SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is not as easy to repair as the base model

Phone
By 

Last updated: January 22nd, 2021 at 15:51 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G recently went through a disassembly process on camera, courtesy of tech YouTuber PBKreviews, and it turns out that the largest model from the new flagship series is not quite as easy to repair as the base Galaxy S21 variant. There are a couple of reasons for this and the fancier glass back panel is one of them.

Samsung’s glass-clad flagships always risk getting a lower repairability score than other devices because there’s an inherent risk of damaging the glass back panel upon its removal. A heat gun is virtually required to disassemble the Galaxy S21 or the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but the flexibility of the base model’s polycarbonate back panel prevents it from shattering.

Interestingly, the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s metal camera housing is stuck to the glass back panel with adhesive and each camera lens cover is also removable independently. As far as repairability goes, this is a much more sensible solution than the one employed by the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The latter model has a one-piece glass component covering the entire camera assembly.

Galaxy S21 Ultra gets a 6/10 repairability score

Removing the glass back panel is only the first step. What follows is the removal of numerous screws and ribbon cables; a process that will test your patience should you decide to go the DIY route and repair the Galaxy S21 Ultra yourself.

Like the base Galaxy S21 model, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a battery that’s stuck to the phone’s chassis with adhesive. Samsung continues the tradition of making the repairman’s job more difficult by excluding pull tabs from the battery, so and once again a heat gun is virtually mandatory for this component’s removal.

Worth noting is that the ribbon cable connecting the display to the motherboard can’t be removed from both ends. The cable is stuck to the display, which makes replacing this component a lot more difficult than it would’ve been otherwise. It’s another reason why the Galaxy S21 Ultra gets a lower repairability score than the base model, the latter of which secured a 7.5/10.

And in case you’re wondering, the international / Exynos-powered Galaxy S21 Ultra model featured in the disassembly video uses graphite film as a cooling solution instead of a copper vapor chamber. The same material was used in some Galaxy Note 20 models seemingly at random, but with the new Galaxy S21 lineup, Samsung may have switched entirely to graphite. The new 5nm-based Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888 chipsets are more power-efficient than the previous 7nm solutions so perhaps a vapor chamber is no longer required to keep temperatures in check.

Via Phone Galaxy S21Galaxy S21 Ultra
Load 11 comments

You might also like

[List] Which Galaxy devices have received Android 12 and One UI 4?

Samsung started beta testing Android 12 and One UI 4.0 almost four moths ago, before bringing the official stable version to the Galaxy S21 series in mid-November. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 got the update next, and here in the middle of the year’s final holiday stretch, Samsung has […]

  • By Abhijeet Mishra
  • 2 hours ago

What is the newest Samsung phone? – August 2022

It has often been difficult to keep track of the newest Samsung phone given that the company releases so many throughout the year. Samsung has dozens of models across different series which cater to all price ranges. This page will be updated on a monthly basis to ensure that you can always know what is […]

  • By Adnan Farooqui
  • 1 week ago

Samsung is now testing One UI 5.0 beta for the Galaxy S20 and S21

The One UI 5.0 beta program opened up for the public last week. The Galaxy S22 series is the first and, so far, the only device to run One UI 5.0 beta, but other Galaxy flagships from previous generations could soon join the S22. We’re hearing that Samsung is now testing One UI 5.0 beta […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 1 week ago

Carrier-locked Galaxy S21 units start getting August 2022 security update in the US

Two weeks ago, the Galaxy S21 became one of the first phones in the world to get the August 2022 security update. However, the update was limited to international variants of the high-end smartphone. Now, one of the US variants of the Galaxy S21 has started getting the new security update. Galaxy S21 August 2022 […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 2 weeks ago

Samsung’s Self-Repair program is live in the USA for a few Galaxy devices

Samsung’s self-repair program is going live in the United States today. Galaxy S20 / Galaxy S21 series and Galaxy Tab S7+ customers can now refer to Samsung’s Self-Repair program web portal, where they can purchase genuine replacement parts and iFixit repair tools. According to the tech giant, the idea behind the self-repair program is to allow customers to […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 2 weeks ago

Samsung shows everyone who’s the king of Android updates

I’ve been covering Samsung for long enough to remember the time when its track record with Android updates used to be dismal. Samsung would often be the last among all Android OEMs to launch major software updates. Even when they did arrive users in select markets, particularly those with carrier-locked units in the US, would […]

  • By Adnan Farooqui
  • 3 weeks ago