Motorola Droid RAZR Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

The Droid RAZR is here, calling upon state-of-the-art space-saving technology, as well as a bit of nostalgia. Claiming once again to have made the thinnest phone in the universe, the Droid RAZR touts impressive features packed into one package. For safety reasons, we will not be throwing it around to see if it will cut bikes and lamp posts (as its trailer suggests), or shooting it to verify if it's bulletproof (we know it's not) -- but we will be opening it up to see what gives it its phone, video, audio and gaming powers.

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Edit Step 1 Motorola Droid RAZR Teardown  ¶ 

  • Is it Christmas already?? No, it's not even Thanksgiving, but we've already received a gift from Motorola—the Droid RAZR. The newest and thinnest addition to the dual-core Droid lineup, the Motorola Droid RAZR packs some impressive specs:

    • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor

    • 1 GB RAM

    • 16 GB internal storage + 16 GB microSD (expandable up to 48 GB)

    • 4.3" Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass

    • 8 MP with HD video recording (1080p) rear-facing camera

    • Verizon 4G LTE network capability

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • We have heard some mighty claims about the thinness of this phone, but how thin is it really?

  • Oh ... that thin. The claims are true; this phone is pretty darn thin.

  • The RAZR measures in at a mere 0.28 inches thin and increases to 0.42 inches at its love-handle the prevalent Motorola camera bulge.

    • For comparison, Verizon boasted with the release of the Droid Bionic in September that it was the slimmest 4G LTE phone at 0.43 inches thick.

  • There is no doubt that the Droid RAZR is exceptionally thin, but Motorola had to fit the internals somewhere. To compensate, the RAZR is also rather large, measuring in at 5.15 inches long and 2.71 inches wide.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • The micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports are located at the top of the phone, next to the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

  • Motorola likely chose this spot because the rest of the phone's slim profile would not be able to fit the ports.

  • Looking at the rear of the phone gives us a glance at the 8 megapixel HD camera and Kevlar rear cover.

  • The Droid RAZR contains an LTE SIM Card slot and a microSD card slot, hidden inside a secret compartment.

  • The phone ships with a pre-installed 16 GB microSD card (for some carriers), for a total capacity of 32GB of storage. It supports microSD cards of up to 64 GB.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • This is how the Droid RAZR stacks up to the Nexus S and the original Droid.

  • And when compared side-by-side, the Droid RAZR is clearly thinner than the iPhone 4S. However, the RAZR sports a much larger footprint that may make operating the phone difficult for folks with smaller hands. More on that later.

  • Here we show the Droid RAZR next to the original Motorola Droid. The extra half inch in either direction makes for a slightly awkward feel when holding the phone in one hand.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • The back cover is fastened tightly to the rest of the phone; removing it will be no simple task. If only we had another Droid RAZR to help slice this one open...

  • Having only one RAZR, we were forced to improvise. This task called for nothing less than... a dozuki.

  • With a little finagling, the back cover separates from the rest of the phone, exposing the battery and the cool Kevlar weave.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • How can something that provides so much rigidity bend so much? The thin plastic, mated with the woven Kevlar, provides a tough yet flexible back cover. With the tensile yield strength of Kevlar being on par with some steels, the back case is the least of our worries as far as critical future repairs go.

    • Kevlar ≠ bulletproof. Most ballistic vests feature layers upon layers of tightly woven Kevlar, as well as a large ceramic plate. Long story short, don't shoot your Droid RAZR and expect it to survive.

  • After twisting and contorting the back case, we shift our focus to what its removal has exposed.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The Droid RAZR is equipped with two whiskey bottles liquid damage indicators: one on the bottom and one on the right side of the phone.

  • We recommend not sweating while holding this phone, as that indicator is mighty close to the edge!

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • A flick of our spudger, a twist of our T5 torx screwdriver, a click of our heels, and badabing badaboom—the battery's disconnected.

