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Google Nexus One teardown photos reveal 'thoughtful' design

post #1 of 128
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A teardown of Google's new custom-designed Nexus One handset found no major surprises in the straightforward smartphone, though its ease of disassembly was called impressive.

As usual, iFixit wasted no time to get inside the latest hardware, tearing apart the Nexus One just a day after it was announced. The handset is available for T-Mobile under contract for $179, contract-free for $529, and is coming to other carriers, including Verizon and Vodafone, this spring. Though sold by Google, the device was designed in conjunction with hardware maker HTC.

The new handset has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor inside. To get to it, the replaceable battery on the back of the Nexus One must be taken off. Access to the battery is allowed even though the device is just 0.45 inches thick -- slightly thinner than the 0.48 inches on the iPhone 3GS.

"Once we took the fancy wrapper off the phone, the Nexus One revealed itself to be very similar to other smartphones, albeit with stronger hardware," the solutions provider said. "Its thoughtful internal design did impress us, as did its ease of disassembly."

The Nexus One also features 802.11n capabilities, besting the iPhone 3GS, which only offers 802.11g. The Broadcom BCM4329 Wi-Fi chip found inside is the same as was discovered in the third-generation iPod touch, though Apple's latest iPod does not support 802.11n out of the box.



Among iFixit's findings in disassembling the Nexus One:

The handset is held together by numerous screws. This is very different from the fifth-generation iPod nano, which is held together mostly by glue and adhesive, making it easy to put together but difficult to take apart.

"It's quite a colorful phone on the inside," the site said. "We've got oranges, greens, yellows, dark grays, and all sorts of fun stuff!"


the 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED display is made by Samsung. It features a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels, less than the Motorola Droid's 480 by 854 resolution, but more than the 320 by 480 pixel screen found on the iPhone 3GS.


The touchscreen is powered by a Synaptics chip. Numerous other chips are included on the board, and most of them (at least three) are made by Qualcomm, including the QSD8250 Snapdragon ARM processor.

It also includes an Audience A1026 voice processor that includes noise cancellation, and an LED flash that is smaller than a dime.


While the Nexus One gained a great deal of attention for its announcement Tuesday, Wall Street analysts said they still believe Apple's iPhone has the advantage, thanks mostly to the resounding success of the App Store. Apple announced this week that more than 3 billion apps have been downloaded for the iPhone and iPod touch.
post #2 of 128
Reviewers, App Store, and multi-touch notwithstanding, this is a very good product. Basically, the competition has caught up with Apple at this point (and perhaps bested it in a couple of key areas).

Apple must -- I have no doubt they will -- really push the envelope and change the game, yet again, with its 4th generation iPhone.

It would be good if there some preview of that at the forthcoming event.
post #3 of 128
So it looks like it's possible to have a replaceable battery without sacrificing compact design or brute processing power.

All phones should have the ability to swap batteries so that when you're on a long trip without access to an outlet you can at least do stuff on your phone for longer than 1 battery charge.

I really hope Apple innovates the iPhone with user-replaceable batteries.
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #4 of 128
Incidentally, I also wonder: what's happened to the vaunted 'we've patented the heck out of it with 200 different patents' boast from SJ two and a half years ago? How come the competitors have stomped all over it (except for multitouch in the US, apparently available elsewhere on Android).
post #5 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

I really hope Apple innovates the iPhone with user-replaceable batteries.

Unless they can double the battery life (by sealing it in) to, say, 10-12 hours, I have to agree with you.
post #6 of 128
post #7 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Incidentally, I also wonder: what's happened to the vaunted 'we've patented the heck out of it with 200 different patents' boast from SJ two and a half years ago? How come the competitors have stomped all over it (except for multitouch in the US, apparently available elsewhere on Android).

Probably because of prior art on the dozens of PDAs that have been released prior to the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Having applications, camera, music, etc on a PDA-like formfactor has been around for ages. Even multitouch has been around for years before Apple put it in the iPhone.

Palm even made phones with resistive touch screens with the same formfactor and most of the same features long before the iPhone.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #8 of 128
Is there any information on the double-microphone that is used on the device to decrease outgoing background noise? I think the second mic is on the back of the phone.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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post #9 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

So it looks like it's possible to have a replaceable battery without sacrificing compact design or brute processing power.

All phones should have the ability to swap batteries so that when you're on a long trip without access to an outlet you can at least do stuff on your phone for longer than 1 battery charge.

