Nexus 4 - The teardown

A teardown of the Nexus 4 reveals a smartphone packed with cutting-edge technology inside a handset that's easy to open up and repair.

Now that Google's Nexus 4 is out, we can see what makes it tick thanks to the folks at repair firm iFixit.

Compared to handsets such as the iPhone 5, the Nexus 4 is pretty easy to dismantle. You need a pry tool to get into the device, and once you're inside it, you'll only be faced by a maximum of 15 Phillips #00 screws. They come in four different lengths so you will need to keep track of which screw goes where, but this is still far easier than the jamboree of screws found in some devices.

There is some adhesive used in the construction of the Nexus 4, which does make carrying out repairs such as changing the battery trickier, but as long as you take care it shouldn't be a problem.

The back of the Nexus 4 features an NFC antenna and an induction coil needed for wireless charging. While the Nexus 4 supports wireless charging, the handset doesn't ship with a wireless charger.

When it comes to hardware packed onto the mainboard, you're not going to be disappointed. On the mainboard is a lot of hardware, including:

  • Samsung K3PE0E00A 2 GB RAM -- The Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5 GHz CPU is likely to be underneath this chip (red box)
  • Toshiba THGBM5G6A2JBA1R 8GB Flash
  • Qualcomm WTR1605L Seven-Band 4G LTE chip
  • Qualcomm MDM9215M 4G GSM/CDMA modem (orange box)
  • SlimPort ANX7808 SlimPort Transmitter (HDMI output converter)
  • Invensense MPU-6050 Six-Axis (Gyro + Accelerometer)
  • Avago ACPM-7251 Quad-Band GSM/EDGE and Dual-Band UMTS Power Amplifier
  • Avago 3012 Ultra Low-Noise GNSS Front-End Module
  • Qualcomm PM8921 Power Management (black box)
  • Avago A5702, A5704, A5505
  • Qualcomm WCD9310 Audio Codec (pink box)

iFixit has given the Nexus 4 a repairability score of 7 out of a possible 10 (where 10 is easiest to repair) . This is the same as awarded to the iPhone 5 - far superior to the dismal 2 out of 10 scored by the iPad 4.

The black marks against the Google Galaxy Nexus 4 include the adhesive used to stick the battery into the device, and the glass cover is fused to the display and the display frame, which makes it easy to break.

Image source: iFixit.