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You Can Now Fix Your Samsung Phone Yourself

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Photo: Framesira (Shutterstock)

Generally, tech companies would rather you not repair your own stuff. It’s a problem that spans devices and machines of all kinds, from computers to lawn mowers, and has fueled what is known as the “right to repair” movement, which basically boils down to “if I bought it, I should be able to fix it.”

More and more companies are caving into the consumer pressure (albeit sometimes only after being compelled to by local governments), with the latest being Samsung. That’s right: if you own a recent Galaxy device, the company has given you the green light to repair it on your own. In theory.

Why right to repair is important

When a company sells you a product, you expect it is yours to do with what you wish. If something happens to it, you imagine you have the option to take it to a repair shop, or, if you have some expertise, repair it yourself. The problem is, many tech companies don’t want you to do that. Many don’t even want you taking their devices to any repair shop but their own.

In some cases, the lockdown is so severe that using a non-manufacturer-made part breaks the entire device, because the company designed the software to reject said part (Apple). Other times, companies withhold schematics and repair instructions from everyone, so even non-authorized repair stores cannot fix your device (Apple again).

However, the attitudes are changing as companies see the writing on the wall. (And the aforementioned new government regulations.) Even Apple now has a program for customers eager to repair their own devices with genuine Apple parts (granted it’s still in early stages). Samsung is now following suit: Rather than forcing customers into their repair plans, the company is starting to offer official ways for those customers to fix their own devices, or take them to third parties to get them fixed.

Samsung offers genuine Galaxy parts and instructions through iFixit

Samsung has partnered with retailer iFixit to offer customers a way to repair their devices themselves, without worrying about following incorrect instructions or using bad parts. This program uses genuine Samsung parts for each repair, and includes step-by-step guides (vetted by iFixit) to ensure they are completed correctly.

At launch, this program supports the Galaxy S20 and S21 series, as well as the Galaxy Tab S7+. That includes the following devices:

If you have one of these phones or tablets, you can use iFixit’s resources to repair the display, back glass, and charging ports. Depending on your situation, you could choose to order a single part or buy a Fix Kit, complete with the selected part as well as all the tools needed to patch up your device.

Unfortunately, parts and Fix Kits aren’t cheap. Display kits, for example, range from $167.99 to $239.99, depending on your particular device. Choosing the part only, rather than the Fix Kit, does bring down the cost, but only by about $7.

As expensive as these parts can be, it’s a step in the right direction. This move means S20, S21, and Tab S7+ users now have the option to repair these devices with genuine Samsung parts and instructions, without worrying whether the repair part they bought will damage or brick the device they’re meant to fix.

If you don’t have one of these Galaxy phones, you aren’t out of luck: According to iFixit, Samsung is planning to expand the program to more of its devices in the future. Until then, you can still rely on iFixit’s guides. They might not yet be Samsung-approved, but they’re still tested for accuracy and are likely to cover most common issues; iFixit has 10 repair guides for the Galaxy S8 Plus alone.

  

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