A lot of people had high hopes for the Motorola Razr, but those quickly fell apart when its durability was questioned and reviews were… not good. Today, iFixit has given the Motorola Razr a teardown and, unsurprisingly, they’ve come to the conclusion it’s extremely difficult to repair, even saying it’s “one of the most complex phones ever.”
Google’s new Pixel 3a forgoes a handful of features to lower the price, and it seems those changes actually managed to make this phone easier to repair compared to most of today’s flagships. In a teardown of the Pixel 3a, iFixit describes how this phone reminds them of when phones were easier to fix.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold has an unclear future, but a recent teardown revealed a lot on why the device was having issues. Now, however, it’s looking like Samsung may have requested that iFixit remove its Galaxy Fold teardown.
Known for deviceteardowns, iFixit in recent years has been one of the leading proponents for the “Right to Repair.” That effort got a big boost today with a partnership that sees Motorola supply OEM parts directly to iFixit for official repair kits.
For this week’s 9to5Rewards, we’re giving away some iFixit swag, straight from the website that’s best known for their teardowns of iPhones, Android phones and other gadgets. This week we’re giving away about a few repair kits to three lucky 9to5Google readers…
For this week’s 9to5Rewards, we’re giving away some extra iFixit swag, straight from the website that’s best known for their teardowns of Android smartphones and other gadgets. This week we’re giving away about a couple of repair kits to one lucky 9to5Google reader…
The teardown masters at iFixit pulled apart the Google Pixel a couple weeks ago to reveal a little bit of expected HTC branding on the inside, and now they’re back at it again with the Google Home. This time the biggest finding is just how easy this thing is to repair, getting a score of 8 out of 10 — which is notably better than most smartphones these days.
As is customary with a new device, several sources have now performed a teardown of the Google Pixel. Speaking to the Google-made nature of the device, iFixit notes that there is “almost zero evidence of this phone’s HTC manufacturing origin.” Another look at the premium hardware reveals that front-facing speaker grill is surprisingly made of cloth.
With a dual-camera system that takes good pictures, the Huawei P9 is an excellent hardware showing from the company. As usual, iFixit has a teardown of Huawei’s flagship and reveals an easily repairable device with modular components and easy access to the battery.
The latest Galaxy S7 continues the trend of hard-to-fix smartphones. iFixit gives Samsung’s latest flagship device a 3/10 repairability score, noting how difficult it is to get into the device in the first place. And once you get in, it’s even harder to replace one component without damaging another.
When Project Ara arrives, one of its first and more established competitors will be Fairphone. In a teardown, iFixit found the company’s second generation modular phone to be highly repairable, giving it a 10 out of 10 rating…
There are plenty of different comparison points between this year’s Nexus phones, and in most of them the Nexus 6P is simply superior. The Nexus 6P has a larger screen, a more premium build, a better camera, and more powerful internals. But there’s one area that we now know that the Nexus 6P is clearly the loser. When it comes to repairability, the Nexus 6P is one of the worst phones ever, getting a score of just 2 out of 10 from iFixit… Expand Expanding Close
Two years after the original Chromecast HDMI streaming stick, Google decided it was ready last week to unveil the sequel with a redesigned and more capable 2nd-gen Chromecast as well as an entirely new product for streaming audio to old speakers called Chromecast Audio. Readily standing by, the folks over at iFixit have already picked up and torn apart both new streamers. Both look remarkably similar on the inside at first glance, and iFixit has some praise for how Chromecast handles HDMI this year… Expand Expanding Close
In case you didn’t know, iFixit, known for its disassembly instructions and teardowns, does more than just smartphones. We may find the repairability of of our handsets to be just one more benchmark to compare different brands, but who says we can’t do that with routers too? Google’s OnHub router is one of the first of its kind, and it turns out that it’s not super easy to repair…
Hardware over the years has definitely become more attractive to the eye, but repairing these devices has gotten a lot more difficult at the expense of unibody designs and huge glass screens. The OnHub is kind of similar. Unlike the routers of old that were basically just a couple of screws away from full disassembly, the OnHub is held together with clips and has fragile parts.
