Samsung S20 Ultra 5G Teardown! – Is the 5G even real?!

by birtanpublished on August 25, 2020

Today we're going to be taking apart the Galaxy S20 Ultra and see what the crazy space zoom camera looks like from the inside. This video is sponsored by my own self. I went and asked myself if I would like to sponsor a video. And I was like, 'Hey self, do you want to sponsor a video?' And then I was like, 'Yeah I do.' So here we are with the brand new lineup of Teardown skins. The skins that let you see all the magic inside of your phone without actually taking it apart. You might be thinking to yourself, 'Hey Jerry, isn't that just a sticker?' And yeah, maybe it is. But it's

Also something much more…deeper….significant…it means something. If any of us ever left the house, it could very well be the fashion statement of our generation. On the off chance you ever do have to go speak to someone and needed a conversation starter, you could be like, 'Look at this circuit board.' And it's a 50/50 shot that the conversation's either going to be over real quick or you've met someone cool, which I see as a total win. We cover most of the main stream smartphones, flagships and budget phones, along with MacBooks

And the Nintendo Switch. So if you want any of your devices to look like they're falling apart, I got the link down in the description. And thanks to my own self for sponsoring this video. 'You're welcome.' 'Aw, thanks, you're the best.' 'Nah, you!' Now let's see what this S20 Ultra has under the hood in three dimensions instead of just two. Let's get started.

Does 5G even exist? Well, yes, but also no. We'll learn more about this as we delve inside the brand new S20 Ultra 5G. The latest and greatest from Samsung. The front screen is flat this time around, but the back panel is still as curvy as ever. I can take my heat gun and razor blade and slice between the glass panel and the metal frame of the phone. Now, purely for educational purposes and definitely not on accident, I'm going to show what happens if you round the corner with too much pressure. Using a hotplate or vacuum separator tool

Would probably make this removal a bit easier. Luckily replacement back glass panels are usually around $20-30 so it's not a big deal if it does crack. I'll keep the phone just barely too hot to touch so the waterproofing adhesive stays soft underneath the glass. And finally, after a lot of gentle slicing, the back panel can come away from the phone. You can see the holes through the camera lens here. The only connection that's on the back of the glass panel is actually for the little microphone. It's up here between the flash

And the top camera. It has 4 little circular contact pads that allow the microphone to communicate with the body of the S20 Ultra. Speaking of which, the S20 Ultra body does have a wireless charging pad installed. It can wirelessly charge at 15 watts and reverse wireless charge other devices at 9 watts. Pretty cool little trick. I'll remove the 5 screws surrounding the top silver plate that covers all the ribbon cable connectors. I'll set that off to the side next to the

Screws I took out so I can keep everything organized. Then I'll unplug the battery with my plastic pry tool. It just unsnaps like a little Lego. I can uncover the rest of the motherboard by removing 4 more Phillips head screws that hold down the top antenna plastics. Notice there's a rectangular void in the plastic. There's something missing here, but I'll come back to it in just a second. There are 5 screws holding down the bottom loudspeaker assembly. The speaker plastic

Has the normal contact pads for communicating and a little red sticker covering the small balls inside of the speaker housing. Remember, these little guys help the speaker sound larger than it actually is by making the air move around the balls inside of the housing. It's a cute little technology. Coming up here to the top of the phone, I'll pop out the SIM and SD card tray. This guy can handle an additional terabyte of storage. Before we get to the cameras there's a few

More things I need to take out. First of all these extension ribbons that connect the main board to the charging port board. Each end disconnects like a little Lego. Then I can set them off to the side. The charging port board itself has 3 screws holding it in place. Once these are removed the whole board can come away from the phone. It is replaceable this time which is a good thing, and pretty simple to take out. Samsung also included some extra red rubber underneath the charging port. And also down here at the bottom of

The phone there is the little square vibrator motor. Now for the cameras. Samsung has done some new stuff this time around with the cameras. They're all still connected inside of the same metal housing, and in order to remove them the whole motherboard needs to come away from the frame. It's a double stacked motherboard just like we've seen inside of the iPhone and the Note 10 previously. And it's super thick. There is no thermal paste on the back this time around which is strange. Normally

We see that in high end flagships. Each of the camera units has their own Lego-style connector. Three of them are plugged into the backside of the motherboard. And then the depth camera is the only one plugged into the front side. The top camera is a 12 megapixel ultra wide angle camera with no OIS. The middle camera is the 108 megapixel main camera which does have optical image stabilization. We have the depth camera here on the side without any OIS. And then the periscope 100x space

Zoom camera down here at the bottom which supposedly has OIS with it's 10x hybrid zoom. Now it's time to get inside the periscope camera because that seems like a fun activity. All of the cameras are permanently built together with a metal surrounding frame so that the phone can seamlessly transition between the 4 different sensors without them looking out of place or being in a different position. Obviously the cameras are not meant to come apart, but with enough aggressive persuasion I can get that 100x space zoom camera to fall

Out of the frame, which starts showing us some pretty cool stuff. We first saw this technology inside of the P30 Pro a year ago, but Samsung has taken that periscope zoom hardware to the next level. Notice these copper coils. I'll come back to these in a second. This time around Samsung has a mechanical zoom inside that can physically move just like a professional DSLR lens. At the bottom end of the camera we have the sensor which is sitting perpendicular to the back of the phone. This is a 48 megapixel sensor

And you can see that whatever light I shine through the lens gets bounced off at a 90% angle. This is how the sensor sees things outside of the phone, like a periscope in a submarine. You'll also notice that the prism, or the portion that reflects the light, is optically stabilized. The copper electromagnetic coils at the bottom, and the 2 circular coils next to it control the prism stabilization. The other 2 coils on the side control the center lens movement back and forth. This one camera has 5 electromagnets inside which

