Removing the battery remains difficult; everything else is easy
Samsung released the Galaxy S21 FE earlier this month as an upgrade to the popular Galaxy S20 FE. Although it comes with a new design and better chipset, its repairability remains pretty much the same with both its predecessor and last year’s S21 – hard battery removal, everything else easy – as the post-release teardowns show that already making the rounds.
A YouTube video from PBKreviews shows how to disassemble and assemble the Galaxy S21 FE with little effort. First, let’s see how the plastic back can be easily removed with the help of a little light heat and a pry tool – plastic may not be the highest quality material, but it definitely scores over glass black in terms of repairability. With the backplate removed, we then see several similar sized Phillips screws (something Apple can learn from) that only require a single screwdriver to be removed. The mmWave 5G antennas, main and sub motherboards, rear cameras and speakers can be removed just as easily by loosening the flex cables connecting them or loosening a few more Phillips screws.
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Replacing the display of the S21 FE does not seem to be a problem either, heating it up and prying it open on the front and pulling the display cable from the back is sufficient. However, it becomes difficult with the battery. It’s firmly glued to the phone’s body and there are still no pull tabs like we see on OnePlus phones or even the Pixel 6 Pro. Hence, removing some (or a lot) of isopropyl alcohol and a lot of patience to avoid damage. Samsung can definitely make a few changes to improve repairability, but it’s good to see that they’ve kept at least the same level of repairability on their newest device.
It’s been about a week since the S21 FE was launched, but the phone appears to be in a slightly inconvenient position, as if it couldn’t find its purpose. On the one hand, it should build on the success of the S20 FE; On the flip side, it starts off as close to the S22 series and at a price point of $ 700 that no competition (including the S21) undercuts. However, we would have to wait for sales figures to show up later in the year to be able to draw any conclusions.
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About the author
(47 published articles)
Haroun became an Android enthusiast in 2014 and has been eagerly following the industry ever since. He is currently a medical student and a small business SEO copywriter. When you’re not looking for the latest tech news on the internet, you can either find him deep in his textbooks or working on Homeripped, his fitness website.
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