To give you an idea, iFixit only listed one thing clearly positive about the OnHub: The device’s speaker is replaceable. But it’s all downhill from there. Assembled mostly with clips that iFixit found to be easily broken, the OnHub has most ports on one board (meaning solder will likely be needed), tiny fragile antenna connectors, and its build is overall fairly complex.
If you want to read more about the details of the OnHub’s hardware, head over to iFixit.
This year’s Android flagships have really gotten the beating from iFixit. The group gave the HTC One M9 a 2/10 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 a slightly-better 4/10, just as two examples. But the LG G4, which many believe to be the best Android handset introduced this year as of yet, seems to have an advantage in terms of repairability as well. At least partially due to the fact that it’s one of the only handsets left that has a removable back, iFixit has graced LG’s flagship with a repairability score of 8/10. Expand Expanding Close
The disassembly pros at iFixit are at it again, this time tearing down the LG Watch Urbane. LG’s latest entry into the Android Wear space is considered by many to be the fanciest and nicest smartwatch available, but now it looks like we have the authority on device teardowns confirming that it’s also going to be pretty easy to pull apart on the off chance you’ll need to fix it yourself.
iFixit has been hard at work tearing down the latest round of Android flagships, and following last week’s pull-apart of the HTC One M9, we now have a look at the inside of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. Smartphones in general have been breaking records for difficulty in repairability, but it seems that this year’s phones in particular are especially a pain, and the S6 edge is absolutely no exception. In fact, the S6 edge is taking a two-point hit in repairability compared to the S5…
The Samsung Galaxy S6 was only recently announced at the beginning of this month, but at least one person seems to have already gotten their hands on the device and given it the teardown treatment. Smartphone teardowns have definitely gotten more difficult as components continue shrinking and device designs have gotten sleeker, and based on this video, the Galaxy S6 is no exception…
You can find the full teardown over at iFixit (a site well-known for their comprehensive device disassemblies), but this one is a community contribution. It supposedly only takes 12 steps to take apart, but the guide is definitely an over-simplification if you have no experience tearing these devices down. Just removing the back of the S6 would probably be a challenge for the faint of heart.
iFixit, a company which made its name supplying parts, tools and instructional guides for repairing Apple products, is now branching out into the Android market. So if you’ve been wondering what to do with a broken phone or tablet, you can now try your hand at a DIY repair.
Our Android Repair hub is now live. On it, you’ll find hundreds of Android repair guides and replacement parts for a dozen of Android’s most popular devices—including the Samsung Galaxy S, the Galaxy Note, and the Nexus tablet series.
The challenge, of course, is that there are way more Android devices than Apple ones–almost 4000 different models of smartphone, even before you start counting tablets, smartwatches and TV boxes … Expand Expanding Close
The reason Amazon’s Fire Phone has failed to impress is that it spent so much on the “gimmick” of dynamic perspective that it only had enough cash left to build an otherwise mediocre phone – the conclusion of a component analysis of a teardown of the phone.
Dynamic perspective allows the phone to detect and respond to head movements when viewing the phone’s display, but has been widely seen by reviewers as a novelty or gimmick.
Following iFixit’s earlier teardown of the Fire Phone, re/code has been given sight of a component costing following a separate teardown by research form IHS. This reveals that the total component cost of the Fire Phone is around $205 – more expensive even than Apple’s flagship iPhone 5S. The cost of the dynamic perspective technology left little room for anything but mid-range specs in the rest of the handset, says IHS … Expand Expanding Close
iFixit has added to the poor reception given to Amazon’s first ever smartphone, the Fire Phone, by rating it 3/10 for repairability. Even Amazon didn’t seem to have great confidence in the technology, its first ad focusing instead on the free 1-year Amazon Prime subscription you get with the phone.
