The first Galaxy S23 Ultra teardown videos are in, and it looks like Samsung has indeed addressed one of the worst aspects that negatively affected the repairability scores of its flagship phones. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the first Samsung flagship that makes battery replacements easier, as the company finally gave up on the practice of gluing this component to the mid-frame.
When other OEMs began using pull tabs to make battery replacements easier, Samsung stuck with glue — no pun intended. But due to new EU regulations demanding easier repairability, Samsung finally turned around and is now trying to make more sustainable consumer electronics.
As a result, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is its first flagship to use an adhesive pouch with a pull tab for the battery. DIY-ers will no longer have to use a heat gun to soften the glue keeping the battery stuck to the mid-frame, and this lends the Galaxy S23 a much higher repairability score of 9/10 (via PBKreviews). In contrast, last year, the Galaxy S22 Ultra received a score of 3/10.
We’re guessing that the other two models in the flagship series, i.e., the S23 and S23+, adhere to similar practices and should get a similar repairability score. And it’s worth noting that the adhesive battery pouch is not exclusive to Samsung’s high-end phones. The first phone we saw using this method was the Galaxy A14, released earlier this year ahead of Unpacked 2023.
Furthermore, the teardown video below confirms previous reports on the Galaxy S23 Ultra using a larger vapor chamber than the 2022 model. It helps keep the new and overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset cooler.
The Edge display remains vulnerable to damage from drops
Repairability is one thing, but what about durability? Well, the independent reviewer behind the Galaxy S23 Ultra teardown also ran a few drop tests on Samsung’s new flagship, and you’ll find the results below.
In short, even though the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s Armor Aluminum frame is as durable as ever, the smartphone’s slightly curved design makes it more vulnerable to drops from certain angles. Despite featuring Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection, which is supposed to be more resistant to drops, the S23 Ultra’s curved edges don’t help durability. So if the phone lands on the pavement face down or at a slight angle, chances are that its display will crack.
In contrast, in our own day-to-day testing, we found that the flat design used by devices such as the Galaxy S22+ might lend more durability and longevity to the phones. In any case, if you want to see the Galaxy S23 Ultra face-planting on asphalt, you can check out the video below. And if you want to pre-order the phone, Samsung has the window open until February 17.