Galaxy S10 Teardown Reveals Bad News

If you’re grabbing a new Galaxy S10, you’re going to want to try your best to keep it off the repair bench. A teardown of the phone by iFixit indicates that Samsung’s newest flagship device rates lower than last year’s Galaxy S9 in terms of cost and difficulty to take apart and fix.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The main gripes in iFixit’s new report have to do with the S10’s new soldered-on charging port and the permanently attached in-screen fingerprint sensor that requires you to replace the entire display for “an arm and a leg” should it malfunction. That said, the Galaxy S10e’s side fingerprint reader wasn’t a delight to access for repair, either. iFixit showed that a full removal of the entry-level device’s screen has to be undertaken in order to reach the sensor’s behind-the-power-button placement.

The culminating Repairability Score for the S10 and S10E winds up at 3/10, down from the 4/10 scores iFixit assigned to the still-tricky Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S8 in years past.

MORE: Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S10 Plus vs. Galaxy S10e

Also noted in iFixit’s report is the continued general difficulty of replacing Samsung’s curved Infinity Display panels. And the bad news for the S10’s is that, new Gorilla Glass 6 be darned, it’s apparently still a little too easy to shatter.

In a video by EverythingApplePro, the 6.4-inch Samsung S10 Plus was put up against the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max in a drop test. The tapered front glass of the S10 Plus was the first to crack after a waist-high drop.

This is a good time to call out that smartphone insurance coverage does exist for those who anticipate they’ll find themselves in need of handset repair multiple times. Samsung’s own plan charges $11.99 a month with a $99 deductible for each repair (up to three a year), while third-party coverage through SquareTrade runs $8.99 each month with the same $99 deductible for up to four incidents in a year.

And, of course, a good smartphone case can help protect your Galaxy S10 from the bumps and drops life throws at it.

More Galaxy S10 Coverage

Daniel Bean is a freelance writer with years of experience whose articles have appeared in Tom's Guide. He has previously worked for LinkedIn, Yahoo News, and the Observer, as well as TripleByte, Circa, Inverse, CBS, and ABC. Currently, he is full-time content lead for Mixpanel's blog, The Signal, writing about innovators and analytics.