Galaxy A80 Flippy Camera Teardown! – How does it work?!


The Samsung Galaxy A80 is one of the most
over-engineered smartphones we’ve come across this year with a motorized camera that both
extends up and rotates around to face the front. Pretty interesting. Today we’re going
to take the whole thing apart and see how it all works from the inside. Let’s get started. [Intro] If you remember, during my durability test,
which this phone obviously survived, the rear panel next to the camera seam started to lift
off the phone a little bit. So that’s where we’re going to start today. Lifting up with
my large suction cup and slicing through the very strong adhesive under the glass. One
down side of having a motor inside the phone with a large opening for the camera protrusion
is that the phone is not water resistant. But Samsung went ahead and still made this
rear adhesive super strong anyway. Finally, with enough persuasion, the glass can lift
off exposing some pretty cool looking internals. That copper colored NFC pad looks pretty awesome.
Thumbs up for that. If the phone still works when I put it all back together, maybe we’ll
make a clear version. I’ll turn the phone on real quick so we can
see the internal hardware in action. When I press the camera button on the screen, we
can watch the camera rise up and out of the phone with the longest stepper motor shaft
we’ve ever seen. The black and pink plastics still hide most of the hardware, but we’re
getting there. The rear black plastics are held down by 12 normal Philips head screws.
They’re actually quite a lot of screws in here so I’m going to keep everything organized
on my desk. Once the screws are out the back plastics can come off of the phone. The NFC
pad has the same copper coloring that we saw on the back of the Pixel 4XL. This time though
it’s attached to the plastics and not the rear glass. Normally I would unplug the battery
at this point, but this autopsy’s going to be live. We want the phone to keep motoring
up and down a few more times while we figure out how it works. The bottom lower loud speaker comes out next.
There are no foam balls inside of this guy, in fact it looks like the rear speaker is
just set inside of the plastic housing and not built out of the plastic housing. A reminder
that this phone only costs $500 on Amazon right now so there probably were a few corners
cut to save pennies here and there…especially when so much work when into motorizing the
camera. After heating up the plastic area underneath the triple camera setup, I was
able to peel it away revealing more pink anodized aluminum
Same as up here underneath the top plastics section around the camera – more pink anodized
metal. Now we can see a bit more of what’s going
on. The whole motor is visible at this point and we can see all of the magic happening
inside the A80 is happening with just one motor, raising and flipping. We’ll have to
go deeper to understand it. I’ll remove the plastic screw protectors and unscrew the 2
screws at the top of the motor shaft that hold the motor to the top portion of the phone.
Along with 4 more screws that hold the top of the phone to the side guardrails. There
is a metal plate at the base of these side rails that catch on little lips to stop the
upward motion and start the camera flipping motion. We’ll see more in just a second. The
camera still can’t be removed to the phone though since it’s attached to the underside
of the motherboard. I’ll remove the 5 Phillips head screws holding
the motherboard to the frame and then unplug the little stepper motor connector, along
with the massive mammoth cable going down to the charging port – just like big little
Lego. Once everything is unplugged, the whole motherboard and camera unit can slide up and
out of the guiding rails and away from the phone. I don’t think we’ve ever had a phone
that disassembles in massive chunks like this before. It looks pretty cool inside. We can
get an up-close look at the stepper motor now. It has one threaded shaft that can raise
and lower the metal part that grips the top. It also has a smooth guiding shaft on the
right that keeps the piece level while it’s motoring up and down. These large metal rails
in the side are probably what help keep both halves in place while I was attempting my
bend test. There’s also a coin-style vibrator motor and a small pad of thermal foam underneath
the motherboard. Before we start taking apart the flippy part
of the camera, let’s remove the charging port. It has 3 ribbon cables and one screw, and
then the whole thing can pull away. Oh. One second….and then the whole thing can pull
away from the phone. This little guy has a USB-C charger that can fast charge at 18 watts.