Despite external, non-proprietary screws and no adhesive holding the casing together, iFixit found that simply removing the battery proved challenging, requiring a mix of heating and prying. After that, says the company, things only got worse … Expand Expanding Close
A OnePlus One in the wild is about as rare as a household connected to Google Fiber, but despite how uncommon these two occurrences are, they’re very much real. In the case of the former, the folks at iFixit have managed to get their hands on the elusive smartphone and dismember it in the name of science. This exploratory surgery pretty much uncovered what we’d expect to see: 3GB of Samsung-made RAM, a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 801 CPU and a pair of cameras (5 and 13-megapixel) designed by Chinese manufacture Sunny Optical Technology.
Google let iFixit open up one of its 200 prototypes of the Project Tango phone, an Android phone that uses highly-sensitive 3D motion-tracking and measurement to create automatic maps of interior locations.
The device is a really neat piece of kit, and Google believes that developers will find plenty of uses for it. For example, use the phone to scan the interior of your home before you go furniture shopping, and it will create an accurate 3D model of your home complete with measurements. Take the phone to the store with you to see exactly how furniture might fit … Expand Expanding Close
If hardware quality was the only factor in buying a phone, you could stop reading right here and go out and buy the HTC One M8 – it is the best looking, best built (AFAICT after 3 days) phone out there, bar none.
The front will look familiar, if elongated, to current One owners. It still has separated stereo speakers which incidentally are again the best you’ll hear in a phone by a long shot, but the screen is bigger and unfortunately so is the bezel around the screens.
That extra length tallies to a centimeter taller than its predecessor making an already big phone now almost phablet-like in stature. Add to that HTC’s insistence of putting a power button on top of the phone which you must shimmy up and down to reach and you’ve got yourself some usability experience issues before you even turn on the phone.
The back of my gray “stainless steel” unit matches up nicely with my fridge in the kitchen. I mean that in the nicest possible way. It looks gorgeous, though I’m not sure I’d say the same for other color variations offered, particularly the gold model. The improved curves are super nice in the hand and also look the part. You’d almost forgive how long this thing is…almost.
The M8 may not be terribly repairable by iFixit standards, but HTC has your back with a pretty impressive repair plan called HTC Customer Advantage. In it, you get a free screen repair within 6 months, a somewhat vague promise to keep Android updated to the most recent version (the website says “We are committed to keeping you current” but at the show they said 2 years of upgrades), and 25-50GB of extra Google Drive space.
Besides the length coupled with the power button, I’m still a huge fan of the exterior. But then there is the interior with HTC’s insistence on Sense 6.0 and this new 3-camera system… Expand Expanding Close
There are few things I look forward to more with a high-profile handset launch than the iFixit tear down. The good folks at the company are tearing the Nexus 5 up as only they can do and showing us all the wonderful cords, plugs, parts, pieces and everything that makes up Google’s newest flagship device.
Some notable takeaways from the video include the discovery the battery is held in place with only “very mild adhesive” making it “fairly easy to remove and replace.” Ten #00 Philip head screws hold everything in place “simplifying repairs and reassembly.” As for any bad news, that arrives with the glass and LCD both fused to the display frame making any fixes to the glass either “expensive or very difficult.”
Ok, so we’ll take the good with the bad but watching the whole video is more than worth the 3:45 of your time.
The Frankenstein-like NVIDIA Shield, the handheld games console whose size and weight (1.5 pounds!) makes it seem like something invented in the 1990s, has been given the tear-down treatment by ifixit.
One thing is for sure—with its shields disabled, this device looks nothing like any tablet we’ve ever taken apart … or game console … or anything
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
The folks at iFixit are performing its usual teardown ritual today. This time it has a full breakdown of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD announced earlier this month. One of the teardown highlights: the device includes a 3.7 V, 4400 mAh, 16.43 Wh Li-ion battery that has about the same juice as the previous-generation Kindle Fires, which means the 11 hours of expected battery life is up for debate. Other findings: The Kindle Fire HD sports an upgraded Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM from Elpida, a LCD from LG Display, and 16GB of flash memory from Samsung. Overall, the device scores a decent 7 out of 10 repairability score, which ties with the Nexus 7 and beats the third-generation iPad.