  • It's quite the ordeal for removing the battery, but at least you don't have to rip the entire phone apart like a certain other phone we know.

  • Instead of the traditional battery connector socket or soldered wires found in other phones, the Droid RAZR utilizes contact points for its battery connector.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • With the battery no longer firmly attached to the phone, all we have to do is pull the handy "remove battery" tab—ironic, since allegedly the battery's not supposed to be user-replaceable. Oh well.

  • Measuring in at 3.79" long, 2.25" wide, and .110" thick with a capacity of 1750 mAh, this battery provides over 300 mAh more capacity than that of the iPhone 4S.

    • For those faithful repair enthusiasts who are still rocking the original 2004 Motorola RAZR V3, the Droid RAZR has a 1070 mAh greater capacity than its great-grandfather.

  • The battery is ultra-thin, taking up less than half of the phone's total thickness.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • What we had once called a forest of EMI shields has now met its match. The Droid RAZR boasts an Amazon Basin's worth of EMI shields impeding our progress.

  • With the help of our T5 screwdriver, we twist out a few screws from the aluminum and plastic frames still covering the motherboard.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • We were prepared to remove the rear inner framework when suddenly our super iFixit senses detected a hidden screw!

  • We peeled off the plastic cover from around the rear-facing camera to reveal a hidden screw near the flash LED. Sneaky, sneaky Motorola.

  • Dispatching that mischievous screw, and disconnecting several small clips around the perimeter of the rear inner framework enabled us to remove it from the motherboard and display assembly.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • A few more Torx screws, and we're able to remove the diamond-cut aluminum chassis.

    • Why diamond-cut? Motorola needed ultimate precision when manufacturing this thin and light weight component.

  • How extreme are the space constraints inside a device this thin?

  • From the bottom to top, you can see the glass, display, motherboard, motherboard chips, and then quarter. (Quarter sold separately)

  • Check out how the motherboard compares to a quarter. The motherboard with ICs is thinner than 3 quarters stacked together.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Disconnecting the touchscreen controller ribbon cables from their respective sockets allows the motherboard to be separated from the front display assembly.

  • Notice the cool new Atmel ATMXT224E-MAH maXTouch touchscreen controller.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Pulling back the 1.3 MP front-facing camera, apparently capable of 720p HD video, we are now able to undo all the connectors.

  • Zif-a-dee-doo-dah! Zif-a-dee-day! Yes, those are all ZIF type connectors, and yes, they all must bite the dust.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Ah, so that's the reason the RAZR is a bit fatheaded top-heavy. The larger rear-facing camera boasts 8 MP still picture capability and 1080p video at 30 fps.

  • Trying to take video in a fast moving or high vibration environment? Sacrifice a little resolution, down to 720 x 480, and pick up your frame rate to a blistering 120 fps to keep the blur down.

  • The rear-facing camera is marked as V927ABB.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Is it ironic to take a picture of a camera? We don't think so... This dinky metal box is the 1.3 MP front-facing camera, which houses the lens and circuitry.

  • We theorize the leopard print on the fron-facing camera's ribbon cable maximizes speed and aggressiveness. But that is merely a theory...

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • What's that? I can't hear you—speak up. Oh, you're the ear piece, I see. Well, I'm sorry, you're going to have to come out too.

  • No leopard print on this ribbon cable, but that's ok. It's just the main speaker.

  • For those itching to reveal their love of Britney Spears new album or Justin Beiber's new hit solo, fret not, this tiny litte speaker packs enough power to resonate [tinny, muddled] music throughout the room.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Holy cannoli! Look at all 'em chips! To keep the design svelte, Motorola packed pretty much everything on one side of the mobo. Let's see what we're dealing with:

    • Toshiba THGBM4G7D2GBAIE 16GB EMMC Flash Memory

    • Samsung K3PE7E700M-XGC1 4Gb LPDDR2 RAM

    • Qualcomm MDM6600 Dual-Mode Baseband/RF Transceiver

    • Qualcomm PM8028 Power Management IC

    • Avago ACPM-7868 Quad-Band Power Amplifier

    • Motorola T6VP0XBG-0001 (believed to be the LCM 2.0 LTE baseband processor)

