iFixit tears apart the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. Image: iFixit
It’s always a pleasure to find out what makes our favorite gadgets tick. And how difficult, and costly, it’ll be to repair them should they have an unfortunate run-in with a concrete driveway or a rambunctious, unintentionally destructive child*.
That’s why we love iFixit: They tear apart every new gadget they encounter.
First and foremost, the Samsung-made glass display and AMOLED panel are fused together. So if you end up cracking your screen, a repair is going to cost you. However, the 1800 mAh Li-ion battery — which should provide 8.7 hours of talk time or over 10 days in standby mode — is easy to replace. All you have to do is pop off the back plate. Once you’ve done that, you’ll also find a microSD card slot which you can use to bump up the device’s internal memory specs if 16 GB isn’t enough for you.
The Epic 4G Touch is .04 inches thicker and .49 ounces heavier than its European counterpart, bringing it to a practically obese .38 inches and 4.52 ounces (blame the french fries). It also doesn’t support NFC like its fancy skinny Euro cousin (C’est la vie, Google Wallet).
The front-facing camera shares a ribbon cable with the LED and ambient light sensor, so if one of those craps out on you, repair will be a bit more expensive.
iFixit’s Miroslav Djuric said the Epic 4G “was not too challenging” to take apart — you can use pretty basic tools to disassemble the smartphone, like a Phillips #00 screwdriver. The iFixit team gave it a 7 out of 10 for repairability.
*Full disclosure: I once destroyed my dad’s watch by slamming it repeatedly on our driveway. You probably shouldn’t give electronics to babies.