Galaxy S9+ teardown sheds some light on camera technology, low repairability and more


Whether you’re thinking of purchasing a Galaxy S9 and want to take a closer look at its “reimagined” internals or hate Samsung’s guts and love to see the company’s flagship phones brutally tortured, the latest iFixit teardown delivers in style.

Both the smaller variant, with its single rear-facing camera and 4GB RAM, and the larger model, featuring a fancy dual shooter setup and 6 gigs of memory, will put up quite a fight if you try to disassemble them.

You’re clearly not advised to attempt any amateur repairs at home, as the glass sandwich design and curved screen contribute to a DIY enthusiast’s worst nightmare. You can basically damage the display or rear glass at every step of the teardown process, and both the battery and AMOLED panel are unnecessarily hard to replace.

On the bright side, many smaller and cheaper components can be replaced independently with relative ease, so although the 4 repairability score is obviously not ideal, at least the Galaxy S9 doesn’t lose any extra points compared to its predecessor.

What it gains is a significantly more complex camera system with dual aperture. Still, the two rear-facing image sensors on the Galaxy S9+ are technically a single unit, on a single PCB, with a single connector. The variable aperture feature is also made possible by a relatively simple combination of two rotating, ring-like blades, compared to “standard camera lenses”, which typically use “at least five aperture blades” to support many f-stop adjustments.

Sadly but perhaps unsurprisingly, the S9+ iris scanner, front-facing camera, IR emitter and proximity sensor are described as looking “pretty much exactly” like their Galaxy S8 counterparts, which means AR Emoji is purely a software trick. No super-advanced TrueDepth Camera-like technology equals no true Animoji rival.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).