    • Texas Instruments WL1285C Wilink 7 Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/GPS

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • So many chips…where's the dip?:

    • Skyworks 77449 Power Amplifier Module for LTE/EUTRAN Bands XIII/XIV

    • Toshiba Y9A0A111308LA Memory Stack

    • ST Ericsson CPCAP 6556002

    • Hynix H90H1GH51JMP (similar to other devices we've seen, this POP chip sits on top of the TI OMAP 4430 processor)

    • Infineon 5726 SLU A1 H1118 3A126586

    • Bosch 2133 C3H L1ABG accelerometer

  • And the back of the board? Even the PCB is stepped with a cavity to recess the flex wrap from back to front. Nothing spared in the pursuit of ultimate thinness.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Teardown update: We discovered some interesting chip changes inside a newer Droid Razr. They include:

  • SanDisk SDIN5C1-16G NAND flash that replaces the Toshiba THGBM4G7D2GBAIE unit

  • ELPIDA B8164B3PF-8D-F RAM takes place in the Samsung K3PE7E700M-XGC1 RAM location

  • Toshiba Y9AOA111418L8 replaces the Hynix H90H1GH51JMP chip that sits atop the TI OMAP 4430 processor

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Motorola Droid RAZR Repairability Score: 4 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • Once the battery and motherboard are within reach, replacement is easy—no soldering required.

    • The "non-serviceable" back was a bit of a pain to remove.

    • The front panel is adhered to the AMOLED display, so they must be replaced as one expensive unit.

    • All plastic frames and casing proved to be incredibly tedious to remove, and felt like they would break at any moment.

    • There are copious amounts of adhesive holding the phone together.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T5 Torx Screwdriver

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T3 Torx Screwdriver

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T4 Torx Screwdriver

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Plastic Opening Tools

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Comments Comments are onturn off

"1 GB RAM"

"Samsung K3PE7E700M-XGC1 4Gb LPDDR2 RAM"

So does it have 1 or 4 Gb of RAM?

ctcsme, · Reply

4Gb (4 gigabits) = 0.5 GigaBytes. I don't know where the other 0.5 GB is.

cityzen,

another 512MB is on the omap4

Lai Zhijie,

where's its CPU,omap4466

tom, · Reply

yeah, where's CPU!?

imrahil,

Just like other Motorola phones and the Kindle Fire, it lies beneath the Hynix chip.

David Hodson,

did you ever try putting it back together?

zonda95, · Reply

You say there's "copious amounts of adhesive"

But I can't see any on the pictures, where is it and why is it on the red notes?

Shinobi, · Reply

Adhesive is between the back cover and the battery, between the other side of the battery and the internals and between the bezel that hides the screw. The bezel is very fragile and I broke and scratched mine even though I was *very* careful. Bye bye resale value.

The absolute worst thing is, the motherboard is glued to the display assembly! The mobo is VERY thin, and trying to pry the board off the display assembly is, IMHO, very likely to damage the board. I have done a lot of these repairs, and this phone sucks for serviceability.

The battery is easy enough to replace, but pay a bonafide service to replace your screen. If they screw up the phone, then they are on the hook to buy a new one, not you....

bobfandango, · Reply

Can you just replace the screen or is the lcd attached to the screen. My screen is cracked but my lcd is perfectly fine i need to know if i have to buy the screen with the lcd or just the screen and how to put it on please help.

Elizabeth Salas, · Reply

I have a RAZR Maxx which was replaced through a 3rd party insurer. They must have sent me a refurbished unit because after about 60 days, the kevlar back has separated from the unit. Can anyone tell me what type of adhesive is used to adhere the kevlar back to the battery and unit?