-Samsung KLMAG2GE4A eMMC 16 GB Flash Memory and Flash Memory Controller
-Elpida B8164B3PF-1D-F 8 Gb (1 GB) DDR2 RAM
-Texas Instruments TWL6032 Fully Integrated Power Management IC
-Broadcom BCM2076 GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and FM Receiver/Transmitter
-Wolfson WM8962E Ultra-Low Power Stereo CODEC
-B50 5222 12507A9A10
The folks at iFixit are once again ripping apart the latest devices. This time Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1, officially launched just last week, gets the teardown treatment. It scored relatively high for repairability compared to the industry’s leading tablet, the iPad. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 came in at 8 out of 10—that is in comparison to the newest iPad’s 2 out of 10 score.
* Major players on the motherboard include the following: * Samsung Exynos 4 Quad 1.4 GHz processor with integrated 3D graphics * Wacom W8008 (we assume this is used for S Pen input) * Atmel mXT1664S touchscreen controller * Samsung KLMAG2GE4A NAND flash memory * Wolfson Audio WM1811AE audio codec * F0514A 430 1201KP411
There was nothing too shocking in the teardown, but iFixit was able to identify the origin of many components. As noted in the report, “it’s nearly impossible to have a truly American-made electronic device.” Here is what it found:
iFixit is hardcore when it comes to breaking open our favorite electronics to see what’s inside, and the website did it again today with the refreshed Google-flagship, Asus-built Nexus 7 that unveiled at the Google I/O conference last week.
— The 7-inch tablet offers GPS, NFC, and Wi-Fi antennas all manufactured between April 20 and May 25, 20011.
— The Nexus 7 boasts a 4326 mAh battery that lasts 9:49 hours, whereas the Kindle Fire has a 4400 mAh battery that lasts 7:42 hours. Meanwhile, the new iPad battery, which is “significantly larger” at 11,500 mAh, only lasts 9:52 hours for HSPA and 9:37 hours for LTE.
— The official Nexus page stated there is one “speaker” in the back, but iFixit spotted
— Hydis manufactures the 7-inch, 1,280-by-800 HD display designated by model HV070WX2.
The folks over at iFixithave torn-down the Galaxy Nexus, per usual, exposing what’s underneath. While they didn’t find anything we didn’t already know in terms of hardware, the team found that it’s fairly easy to get into the device — unlike the Droid RAZR — requiring only a few screws and a guitar pick. For replacing the 1750mAh battery users shouldn’t have any problem. The iFixit team does worn however that the screen is fairly hard to replace. They’re still working to identify a few power amplifiers and motion processing units , but we’ll let you know when iFixit finds them.
Don’t forget, we’re still waiting on the launch of the Galaxy Nexus in the United States. The Ice Cream Sandwich device has been available in the U.K. for a little over two weeks now, and has seen positive reviews. It shouldn’t be too long until we see Verizon’s LTE in the mix. iFixit gave the device a 6/10 on the repairability scale:
Samsung Galaxy Nexus Repairability Score: 6 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).
Battery replacement is incredibly simple thanks to the removable rear panel.
Minimal adhesive makes removal of the motherboard and other components a snap.
Headphone jack and speaker assembly are not soldered to the motherboard, so replacement is easy.
The only soldered components are the volume switch and vibrator motor.
Removing the rear case to access the motherboard and other internals requires a lotof careful prying and guitar-picking.
The glass is fused to both the display and the display frame. So don’t crack the glass unless you’re good with a heat gun, or you’re fond of replacing the glass, display, and frame together ($$$).
The guys and gals over at iFixit are once again tearing down our favorite electronic devices, this time the new Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble. The end result is a repairability score of 6 out of 10 and a few interesting findings, especially in comparison to the Kindle Fire. Today we also get our first root for the device, allowing the Android Market to run with some minor limitations. Liliputing (viaSlashGear) has compiled a complete guide using tips from various posters on Xda-developers.
