Samsung S20 Ultra 5G Teardown! – Is the 5G Even Real?!

Today we’re going to take apart the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G to see what the crazy space zoom camera looks like from the inside. This video is sponsored by my own self—I 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. These skins let you see all the magic inside 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 deeper, significant. 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 speak to someone and need a conversation starter, you can be like, “Look at this circuit board,” and it’s a 50/50 shot that the conversation is either going to be over real quick or you’ve met someone cool, which I see as a total win.

We cover most mainstream 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’ve got the link down in the description. And thanks to my own self for sponsoring this video. You’re welcome. Oh, 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 hot plate or vacuum separator tool would probably make this removal a bit easier. Luckily, replacement back glass panels are usually around twenty or thirty dollars, 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. Finally, after a lot of gentle slicing, the back panel can come away from the phone. You can see the holes to the camera lens here. The only connection that’s on the back of the glass panel is actually for the little microphone that’s up here between the flash and the top camera. It has four 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 nine watts. Pretty cool little trick. I’ll remove the five screws surrounding that 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 four 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 five 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 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 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 are a few more things I need to take out. First of all, these extension ribbons that connect the mainboard 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 three 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. 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 the same metal housing, and 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 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 its own Lego-style connector. Three of them are plugged into the backside of the motherboard, and 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 its 10x hybrid zoom. Now it’s time to get inside the periscope camera because that seems like a fun activity. All the cameras are permanently built together with a metal surrounding frame so that the phone can seamlessly transition between the four 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 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-degree 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 two circular coils next to it control the prism stabilization. The other two coils on this side control the center lens movement back and forth. This one camera has five 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 from 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. 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 are 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 the actual chamber, and we can definitely see the liquid droplets before they evaporate. I’ll slice open a bit more so we can watch these liquid dots disappear. 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 whipped back through the center through some sweet capillary action from these copper wire strands. It’s 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 cell phones, 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% of top-of-the-line performance, like in this S20 Ultra, is very expensive. The part that’s increased the price of this phone the most, though, 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 in

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