The internals of Samsung's new Galaxy Note 9 can now be compared to those found in its predecessor, following a newly surfaced teardown performed just after the phablet's unveiling. While there are some fairly obvious changes between the two flagships, such as the new device's upgraded storage and processing compared to the Galaxy Note 8, the teardown focused almost exclusively on how Samsung used space. It also shows how Samsung reorganized components, connectors, and other elements in order to improve repairability and durability despite aesthetic similarities. One example of that is in the placement of connector for the fingerprint scanner, which is now more solidly secured underneath the cameras. The internal space allocated for the S Pen, meanwhile, has been built to withstand more punishment from drops.
On the repairability front, Samsung appears to have utilized a lego-style adapter to affix the USB Type-C connector to the board. The previous model required the entire board to be removed in order to replace a broken plug and the new design should make things much simpler. Repairs should also be more affordable with fewer components that will require the entire motherboard to be replaced if they stop working. Other connectors within the device similarly appear to be reinforced and adapted for simplified repairs. With regard to the allocation of space, Samsung used a larger battery for its Galaxy Note 9, both in terms of size and capacity. However, the body and frame encasing the device have not really grown in any perceivable way. Samsung accomplished that feat by reducing the size of other components such as the motherboard and optimizing how connections are made. Aside from allowing for a bigger battery, that space-saving approach also allows for the new handset's bigger speaker.
Last but not least, Samsung has replaced the copper rod typically used for smartphone heatsinking with a wide copper plate. That presumably allows heat to be dissipated more quickly over a larger area, keeping the handset cooler during even the most intense sessions of use. So the two devices in question may look very similar on the outside but a closer inspection seems to indicate that Samsung has simply shifted focus to what's on the inside.