Is kind of mind boggling. We've come a long way in just one year. Technology progresses super fast. Now, don't get me wrong. This is a fantastic piece of hardware, but I feel like the 100x space zoom commercials that Samsung gave us hyping this up, are very much different than the actual zoomed in images that we get out of the camera. So definitely go watch a few videos on the actual camera quality before buying into the hype. It's better to have

Realistic expectations. Samsung's advertising isn't as realistic as it used to be. The front camera is glued into place for some reason. This is a 40 megapixel selfie camera with no optical image stabilization. And then once again like we saw on the Note 10 Plus, we have the top stereo speaker here positioned a bit farther into the phone body instead of up at the top. The sound from the speaker goes through this channel before exiting out through the small earpiece slit up at the top. It was interesting to see that there

Was no thermal paste or foam on the back of the motherboard. Even the Note 10 and the Galaxy S10 both had foam on the back of the motherboard for heat dissipation. We'll have to see if there's any thermal issues with this phone as time goes on. There is a vapor chamber cooling system inside. Once that's pulled out I can slice it open to see the liquid inside of the actual chamber. And we can definitely see the liquid droplets before they evaporate. I'll slice it open a bit more so we can watch these liquid dots

Disappear again. The vapor chamber works by the processor sitting on one side and getting hot, vaporizing the liquid, which then heads to the opposite end of the chamber, cools down and gets wicked back through the center through some sweet capillary action from these copper wire strands. Also some pretty neat technology. But it's still pretty strange there isn't more of a solid thermal connection between the motherboard and the copper. Normally on premium flagships like this we see something connecting the two.

One thing that's really important to remember, whether you're buying cars, computers or cellphones, is the price to performance ratio. You can get 90% of the performance at 70% of the price just by getting a phone that was released a few months ago. Getting that last 10% on top of the line performance, like on this S20 Ultra, is very expensive. The part that's increased the price of this phone the most through is probably 5G. I'll talk about that more in a second. First, let's get this battery out.

Samsung is notorious for permanently gluing their batteries into place. There's enough glue in here to stick an elephant to the ceiling. And this S20 is in fact a bit worse than usual. The battery glue is so strong it bent my metal pry tool at a 90 degree angle, which is pretty dangerous. But don't worry Samsung, I have more. The problem with glued in batteries is that it makes the phone very difficult and dangerous to repair and also recycle at the end of its lifespan – which for phones is relatively

Short. If I accidentally puncture the surface of this battery it could start on fire. I can use a bit of alcohol to soften the adhesive under the battery. But most smart smartphone manufacturers just use easy battery pull tabs. I'll warm up the adhesive a little bit, use my suction cup, which also damages the battery. But finally we are able to see some movement. And this is pretty excessive. The battery is held in place with a spiderweb of slime. It is a 5000 milliamp hour which is pretty powerful.

Finally we get our first look at the underscreen ultrasonic fingerprint scanner placement. You can see the outline of the rectangle underneath the glass which reads your fingerprint through the AMOLED display layer. Since the LED pixels don't have a back light behind them, the screen is semi-transparent. Once again, top of the line technology at a premium price. One of the most expensive things inside this phone though is the 5G. If you remember, the Note 10 Plus 5G version was $200 more expensive than the regular Note 10 Plus. And with the

S20 line, Samsung has made that 5G upgrade mandatory and is just billing everyone extra for it. Don't get me wrong, 5G is going to be really cool in a few years, but it's not here yet. Even Samsung knows this. This particular device I've been taking apart is the Korean version of the S20 Ultra 5G. And Samsung didn't even include the 5G millimeter wave antennas inside of this 5G phone because Korea doesn't have the millimeter wave 5G infrastructure. You can see the antennas I'm talking about promoted in Samsung's own promotional video

And here on iFixit's teardown of a US model. And you can see the 5G clearly written on my box, but Samsung can still get away with not including the antennas because the network doesn't exist in Korea. The millimeter wave 5G technology is also almost nonexistent in the USA as well. It's just in a few major cities right now and only covers a few blocks where it is installed. There are 2 types of 5G: low band 5G, which the major carriers are currently rolling out.

And it is indeed faster than 4G. But the insane millimeter wave speeds will never really make it out of the major cities that's even if it ever gets installed. It's not here yet. Long story short, we should thank everyone who is buying this phone now though because they are paying that premium tax and subsidizing 5G millimeter wave for the rest of us in the future. They are the early adopters even though no one can use it. Buying a 5G phone that doesn't come with 5G hardware has got to be rough news if you're in Korea. Phone companies

And carriers are talking about 5G like it's the next gigantic leap for mankind and that it's here everywhere already. But it's really not. The only gigantic leap that's being taken is with your wallet…at least for 2020…and probably 2021. We'll see what happens after that. Turning the phone on, everything is working except for that camera we destroyed. It looks like when one camera is broken, they all stop working. Either way, it's been a fun phone

To take apart. What do you think of this whole 5G situation? Personally, I'll probably hold off for a few more years till the 5G infrastructure is more widespread. The midband 5G and millimeter wave 5G are the ones we should be paying attention to. They'll have the biggest improvements over 4G. Everyone is different though, so let me know what you think down in the comments. If you like seeing the inside of technology without the risk of opening your own stuff up, there's always the Teardown link I'll include in the description. Come hang out

With me on Instagram and Twitter. And thanks a ton for watching. I'll see you around.

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