This year we saw a mix of smartphones, from those boasting modular components to the ones featuring dual-rear camera setups. But what if these fragile pieces of technology experience the dents and bruises of everyday life? Like slipping off your hands and ending up like a shattered mirror or situations where the phone takes a dip with you unknowingly. A smartphone’s repairability is one of the crucial elements but often the most neglected one when buying the device. Repair firm iFixit, which periodically puts all the latest gadgets under its knife to check if they are easy to fix, has released its list of the most repairable phones of 2016. Also Read - Top phones under OIS under Rs 40,000 to help those shaky hands: Vivo X60, iPhone SE and more
What makes a phone repairable? According to iFixit, phones are scored based on how easy or difficult they are to take apart. Devices with modular components, removable batteries, and easy-to-replace screens are scored higher on the scale of repairability while the ones with excessive adhesives, soldered components, and complex opening procedures receive low scores. Let’s take a look at which phones were the easiest and hardest to repair this year. Also Read - Top tech news today: Pokemon Go Fest 2021, Qualcomm smartphone and more
1. LG G5 Also Read - New iPhone SE to be the most affordable 5G phone from Apple, to launch in 2022
The LG G5, which is the company’s first modular smartphone, has been rated as the most repairable phone in 2016. iFixit says, “a user-removable battery and modular components make it the most repairable phone we took apart all year.” The smartphone has received a score of 8/10 which has been the highest this year. As the firm notes, there are no excessive adhesives which make it simple to open. It comes with modular components for camera, battery, or music, which makes replacement or repairing easier.
2. Google Pixel and Apple iPhone 7
On number two are the flagship smartphones from arch-rivals Google and Apple. Both the Google Pixel phones and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus scored 7/10 on the repairability scale. According to iFixit, the Google Pixel XL comes with easily replaceable components and is fairly easy to fix, except for the thin display assembly and tricky midframe. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, comes with improved water and dust protection making it immune to environmental damage. The display assembly is also easily accessible making display repairs smooth. As a side note, iFixit engineers say the Pixel was easier to take apart than the iPhone 7.
3. Apple iPhone SE
It seems Apple is dominating with its second smartphone featuring in the list. iFixit scored the iPhone SE a modest 6/10 on the repairability score for easy to access display assembly and battery. The idea behind launching the iPhone SE was to target users who do not wish to move to a bigger phone. As we have also noted in our review, “the iPhone SE won’t appeal to everyone. But for those looking for a small sized smartphone, it will tick all the right boxes.” Given its fairly easy repairability, it further makes for a good choice for those looking at a 4-inch iPhone.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 7
For Samsung, this year had been pretty much in flames owing to the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. In a hurried attempt to take on the Apple iPhone 7, the company ended up burning its own house. The flagship smartphone, which has been now discontinued over its life-threatening explosive capabilities, scored a 4/10 on the iFixit repairability scale. As the firm notes, the batteries were one of the components which were difficult to remove and repair. What added to the level of difficulty were the glass in the front and back that doubled the crackability of the smartphone. The firm also notes that replacing the front glass without damaging the display is probably impossible. Well, we can only thank the company for having recalled the smartphone which had the potential to add to consumer woes even without an explosive nature.
5. Samsung Galaxy S7/ S7 Edge
At the lower end of the list is another Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. These smartphones scored a meagre 3/10 on the repairability scale. iFixit says that these were the least repairable phone in 2016. In the past, Galaxy smartphones featured modular internals, making repairing easy. However, with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge phones, taking apart components is complex owing to the use of excessive glue. Even to replace the USB port, the entire display needs to be removed. With a glass design, the crackability also goes up.