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iFixit’s Samsung Galaxy S4 tear down finds internal design very similar to S3


The guys and gals over at iFixit are once again performing their usual teardown ritual and this time they have gotten their hands on the just released Samsung Galaxy S4. It probably won’t be the most exciting teardown you’ve ever read, as the internal design of the device, like the outer design, hasn’t changed much since the Galaxy S3. The good news is that the S4 gets a higher 8 out of 10 score for repairability.

• Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T 1.9 GHz Quad-Core CPU
• Qualcomm MDM9215M 4G GSM/UMTS/LTE modem
• Qualcomm PM8917 power management
• Samsung K3QF2F200E 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM
• Qualcomm WCD9310 audio codec
• Skyworks 77619 Power Amplifier Module for Quad-Band GSM / EDGE
• Qualcomm WTR1605L Seven-Band 4G LTE chip (same part found in the Nexus 4)
• Broadcom 20794S1A standalone NFC chip
• Maxim MAX77803 microcontroller
• Silicon Image 8240BO MHL 2.0 transmitter
• Qualcomm PM8821 Power Management

Check out a full list of highlights from the teardown below and head over to iFixit to see the full teardown step by step:

Teardown highlights:

• Straight out of the box, we are already sighing with relief…it’s a removable battery! Samsung is doing the right thing for their customers and the environment.

• In sharp contrast to HTC’s recent disregard for the megapixel race, Samsung has opted for a rear-facing camera boasting 13 megapixels. It also sports the now-standard LED flash, a back-illuminated sensor, and the ability to record full 1080p HD video at 30 fps.

• Samsung’s left no useful space un-adorned with extra components—the headphone jack is home to the status LED and the first of a pair of IR sensors. A multi-purpose component connects the earpiece speaker, IR blaster, and a sensor array hosting the ambient light sensor and a second IR sensor.

• The placement of the IR sensors on either side of the earpiece speaker explains how Samsung’s new Air View/Air Gesture feature operates. By comparing IR light reflected from your hand into each of the sensors, the phone can track sideways motion as you gesture without touching the screen.

• The daughterboard is home to a full-featured micro USB port. With MHL and USB OTG support, users can use this port for HDMI output and USB peripherals in addition to charging and transferring data.

• The touchscreen controller, a Synaptics S5000B, is hiding behind the screen. This chip is responsible for the S4’s super-sensitive touchscreen, which even works with gloves.

• Just last week, Samsung announced they’re going to stop using tin solder from dangerous mines in Indonesia. That change hasn’t had time to work it’s way through the supply chain yet, so it’s very possible the tin in this phone came from the informal mines at Bangka.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.