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Galaxy Note 20 series uses different cooling methods seemingly at random


Last updated: August 25th, 2020 at 11:44 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G got their iFixit teardown treatment not long ago and if you’ve seen a Galaxy flagship teardown before then you have a pretty accurate idea of what to expect from Samsung’s latest. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G got a repairability score of 3/10, same as the Galaxy S20+, the Galaxy Note 10+, and the Galaxy S10+ before it. That’s because Samsung’s method of manufacturing its flagship hasn’t fundamentally changed in years.

Samsung’s new S Pen flagship uses a lot of adhesive to keep many of its components in place, and replacing the battery is as difficult as usual. On the bright side, the printed circuit boards are held in place by standard Phillips screws, so all in all, it’s the usual Galaxy flagship teardown, with one bizarre exception.

Not every Galaxy Note 20 / Note 20 Ultra is cooled the same

By far, the most interesting aspect revealed by the recent iFixit teardown is that not every Galaxy Note 20 model is cooled using the same methods. The source discovered that while some Galaxy Note 20 models have the kind of copper vapor chamber you’d expect from most flagships, others use a multi-layered graphite thermal pad instead.

You might be thinking that the graphite solution is being used by the base Galaxy Note 20 model while the copper vapor chamber has been reserved by Samsung for the more expensive Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Both cooling methods are reportedly used for both the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and this is regardless of whether they are powered by the Exynos 990 or the Snapdragon 865+ chipset.

There’s seemingly no rhyme or reason to Samsung’s decision to use a copper vapor chamber in some units and a multi-layered graphite thermal pad in others. Perhaps the company is testing the waters with different cooling solutions and it’s preparing to move away from copper vapor chambers and heat pipes. Either way, the good news is that we haven’t heard any reports of the Galaxy Note 20 or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra overheating, so both cooling methods seem to be working fine.

Why do you think Samsung has adopted different cooling solutions for different Galaxy Note 20 / Note 20 Ultra units? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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