Based on a recent teardown of Samsung's Galaxy Note 20, the series is only getting more difficult to disassemble or repair. The teardown, performed by iFixit and reported by Android Central, is a 13-step process. And, in at least a few ways, Samsung has made things easier than ever. But it's doing exactly the opposite in other very important ways.
Among the biggest problems is the South Korean tech giant's reliance on increasingly strong adhesive. The glue holding together the devices, especially for the battery but also on the rear panel, all but requires a solvent to remove. And that's an added cost most who would like to repair their device may not be prepared for. Especially since, at least for the glass-backed variant if not the plastic standard version, that's going to be needed for every repair.
Perhaps as importantly, users will need to effectively tear through the entire phone to replace the screen on this handset. That's atop other problems with the component, including the cost to repair.
Not everything about a Galaxy Note 20 repair is terrible, even if a lot of it is
Now, not everything about the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 makes it a pain to repair. Among the biggest perks is the ease with which a plastic back panel can be removed on the standard version. That's not going to hold over to the "Ultra" configuration since that has a glass back panel. But it's worth noting for those who might be okay with a cheaper material.
As importantly, only a single Phillips screwdriver is needed and that's a fairly standard tool, too. Samsung packs the device with more than a dozen screws. It ensured that they're most visible too. Or, at least immediately after the rear panel is removed. But they'll all be the same fastener.
Stacking atop that, there are a lot of modular components and Samsung has utilized a lot of easy-to-work-with lego-style connectors. That includes on the charging port, which can be swapped out with relative ease if it wears out.
This is the most difficult to repair Galaxy to-date
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are going to be the most difficult such devices to repair so far. In fact, while they might be slightly easier to repair than the Galaxy S20 series, that's not by much.
Ultimately, iFixit gives the device an even lower score than the previous Note at three out of ten. All things considered, users should probably not bet on being able to perform any repairs for themselves. So it's probably a good idea to get a case for these handsets.