The team at iFixit has published its teardown of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, the company’s latest smartwatch model. As with past teardowns, the process meticulously disassembles the smartwatch, detailing each step of the process, the components found within the watch, and it is all joined by information on how difficult the watch will be for the average person to repair. Spoiler alert: DIYers may be pleased.
One would be reasonable in assuming a smartwatch would be difficult to take apart and repair or upgrade (such as replacing the battery yourself). These devices are very small and their various components are, of course, even smaller, making this a delicate process ideally left to professionals.
If you’re willing to take the risk of repairing the Galaxy Watch 3 yourself, however, you may find that the process isn’t as terribly difficult as it may initially seem. As demonstrated in the video above, the watch can be easily opened, and though there are some more troubling aspects, most disassembly and repair would likely be within the technical abilities of the average practiced DIYer.
The two elements you’re most likely to repair yourself — the display and battery — are easy to access, according to the teardown, which also notes that the watch doesn’t have any overlapping cables or fragile ZIF connectors. Likewise, Samsung avoided the use of glue, meaning opening the back of the Galaxy Watch 3 is as simple as a bit of twisting and prying.
There are some problematic elements, though, such as the use of an ‘uncommon’ tri-point screw design that will require a specially ordered tool. However, once the back is removed, the rest of the screws are ordinary Phillips. In addition, the tear sensor array is fixed to the back cover, meaning you won’t be able to swap it out as easily.
The one big downside impacting the repairability score — one that is a solid 7 out of 10 — is that the screen and glass digitizer are fused, so the costs of repairing a cracked display will be higher than one in which the digitizer alone could be replaced. The full teardown can be found on iFixit’s website here.