Next to our smartphones, no other mobile device may be in more danger of damage or wear and tear than the one that’s always exposed to the elements. Smartwatches often come with some IP dust and water resistance rating and some even boast of a MIL-STD certification for extra ruggedness. Sooner or later, however, these wearables will eventually need to be repaired and, fortunately, the new Galaxy Watch 3 won’t be much of a chore even for third-party technicians.
There are fortunately no hidden traps waiting outside or inside Samsung’s latest smartwatch. The back cover does use teeny tri-point screws but they’re still no match for the proper tool. iFixit does note that there’s a sensor cable connecting the back cover and the main body but it’s not something that will easily tear off when you take off that cover, at least carefully.
Most of the smartwatch’s parts are also modular, at least those that can be. The speaker comes off as part of the back cover while the entire motherboard comes in in a disc-shaped piece that is only held down by regular screws. Even the battery has a mild adhesive only and can be removed without applying any dangerous heat.
The only thing that kept the Galaxy Watch 3 from getting a perfect score is the plethora of sensors on the back cover of the smartwatch. That and the fused touch screen. That array of sensors is fixed underneath the cover and will require more careful studying and removal.
With a score of 7 out of 10, the Galaxy Watch 3 is just one step lower than the Galaxy Buds Live on iFixit’s scale. That inspires some confidence in the repairability of one of Samsung’s most advanced wearables, a small piece of reassurance that goes a long way during these uncertain times.