechanical Aperture: This is what excites most people about the S9 and S9 Plus. Only the S9 Plus gets dual back cameras, but the main camera on both has improved specs and an actual mechanical aperture that automatically detects day from night. Cool as that is, it’s one more thing that can break.
- Same Battery Sizes: No big change here, and it’s still gummed down with plenty of adhesive.
- Overall, incremental changes from the S8 and S8 Plus: There’s nothing revolutionary going on with the S9 and S9 Plus, so repairs won’t be much different than on the S8 and S8 Plus (not that those are all that much fun). Expect to enter through the back glass for every repair. Be ready to employ lots of heat to cut through adhesive. Be careful not to crack the curved screen when separating the back glass. Anticipate the battery to put up a decent fight. On the bright side, most components attached to the motherboard are modular and easy to replace once you’ve fought your way through the glue.
To know the Galaxy S9, one must know the Galaxy S8
However many of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus actually sell, there are sure to be some broken ones. As long as you know your way around a Galaxy S8, you should be fine to tackle one of these when it finally crosses your desk.