Cracking Open: Samsung Galaxy Note 4Bill Detwiler disassembles the Galaxy Note 4, explores the internal hardware, and uncovers several interesting and annoying design changes.
From the outside, the Galaxy note four looks a lot like the previous model. But Samsung has made several subtle design changes. One of which makes the device much more difficult to disassemble than previous notes. I'm Bill Detwiler and this is Cracking Open [MUSIC] With nearly every phone maker, including Apple, now offering an over sized phone. The Galaxy Note 4 can't really compete on sheer size alone. Now luckily, it has some pretty nice hardware to go along with its beautiful 5.7 inch. Five hundred and fifteen-pixel per inch super AMOLED screen. Now, such as a 2.7 gigahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, or a 1.9 gigahertz octa-core Exynos. 5433 chip, three gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of internal storage, a 16 megapixel rear facing camera, a 3200 milliamp hour battery, and of course the phone's signature feature, the S pen. And along with all the hardware upgrades, Samsung made several design changes inside the phone. So, let's get cracking!. After moving the back cover, battery, and stylus, we can turn our attention to the dozen or so Phillip screws inside the phone. Once they're out, we can separate the internal cover from the front panel and frame assembly. There's also a thin ribbon of adhesive that runs along the edge. So a little heat can make the process a bit easier. Now, with the cover removed we get our first real look inside the phone. Attached to the cover is the 3.5mm headphone jack and external speaker. The circuit boards, cameras, vibration motor and other components are attached to the frame and front panel assembly. After removing a single **** and detaching several cables and connectors, we can gently lift out the main board and the attached components. I'm going to leave the USB charging board, earpiece speaker, vibration motor, and the button contacts attached to the frame. I'm also going to leave the front panel and display alone. I want to put this phone back together in working order. And these components could be damaged during removal. So turning out attention back to the main circuit board, we can detach the rear camera, the front camera assembly, and finally, the board's metal shields. With that, our tear down is complete. As I mentioned at the beginning of the show, the Galaxy note four's design isn't radically different from that of the previous model. But Samsung did make several subtle design changes and one big one. Now the major change is to the front panel and frame assembly. The phone's metal rim is part of the internal cover instead of the frame, as it was on the Note three. There's also a thin adhesive seal between the front panel and the internal cover which wasn't present in the older model. Now this design element makes the device just a tad bit harder to crack open and reassemble than previous notes. The smaller changes include things like a redesigned circuit board, repositioned SIM, and micro SD card slots. And a headphone jack that's attached to the internal cover. Not the front panel and frame assembly. Now along with all these changes, like I mentioned, there's also plenty of hardware improvement. Such as, a better display, a faster processor, better camera, and a much-improved S Pen. Now for more information on the Galaxy Note 4, including real world tests and pricing. Check out Jessica Dolcourt's full CNet review. To see more teardown photos and read my full hardware analysis, go to techrepublic.com/crackingopen [MUSIC]