Along with a built-in SIM card tray. Down here underneath the charging port are 2 more
screws that hold in the underscreen fingerprint scanner. This is an optical little guy. You
can see the little camera lens that takes a picture of your finger through the pixels
on the OLED screen. Now normally I do like to remove the back from smartphones, but Samsung
has once again made this impossible. Removing the battery is a death sentence to the phone
since any bend while prying it out will cause the internal layers of the battery to touch,
which makes the battery either short out immediately or slowly expand and die over the next few
months. So it’s super unfortunate that Samsung isn’t allowing these batteries to be removed,
especially since this number right here is the environment-friendly use period meaning
5 is the number of years you have before the chemicals in the battery might start leaking
out. That’ll be exciting for your pocket. Samsung should allow their permanent batteries
to be more easily removable. I’ll unplug each of the camera ribbon cables
on the back of the motherboard, then I’ll heat up and peel back the last plastic pink
layer around the front side of the camera. This exposes eight more Phillips head screws.
Once those are off I can remove the two black plastic protective pieces. Then we get our
first real good look at the camera hardware. As this top portion of the phone gets motored
up, we can see the camera starts flipping around like some kind of rotisserie chicken.
This rotation only happens at the peak of extension. You can see the camera ribbon cables
are actually rotating around the spindles as well with the camera, getting tighter when
the camera is facing the front of the phone and loosening up when the camera is in it’s
normal rear-facing position. All of this action is so that the higher-quality camera can be
used on both the front and back of the phone. I’ll unclip each of the spindly camera connectors,
remove 4 more screws, and I can pull the camera skeleton away from the metal body. This gives
us a better view of the gears that take the upward force at the peak of the stepper motor
lift and transition it into the rotisserie chicken force for the pop-up camera, which
gets that flippy motion. Pretty ingenious. Definitely more complicated than the dual
screen phone we took apart a while ago, but it’s still very interesting to see the camera
in motion. I hope you haven’t gotten bored of seeing
screws yet. We have 4 more left. Samsung switched things up a bit with a tri-tip screw instead
of a Phillips head. My tool kit does come with all kinds of bits though. I’ll link that
down in the video description. Once the screws are taken apart on both sides, the pink chicken
can come apart, showing us the three different cameras inside of the Galaxy A80. The 8 megapixel
ultra wide camera on the left, 48 megapixel main camera in the center, and a 3D depth
camera on the right side next to the LED flash – none of which have optical image stabilization.
This $500 phone has enough futuristic over-engineering inside that makes it look like it belongs
in a Star Wars movie. It’s pretty amazing what can be done with the limited space inside
of a cell phone body. It takes some super smart people to think these things up. Getting the phone back together is easy enough.
Just kidding, there are like 40-something screws inside of here so it’s more like a
nightmare. But at least we got to see all the stuff we came here for. I’ll make sure
the long stepper motor is secured into the camera unit, and everything along the side
rails is attached and screwed in. Staying organized is really the key to working with
all these little screws and components. One sneeze and it’s all over. I’ll get the charging port secured into place
with the loudspeaker on top. Once the battery is connected I can turn the phone back on
to see if the motor is set right and functional. I still want to see what a clear version of
the A80 would look like. And there we go. It’s definitely still working. You already know how clear phones work from
my other videos so I won’t bore you with the details. This A80 is more one of the laminate
colored pieces of glass. The kind where the color pulls away in large chunks. This might
look easy on camera, but since laminate is not designed to peel away from the glass,
it is fairly difficult and requires quite a bit of force. Remember that if you ever
attempt this yourself, it is very difficult. The laminate also holds the glass together
if it ever cracks. So my clear phones are weaker than the original. Of course if Samsung
did this at the factory, they could just add clear laminate and be just fine. Finally,
after all the curlicues of color are removed from the glass, I can set it down into place.
And once again, I totally think Samsung should be making clear versions of this phone. With
all the moving parts and even a cool copper NFC coil, I think the Galaxy A80 is currently
front runner for having the best looking smartphone guts of the year. Let me know what you think.
Would you rather have an extravagant motorized camera system in your phone, or would you
prefer the dual screen method to get rid of the notch like we saw on the Nubia Z20? Let
me know down in the comments. Either way, phones this year have been pretty awesome. Hit that subscribe button if you haven’t already.
Got a lot of videos coming for the future. And come hang out with me on Instagram and
Twitter. Thanks a ton for watching, I’ll see you around.