I really hope Apple innovates the iPhone with user-replaceable batteries.

God I hope not, non replaceable battery is one of my favourite features. I hate weak plastic doors. My bets stuff starts pinging off the nexus in no time.
post #10 of 128
That is a very beautiful phone. Inside and out
post #11 of 128
Man, the iPhone 4 is going to have to be pretty impressive if they are going to best the Nexus One.
post #12 of 128
Anyone else think that the iPhone going to VZW before the N1 would be curious timing (as in crap like that doesn't happen but once in a business lifetime) if it happened?

If Apple is able to bring the iPhone to VZW this year before the N1, I think the N1 is dead before it even turns 6 months old.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #13 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

So it looks like it's possible to have a replaceable battery without sacrificing compact design or brute processing power.

All phones should have the ability to swap batteries so that when you're on a long trip without access to an outlet you can at least do stuff on your phone for longer than 1 battery charge.

I really hope Apple innovates the iPhone with user-replaceable batteries.

It's an innovation to have a crappy replaceable battery??? Since when?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TechCrunch review of Nexus One

... the downside: all this hardware bling is an energy hog. The screen will self adjust brightness and Google is smart about turning down the processor when its not being used. But Ive found battery life to be woefully brief, even by iPhone standards. Officially the phone has up to 7 hours talk time, 250 hours standby, 5 hours of 3G Internet use, 7 hours of video playback and 20 hours of audio playback. Unofficially, I was able to kill the fully charged battery with 1.5 hours of continuous gameplay (Robo Defense) on the full-brightness screen. Be prepared to keep this phone near a charger at all times. ...

Doing things the way they were always done is not "innovation." Especially when the results are obviously better doing it the new way.
post #14 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post

Man, the iPhone 4 is going to have to be pretty impressive if they are going to best the Nexus One.

They already have... the Nexus One having a few new innovative (and, in some cases, quite cool) features, does not make up for all the marvelous iPhone features it lacks. Anybody buying phones based on a hardware feature list is going to be missing out on the stuff that actually makes an electronic device enjoyable to use, though I'm sure plenty of people here understand this.

The Nexus One is offering what I want to see, though: a promise that Apple has competition and needs to press the buck in ongoing iPhone innovation.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #15 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

So it looks like it's possible to have a replaceable battery without sacrificing compact design or brute processing power.

All phones should have the ability to swap batteries so that when you're on a long trip without access to an outlet you can at least do stuff on your phone for longer than 1 battery charge.

I really hope Apple innovates the iPhone with user-replaceable batteries.

A good battery extender like Mophi or other works great, no need for replaceable battery (to me).
post #16 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It's an innovation to have a crappy replaceable battery??? Since when?

Doing things the way they were always done is not "innovation." Especially when the results are obviously better doing it the new way.

It is innovation when you are able to make extremely compact phones without resorting to screwing the end user with a non user-replaceable batteries. Plain and simple.

Frankly, making a single unit design is a cheap manufacturing slight of hand that is worse off for the consumer and better for the company that gets paid to replace batteries.

Honestly, who ever requests being limited to one battery as a must-have-feature??? Apparently you do, but practically nobody else wants to be limited.

This smacks of the Onion video of the Apple wheel, a laptop with no keyboard, where the mac fan says that taking the keyboard away WAS A FEATURE.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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post #17 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

though I'm sure plenty of people here understand this.

Nope... scroll up for proof.
post #18 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

A good battery extender like Mophi or other works great, no need for replaceable battery (to me).

It works for some people, but it doesn't work for others who don't want to carry a heavier phone due to the deadweight of the dead battery inside, and also those who want to keep using cases and protection accessories which were designed for use with the phone alone, not with the bulk of an extender.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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post #19 of 128
The phone is a decent phone, but still has some major drawbacks along with those perks. It has some innovative features, and some that I'm honestly surprised aren't on the iPhone yet (Wireless N for one).

Some of the Pro's I like:
Screen Lock (including gestures to unlock in addition to alphanumeric codes)
VPN support
Standard Wireless Support (Wireless-N which is nice)
Application Sandboxing
Application Signing - Doesn't require trusted signers which defeats the purpose however
SD Storage
Removable battery
Higher resolution screen

Some Cons:
Manual syncing (drag and drop) for media - lacks polish of iTunes
190 MB app storage limit (from the shared 512MB also used for the phone OS..leaves 190 for apps)
No Remote Wipe
No hardware encryption
Lacks Corporate Policy Enforcement

It's a decent offering to be sure, but it has some hurdles to clear first.
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post #20 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

A good battery extender like Mophi or other works great, no need for replaceable battery (to me).

