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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Teardown shows just how tough the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is to repair

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The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is certainly an impressive piece of technology, but in terms of repairability it makes fixing pretty much any other phone look like child’s play.

For most of us, the idea of opening up a £1599 smartphone on day one to see the insides is, at best, ill advised. Thankfully, there are people on YouTube who can’t wait to see what makes their smartphones tick, and that’s the case with the PBKreviews channel, which took apart the new Galaxy Z Fold 3 and put it back together again – seemingly with no ill effects. 

Still, that’s not a green flag on DIY.

“As far as repairability goes, I give this phone a two out of ten,” the video’s host says. “It’s a very difficult phone to take apart, and very time consuming.”

That’s a bit of an understatement: although the whole video is only 11 minutes long, there are plenty of quick cuts and much of the tedious unscrewing and gently heating of components is sped up for the benefit of the viewer.

To keep the phone as slim as possible, Samsung seems to have wasted no space at all, and all the components are tightly aligned, held in place by – by our count – at least 35 Philips screws. 

The unique design also means that two of the components are, of course, doubled. Not only is there both an external and internal screen to gently loosen and remove, but battery capacity is divided unevenly between the two halves. One side has a 2280mAh cell and the other a 2120mAh battery, for a combined capacity of 4400mAh.

In short, we wouldn’t recommend taking repairs into your own hands. Thankfully, Samsung has its own protection package called Samsung Care Plus which will take care of all that for you, should the worst happen. It’s not exactly cheap, but if you’re spending £1599 on a smartphone already, then an extra £189 for two year’s peace of mind doesn’t sound like the worst deal in the world. 



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