The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G was launched in South Korea last week and although the device is not yet available for purchase in all the markets where it’s expected to hit the shelves (the U.S. included), YouTube tech channel PBKreviews was able to secure a unit and feature it in a new disassembly video.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G launched later than the rest of the Galaxy S10 series and features several key upgraded components over its siblings, however despite these differences the later model still follows the same design philosophy.
This means that reparability can be an issue in some areas, particularly in regards to components including the charging port and microphone, both of which are soldered to the circuit board. But unlike the standard Galaxy S10 which has a single PCB, the Galaxy S10 5G gets extra reparability points because it separates the upper circuit board where the chipsets reside from the lower PCB accommodating the charging port. This makes replacing some of the components less of an issue and it should also reduce repair costs in the OEM’s service centers, at least in theory.
The case of the unused connector
Much like the standard Galaxy S10, removing the phone’s glass back panel using prying tools, suction cups, and a heat source to loosen the adhesive is the only way to get inside the device. Once the first step is done and back panel removed, it becomes obvious that the Galaxy S10 5G has the same DNA as the LTE models, featuring a similar charging pad stuck to the battery.
But the oddest characteristic pertaining only to the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is the inclusion of a connector located in the main PCB’s upper-right corner. It’s the type of connector that’s compatible with ribbon cables but it hasn’t been used by the OEM, and it hasn’t been included in any of the other models.
The purpose of this connector remains unclear as the teardown didn’t shed any light on the matter, but the source speculates that its inclusion may allow Samsung to attach different back panels at the factory for the purpose of lighting up its own brand or a carrier’s logo with LEDs. Of course, this would require the launch of a second variant of the phone later down the line.
There’s no way to be sure if this is truly the case or whether Samsung will populate this connector in one way or another throughout the smartphone’s lifespan. Should it be used by the OEM to light up some logos, it may open up a new modding scene around the device where users could personalize the back plate with different LED designs.
Other details revealed by the teardown include a vapor chamber beneath the main PCB, and of course the upgraded front and rear-facing cameras featuring an additional Time-of-Flight sensor, each. The video doesn’t provide a closer look at the front panel or the in-display fingerprint sensor but that’s mainly because detaching the display assembly from the frame usually results in the panel breaking and being rendered unusable. This is a general issue surrounding the glass-sandwich design for most smartphones and the Galaxy S10 series makes no exception.