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By Jay Bonggolto
iFixit gives Microsoft's Surface Duo a poor repairability score
by Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft's Surface Duo has gained a low repairability rating from repair site iFixit. The phone's teardown resulted in a repairability score of 2 out of 10.
The Duo, which is available to purchase for a base price of $1,399, "is not something meant to be repaired, maybe not even by Microsoft", iFixit said in a press release. The same conclusion was made for Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6 two years ago. The latest score is due to the Duo's fragile cables, "sticky glue traps," and hard-to-replace battery.
The other cons based on iFixit's teardown are the USB-C port being soldered to the main board, unconventional tri-point screws, and the "delicate OLED panels" that lack protection from "accidental prying." iFixit noted that recent Surface devices were far easier to repair. However, replacing the Duo's battery "is such a messy afterthought, we’re not sure Microsoft considered it at all," the site noted.
The phone's only pros are its displays and back covers that can be replaced without removing the other components. Interestingly, the teardown revealed that the Duo’s left battery looks similar to a miniature iPad.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip teardown shows hinge's poor dust resistance
by Rajesh Pandey
A week after conducting their most complex teardown, the one of the Motorola Razr, the iFixit team has posted their teardown of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. The teardown not only reveals all the innards of the device but also tests some of Samsung's marketing claims.
The Galaxy Z Flip uses a new hideaway hinge that features Samsung's "sweeper technology" which uses "nylon fibers crafted by micro-height-cutting technology to repel dirt and dust." iFixit put this claim to test by putting the Z Flip in a bag full of purple dust. A few seconds of heavy dust exposure later, opening the device led to horrible popping noises and a frozen hinge. Tearing down the device, the team found that the purple dust had made its way to the inside of the Z Flip as well. As iFixit puts it, the "sweeper technology" brushes performed "hilariously poorly" in repelling dust.
Like the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note10, the Galaxy Z Flip features a double-stacked motherboard. While this makes repair difficult, it comes in handy when one has to pack a lot of chips in a small area. iFixit's teardown confirms that the top layer of the Galaxy Z Flip's display is indeed plastic. The middle layer, however, is glass as it shatters easily when poked. Since the glass in beneath a plastic layer, the Galaxy Z Flip's display does not offer the same kind of scratch-resistance as other regular non-foldable smartphones.
The Galaxy Z Flip was not as complex to teardown as the Motorola Razr. It even managed to score 2 in iFixit's repairability score, with the team noting that a single Philips screwdriver is enough to take care of all the screws. The modular nature of the many system components is also helpful. However, carrying an in-house repair on the Galaxy Z Flip is an extremely difficult task due to the glued-down glass panels which pose a major barrier for entry inside the device.
Motorola Razr teardown reveals a complex design, no scope for repairs
by Rajesh Pandey
The Motorola Razr went on sale in the United States this month after its original launch date was pushed back due to reliability concerns. With the phone now released, the folks over at iFixit have subjected it to their teardown treatment revealing its innards.
Phones with foldable screens are complex and fragile devices, and their reliability when it comes to withstanding the day-to-day wear and tear is dubious at best as of now. The Motorola Razr is the perfect example of this.
Tearing down the device, iFixit finds that it ships with two separate batteries which have a combined capacity of 3300mAh. What's more interesting, however, is the presence of big, moving mechanical parts inside the Razr. The folding hinge of the device makes use of a geared hinge, cat-head cam, support plates, and some springs. It is very rare to see a device ship with such complicated moving mechanical parts in this day and age.
In fact, the very process of disassembling the entire device is so complicated that iFixit awards the Razr with the "most complicated phone-based contraption" they have ever taken apart. On the flip side, one could praise Motorola for managing to pull off such an impressive engineering feat.
The complex design of the Razr means that repairability is not its strong suit. No wonder then that iFixit gave the device a repairability score of 1 out of 10. It does note that you can replace the delicate flexible display provided you are determined enough to do so. Otherwise, the complex construction means that carrying out any in-house repair work on the Razr is tricky and extremely difficult.
Razer will put Ouya and Forge TV out to pasture on June 25th
by Boyd Chan
Almost seven years ago, a new Android-based game console called Ouya gained quite a bit of interest and, during the course of its Kickstart campaign, raised just shy of $8.6 million. The console started shipping to backers at the end of March 2013 before later hitting retail channels in June the same year. In fact, Ouya was so popular that it sold out in big name stores such as Target and Amazon.
Since then, though, Ouya fell on hard times when it failed to attract and retain ongoing developer interest until Razer acquired Ouya's software assets as well as its technical and developer relations teams in July 2015 as part of an all-cash deal. With about 200,000 Ouya users, Razer envisaged bring these users over to its own Forge TV console.
However, the fate for both platforms seems to be well and truly sealed, with Razer having announced that it will be shutting down the Ouya and Forge TV game stores in addition to the MadCatz MOJO game store on June 25, 2019. While hardware will continue to work after this date, Razer has encouraged users to download their games before this date to retain access provided they do not require purchase validation. It's not all bad news, though, as Forge TV and MadCatz MOJO users can turn to the Google Play store as an alternative while the Ouya requires rooting to add that capability.
While Ouya started out with grand ambitions, it failed to come anywhere near unseating the stalwarts of the video gaming landscape which has seen a resurgent Nintendo come back to the fore with its Switch console that has managed to surpass lifetime sales of the GameCube and Wii U.
Your new Surface Laptop 2 or Surface Pro 6 can't be repaired, says iFixit
by Muhammad Jarir Kanji
When you're buying a gadget whose price nearly exceeds $1,000, it helps to know you can always head on over to the local repair shop to replace a malfunctioning component or two without needing to replace the whole thing if anything goes wrong. With the newest Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, however, you won't really have that peace of mind, as iFixit's findings for the two devices show.
The Surface Pro 6 fared slightly better than its clamshell sibling in iFixit's teardown test, earning a score of just 1 from a scale of 0-10. That's basically the same score as what the Surface Pro from last year earned. Compared to last year, the SSD is now soldered on and any repairs will generally still require removing the display assembly first, impairing the repairability of the 2-in-1 significantly.
A lack of improvement was also the theme for the Surface Laptop 2, which retained its predecessor's abysmal repair rating of 0 out of 10. This was largely due to the fact that removing the Alcantara finish of the keyboard is destructive, and thus prevents repairs. The CPU, RAM, and SSD are also soldered onto the motherboard, while the battery is glued in place.
While the results may be disappointing, it is worth noting that the Surface line has been pretty dismal in this regard since its conception, owing largely to the thin and complex designs of each device.
Source: iFixit (1), (2)