I made the mistake of buying a mophie for the iPhone 3G. I had to return 3 of them before I got one that will make it through 1 round of golf with GPS on and the mophe juice pack 3g. My mophie and iPhone were completely drained. I had to put my phone on the charger when I got to my car to call home to see if my wife needed anything picked up from the grocery store for dinner.

Sometimes they charge, some times the don't. Do a search on Mophie with
"mophie juice pack doesn't work".
post #21 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

They already have... the Nexus One having a few new innovative (and, in some cases, quite cool) features, does not make up for all the marvelous iPhone features it lacks. Anybody buying phones based on a hardware feature list is going to be missing out on the stuff that actually makes an electronic device enjoyable to use, though I'm sure plenty of people here understand this.

The Nexus One is offering what I want to see, though: a promise that Apple has competition and needs to press the buck in ongoing iPhone innovation.

I was referring to the hardware in the iPhone 4, while the 2.1 android is more flashy than the Droids 2.0, you are right as Apple certainly has the better OS. Hardware wise, the Nexus overpowers the iPhone, and I do hope Apple's iPhone 4 patches up the "flaws" that other companies have been exploiting (camera and flash, outdated screen, and battery life flaws).
post #22 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Honestly, who ever requests being limited to one battery as a must-have-feature??? Apparently you do, but practically nobody else wants to be limited.

This smacks of the Onion video of the Apple wheel, a laptop with no keyboard, where the mac fan says that taking the keyboard away WAS A FEATURE.

I have never changed a battery in any phone in my entire life. I have however been plagued with crappy plastic cases that ping off and or break. Therefore for me it's a feature.

It's another one of those things that people moaned about, then after a while got used to, then after another period of time began to enjoy the benefits of.

I bet only a small percentage of users change batteries in their phones.
post #23 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I have never changed a battery in any phone in my entire life. I have however been plagued with crappy plastic cases that ping off and or break. Therefore for me it's a feature.

It's another one of those things that people moaned about, then after a while got used to, then after another period of time began to enjoy the benefits of.

I bet only a small percentage of users change batteries in their phones.

Changing an iPhone battery is actually pretty easy, but not something you can do on a plane (or would want to as it would probably look a bit suspicious..lol).

Tons of how-to videos. It's relatively simple but involves a screw driver:

http://video.gearlive.com/video/arti...tery-tutorial/

I work around it by carrying around a mini charger/battery pack. There are numerous types for sale.

http://www.google.com/search?q=iphone+mobile+charger
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post #24 of 128
The G1 was trash and G2 trash compared to the iPhone is terms of hardware. The Nexus has surpassed in hardware implementation. The Snapdragon ARM chip from QCOM running at 1 GHz is very powerful and power efficient. The rest of the 3G chipset is expected to perform well. Same for the rest of the hardware. One weakness may be the battery cover, but that can be fixed if double spring loaded locks. Meanwhile, they keep on polishing the software.

Apple will have a hard time matching the hardware performance since it is tied to the Samsung ARM chipset. They stood still for too long without making radical changes with each model... Google did not stand still. Apple will have to enable multitasking, VoIP, Skype always on.

No wonder the Apple stock got hit today.
post #25 of 128
The Nexus One has competition in the form of the HTC HD2 for T-Mo. Disappointing truly, i would have bought this as a second device to my Bold even though im not terribly fond of touchscreen phones since i do lots of typing.
post #26 of 128
"It's a clear win for Google on the specs. However, specificationists should beware. The iPhone was far from the cutting edge spec-wise when it launched in 2007. In fact, Nokia's N95, which was launched almost five months before the iPhone, had higher specs in almost every category. The iPhone beat it with usability, attention to detail and features such as integration with iTunes. And that was before the App Store. The Google Nexus One is a worthy opponent for the iPhone at last but this battle is far from won."
post #27 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post

Man, the iPhone 4 is going to have to be pretty impressive if they are going to best the Nexus One.

