The Galaxy Note 7 was a disaster on an epic scale, one that would have ruined smaller companies who don’t have the resources of Samsung. But before the first reports of unexplained fires started arriving, the phone was getting rave reviews – many called it the best Android device on the market at the time.
In February, reports arrived claiming Samsung was planning to sell refurbished versions of the combustible handset, only without the battery issues that plagued the original (and replacement) Note 7s. These new versions, which are currently only available in South Korea, are called the Galaxy Note Fan Edition, somewhat ironically.
Samsung said the new Note 7s feature “upgraded components,” and thanks to iFixit performing one of its famous teardowns, we now know exactly what’s changed: not a lot, it turns out.
The main difference is, obviously, the battery. The Fan Edition’s is 9 percent smaller than the original’s and has a 12.32 Wh (3200mAh) capacity compared to the previous 13.48 Wh (3500mAh). The overall size is also slightly smaller and it is 2.3 grams lighter.
"Beyond batteries, we've got exactly the same phone: no evidence of the rumored processor bumps, and no surprises," writes iFixit.
There are also some subtle changes to the antenna pattern, which may be related to compatibility for Korean networks. The site gives it a 4/10 repairability score, noting that the glass on the front and back, along with the strong adhesive on the rear, mean it’s a difficult phone to fix.
Samsung plans to sell just 400,000 Fan Editions in South Korea, but it hasn’t ruled out expanding to other markets. The handset costs just under 700,000 won (roughly $616).