Samsung and iFixit launched an official repair program last August, and it’s now getting support for a few more devices. Samsung says its self-repair program now includes the Galaxy S22 family and some laptops: the Galaxy Book Pro 15 and Galaxy Book Pro 360 15.
Like we said at the launch, this repair program isn’t really blowing us away. The Galaxy S22 is the first time the program has featured a current Samsung phone, but it’s only going to be current for about two more weeks. People drop brand-new phones just as frequently as old phones, so it would be nice to see modern parts hit the store faster. The program is also woefully incomplete when it comes to device selection, only supporting the last three years of Samsung flagships, when Samsung releases about 40 phone models a year. There’s nothing for Samsung’s foldable line (which still breaks all the time!), and nothing for the cheaper phones, which are often Samsung’s highest sellers.
The parts selection is very incomplete, with each member of the Galaxy S22 family only featuring the charging port, back glass, and a bundle of the screen battery and frame together. Why would anyone, ever, want to buy the screen and battery at the same time? How do you even break both of those components at once? Did the phone stop a bullet? It’s also missing a ton of parts, like cameras, speakers, buttons, a million delicate ribbon cables you could easily break when attempting a repair, antennas, the charging coil, rumble motor, fingerprint sensor, cooling pads, the sim tray, screws, and the motherboard.
The guides are great, though, with iFixit providing the usual meticulously detailed, professionally photographed walkthroughs. There’s only three of them, but they get you past all the hard parts, and you could easily strip down a phone while following them.
The laptops are new, and the program only really offers replacements for the battery and a bunch of exterior parts. You can buy the entire top half of a laptop as a screen replacement, which includes the outer shell, display, webcam, microphones, hinges, display cable, and Wi-Fi antenna. There’s an “upper case,” which is the entire keyboard deck of a laptop, featuring a keyboard, the top case that surrounds the keyboard, the touchpad, and all the associated wiring. It’s pretty common to spill a drink on a keyboard and need a new keyboard, but iFixit and Samsung won’t sell only that piece, even though it easily unscrews from the upper case. The companies also sell replacement batteries, the touchpad, fingerprint sensor, the bottom case, and little rubber feet. What’s missing is almost every internal part, like the fans, heatsinks, motherboard, Wi-Fi card, a million ribbon cables, speakers, and every kind of port.
Even if the program seems weirdly designed to be unappealing, it’s a start, and it’s better than nothing. Anyone serious about repair will probably need to look elsewhere for parts, though.