Larry, · Reply

On my phone, there is a black plastic cover over the screen cable, which is apparently molded to the black middle frame. I am trying to separate the middle frame from the front bezel, but it doesn't want to seem to budge at the top and bottom. I am afraid if I force it further I'm going to break something. Guess I'll take it to Verizon and see how much for a new phone.

I am attempting to replace the USB port., as I have a friend who has the equipment and knowledge to do component level replacement, but it looks like I'm stopping at this stage, cause I can't complete the disassembly.

Sam Hoskins, · Reply

The battery capacity comparison with the iPhone 4S misleading; you can't compare mAh from batteries with different output voltage. A battery with the same mAh rating and twice the voltage output would have twice the energy capacity - just like when you put two batteries in series.

For a fair comparison the mAh should be multiplied with the voltage output which will make it mWh. So to compare both, the iPhone 4S has a 5291 mWh battery and the Droid RAZR has 6650 mWh, making it a 1359 mWh difference.

tguyot, · Reply

T5 screwdriver is too big for these screws. There are two sizes of screws. T5 for batterie connect OK but some are smaller.

Christian DELHOUME, · Reply

T5 for the battery, the rest of the screws are T4.

malken01,

The metal circle on the frame is probably the external speaker for the ringer & speakerphone.

cityzen, · Reply

Maybe the leopard print on both the front and back camera cable is to help keep the connector somewhat cool(during use) but not to the point of weakening the cable?

Kenneth Greene, · Reply

I think it's there to make the cable more flexible where it needs to be.

cityzen,

Note that the earpiece speaker is never used for the ringer, speakerphone, or music playing functions. If it were, lawsuits would result. The speaker for those purposes is on the back of this phone, shown in step 11, 3rd photo.

cityzen, · Reply

Because of a fall, my razr with this problem in HDMI. What is the component of HDMI, so I can turn it off ??

mfquintao, · Reply

step 18, 19, 20: which of these lovelies hold my photos & videos? hoping to rescue them from a phone that took a toilet dive.

Sue, · Reply

I dipped into a jaccuzi with my droid razr in my pocket, for about 30 seconds before i realized it was in my pocket. I put it in rice which didn't help. I then used the above to take the back cover off, I am now going to buy the T5 and T4 torx so I can take battery out. I have insurance and can easily get the phone replaced but just came back from a cruise and have tons of pictures on internal memory of phone, and hoping to salvage so I can at least get my pictures. Any advise on what to trouble shoot first? Note: When i plug phone into wall charger (usb cable into adaptor to wall), the white flash on front comes on for a split second. However when I plug phone using the usb cable to a laptop, the same flash light stays on steady for as long as the phone is plugged in. Any advise is much appreciated.

sackleh, · Reply

For the wall charger. Is it the original moto charger that comes with the phone?

heroxbd,

Nothing of interest on the back side of the Board - there is a step (cavity) in the main PCB to further reduce thickness where the flex goes from back to front ...

In combination with the main board high density technology, this is pretty unique, and a measure of the lengths Motorola have gone to with the new RAZR to make it "geet" thin!

Bees, · Reply

Is the Hynix H90H1GH51JMP the OMAP4?

Randall Underwood, · Reply

Yes, just like in the Motorola phones before it and the Kindle Fire after it.

David Hodson,

You forgot to add the purple square for the accelerometer (to the right of the red square).

A couple of other interesting features: the vibrator motor soldered directly to the board, and the sound cavity for the speaker, with the hole for the sound to go out through the front.

cityzen, · Reply

Good eye! Accelerometer squared.

Matt Wiens,

Wait, where's the SoC? It's got to be somewhere, right? I'm guessing its stacked under another chip... Also where's another 4Gb of RAM? Maybe that Hyinx H90H1GH51JMP has something to do with it.

Titanium, · Reply

Take a look at our Kindle Fire Teardown where we pulled the Hynix chip off the board. It's reasonable to assume a similar situation is going on here.

David Hodson,

Anyone know what that Infineon chip is?

jeromevuarand, · Reply

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