I doesn't need to be but it will be.
post #28 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

"It's a clear win for Google on the specs. However, specificationists should beware. The iPhone was far from the cutting edge spec-wise when it launched in 2007. In fact, Nokia's N95, which was launched almost five months before the iPhone, had higher specs in almost every category. The iPhone beat it with usability, attention to detail and features such as integration with iTunes. And that was before the App Store. The Google Nexus One is a worthy opponent for the iPhone at last but this battle is far from won."

Yeah, the hardware specs can only rival a phone that will soon be replaced by a new model... Hardware is always a moving target. Basically just a win for the component manufacturers. Google needs to differentiate with the software side. They are certainly second to Apple, but they seem to be a distant second.

Apple may have a surprise on the component side though with a PASemi designed chip. If their PowerPC chip is an example of what they can do with ARM, then there may be awesome performance per watt. I'm curious what fab they will be using. Intel? Samsung? SMC?
post #29 of 128
You only need to know one thing about Android:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12...misses-privacy
With Google becoming so evil, you'd have to be a moron to get an Android phone. Or use Gmail or Google docs, or Google Voice, etc. I barely even want to use them for searching anymore. (Though I did find the EFF link using Google...)
post #30 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

A good battery extender like Mophi or other works great, no need for replaceable battery (to me).

If mophi had a dock connector pass through so I could dock it in my car and other docks, I'd have one too. Until then, user replaceable gets the edge here.
post #31 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Palm even made phones with resistive touch screens with the same formfactor and most of the same features long before the iPhone.

You see, that's the thing. It was the capacitive touchscreen and multitouch that really made the hardware in the iPhone stand out. Palm never had those. The magic is in the details.
post #32 of 128
Speaking of the iPhone, It just doesn't get any better than this:

http://ardrone.parrot.com/parrot-ar-...videos/#player


wow!!!!!!
post #33 of 128
Maybe by the sixth iteration, they'll be human like.
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http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

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Never quote idiots, they just clog up...
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post #34 of 128
Swappable battery is cheapaud-designaud in itself, yet the board looks indeed classier, than iPhone's that.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #35 of 128
They don't make a mention of whether the battery life is comparable to the iPhone. If it is, and has a detachable battery while also using higher-specced parts, then I imagine the iPhone is due for a hardware refresh anyway But if it isn't, then this proves nothing about user replaceable batteries being better, because clearly they wouldn't provide a tangible benefit without also providing a tangible negative.

Personally? I would like a battery extender, because Apple keeps its dock connector the same, so you can switch over to a new phone model w/o spending more money on a spare battery. So I'd say it would have to be preference. But then, generally user replaceable batteries aren't recycled, versus if Apple does it, then it is. So non-user replaceable batteries win on that environmental front.
post #36 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post

Man, the iPhone 4 is going to have to be pretty impressive if they are going to best the Nexus One.

The next iPhone needs to deliver:
  • AMOLED screen
  • Radio
  • Higher resolution
  • Longer battery life

It's not in Apple's best interest to fall behind in a segment it created.

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post #37 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

Some Cons:
Manual syncing (drag and drop) for media - lacks polish of iTunes

Try Double Twist. It's almost a carbon copy of iTunes, uses the Amazon MP3 store and supports the Nexus One.

Quote:
190 MB app storage limit (from the shared 512MB also used for the phone OS..leaves 190 for apps)

This limit is in the pipeline for being removed and it only effects binaries at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

"It's a clear win for Google on the specs. However, specificationists should beware. The iPhone was far from the cutting edge spec-wise when it launched in 2007. In fact, Nokia's N95, which was launched almost five months before the iPhone, had higher specs in almost every category. The iPhone beat it with usability, attention to detail and features such as integration with iTunes. And that was before the App Store. The Google Nexus One is a worthy opponent for the iPhone at last but this battle is far from won."

The N95 outsold the original 2G iPhone by at least 2:1 and probably closer to 3:1.
post #38 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

Maybe by the sixth iteration, they'll be human like.

And have more than 190MB of storage for Apps
post #39 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Apple must -- I have no doubt they will -- really push the envelope and change the game, yet again, with its 4th generation iPhone.

What does 'pushing the envelope" actually mean? I'm hearing this from a lot of people but no one is expanding on the cliche's as to what Apple really needs to do to move ahead.
post #40 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

The next iPhone needs to deliver:
  • AMOLED screen
  • Radio
  • Higher resolution
  • Longer battery life

It's not in Apple's best interest to fall behind in a segment it created.

Those features don't move them ahead.
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