A few noteworthy findings that you may have previously be unaware of include:
Storage– While Barnes & Noble advertises 16GB of onboard internal storage (saying the 6GB included in Amazon’s Kindle Fire makes it “deficient for a media tablet”), the truth is only 1GB is available for content other than B&N content. iFixit says only 12GB of the 16GB is actually available to the user, while only 1GB of that 12 is available for content other than that downloaded from the B&N app store. Looks like the majority of your content (other than content purchased from B&N) will have to be stored mostly on microSD.
We also get a nice comparison of the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire. iFixit explains: Expand Expanding Close
The fine folks over at iFixit have done their honorary teardown of the Kindle Fire, which just became available today. The teardown revealed the device is much easier to open than Apple’s iPad and iPod. Other things to note are its huge battery and shiny metal plates on the back case that help provide protection for the internal components, as well as heat sinking and EMI shielding. Head on over to iFixit for all of the technical details.
Interested in our first thoughts on the $199 Fire? Check them out here. A few more teardown photos after the break:
iFixit is once again ripping apart some of our favorite smartphones, this time giving the tear down treatment to Samsung’s 8.49mm thin Epic 4G touch, also known as the Galaxy S II.
While there isn’t much here we didn’t already know, when it was all said and done the Epic 4G grabbed a 7 out of 10 for repairability (10 being the easiest). Here’s an overview of their findings, more shots after the break. Expand Expanding Close
Motorola’s Droid 3, now being offered in a Verizon BOGO scheme, has been torn apart by our friends over at iFixit. The latest incarnation of the Droid family (at least until the Droid Bionic arrives this August), packs some serious bang for your buck. Running on a a dual-core 1GHz OMAP processor from Texas Instruments, the handset sports a four-inch qHD display, a five-row slide-out full QWERTY keyboard and an eight-megapixel back camera that can record 1080p clips. The Droid 3’s dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor with 512MB RAM is clearly an improvement over an ARM Cortex A8 core from the original Droid and Droid 2. Unfortunately, iFixIt notes, Motorola paid no attention to the repairability of the handset because “you still have to take apart the whole phone in order to access the display and glass, a procedure hampered by Torx screws and glue that are used to hold everything together”, prompting them to give the Droid 3 a mid-pack 6 out of 10 repairability score.
While the Droid 2 World edition has a SIM card tray in select markets, the Droid 3 includes one by default, making it easy to use the phone internationally. “This SIM enables the Droid 3 to be used almost anywhere in the world”, reads the analysis. Other noteworthy design choices by Motorola: screws and latches are hidden beneath labels (good for the looks, bad for servicing the device), a hole through the motherboard allows sound to pass through for better transmission to the outside of the phone and a five-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard gives you more control, even with the keys feeling “cheaper in quality than the original keyboard”. The innards include an Atmel MXT224E capacitive touchscreen controller – the same chip powering touch-based input on the Samsung Galaxy Tab – a Qualcomm MDM6600 baseband chip for HSPA+ speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps, another Qualcomm-branded chip (PM8028) that works in conjunction with the MDM6600 to provide wireless data connection, 16GB of SanDisk-branded NAND flash, a Hynix memory controller and more.
Disconnecting the eight-megapixel rear camera (left) and removing the motherboard (right)
We got our review unit yesterday, but today marks the release of Samsung’s first production Chromebook called the Samsung Series 5. The teardown experts over at iFixit have been quick to dismantle the computer and peek under its hood. Their teardown analysis paints the Series 5 machine as “a well-polished version of the rather imperfect Cr-48 prototype Chromebook”. This means that the Series 5 improves on the Cr-48’s clunky trackpad and mediocre battery life, iFixit explained.
The Series 5 fixes the major shortfalls of the Cr-48 and adds the polish necessary to strike lust into the heart of a broad consumer base: sleek looks, 8+ hours of battery life, and optimized performance.
They gave the notebook a decent 6 out of 10 Repairability Score. What about the innards?