Repairing our own smartphone isn’t something that the average customer does, but us enthusiasts really appreciate it when the process is made easy… just in case. This is why a big reason why the idea of a modular smartphone is so enticing to the community and it can be a contributing factor when it comes to which smartphone someone will buy. With the shift to Samsung’s glass sandwich design, their smartphones haven’t been the easiest to repair, and the Galaxy Note 8 isn’t much different in this regard either.
How difficult a smartphone repair actually is does vary from person to person, so the idea of a numbered scoring system might seem a bit dated (especially to the uninitiated). Still, giving a phone a numbered score can give you a general idea for rough comparisons across devices, and then you can investigate the teardown further to see what its strengths and weaknesses are. Some would think a 4 out of 10 is a bad score but when the Essential Phone teardown receives a 1 out of 10, that shows you how bad it can really get.
So just like with all other teardowns, you’re going to need a set of tools to get this done. Once you’re ready, you can begin the teardown process of the Galaxy Note 8 by removing the back piece of glass and then starting to disassemble the components inside. The guide provided by iFixit is fairly straight forward and you’ll likely feel right at home if you have done a teardown of a newer Samsung flagship in the past.
The good part about the Galaxy Note 8 is that many components, including the common ones that typically receive the most wear and tear, are modular and can be replaced independently. Samsung is only using traditional Phillips screws here as well. While the battery can be replaced, adhesive and a glued-on rear panel make it difficult. The teardown lost a lot of points since replacing anything requires you to remove the rear glass panel, and this even includes replacing the screen of the device.