iFixit might still have its hands full from a backlog of products to teardown but PBK Reviews, fortunately, lost no time in poking inside Samsung’s latest and greatest. The Galaxy S21 proved to be a pleasant surprise in some ways, particularly for its modularity and the screen’s relatively easier repairability. The YouTuber now takes the Galaxy S21 Ultra apart with some optimism that was, unfortunately, met with a bit of a disappointment.
With a fully glass back, opening up the phone was unsurprisingly tedious and risky compared to the Galaxy S21 and its plastic rear. Once inside, the plethora of screws and cable clips make the process a demanding chore. Then again, it could have been worse if things were soldered down instead so that’s still a plus.
The battery proved to be stickier on the Galaxy S21 Ultra than its budget version. In addition to heat applied to the screen underneath the battery, the technician still had to apply alcohol to loosen the adhesive’s tight grip. That alone already makes its replacement difficult, but the phone’s unpleasant surprises don’t end there.
Also unlike the Galaxy S21, the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s screen cable is indeed soldered rather than clipped, making replacement more difficult and, therefore, more expensive. The front-facing camera is also glued to the screen but, surprisingly, the flex cable for the volume rocker button also runs between the midframe and the screen, making that task unnecessarily risky.
The teardown notes a few other odd differences between the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Ultra, like the absence of sound-amplifying foam balls on the top speaker of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It also reveals that the new camera bump is made from metal and is just glued to the glass back.