Nexus 5 Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

KitKats, snapdragons, unlocked? Google is making us feel like we've got the golden ticket, as we head into Willy Wonka's—er, the Nexus 5. Will Google's latest smartphone be a sweet treat? Or will we be having nightmares of green-haired Oompa Loompas mocking us in rhyme? Join us as we find out.

Hungry for more? Candy-coated, delicious photos on Instagram, bite-sized morsels on Twitter, and a lifetime supply of goodies on Facebook are all yours for the taking.

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Edit Step 1 Nexus 5 Teardown  ¶ 

  • The Nexus 5 is the first phone to ship with the latest version of Android's OS, KitKat. It may not be coated in chocolate, but it has plenty of tasty features:

    • 4.95" full HD 1920x1080 display at 445ppi

    • Quad-core, 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor and 450 MHz Adreno 330 GPU

    • 2 GB RAM

    • 8 MP/1080p rear camera with optical image stabilization, and 1.3 MP front-facing camera

    • 4G/LTE wireless support, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz) dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and wireless charging

    • 16 GB or 32 GB built-in memory

    • Android 4.4 KitKat

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Sounds of joy emanate from the teardown factory as we find this Nexus is held together by…plastic clips!

    • These clips are plenty stubborn, but nothing like the headache that a glued panel would be.

  • Agent P.O.T. (plastic opening tool) is deployed to handle this noble mission.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • We may have cheered too soon—either someone spilled some chocolate syrup, or that's adhesive securing the bottom of the case.

    • Finding glue in your gadget is as much fun as finding chewed gum on your shoe.

  • Luckily this bit of foam adhesive is no match for a few swipes of a plastic opening pick. Our poor fixer souls have seen much worse recently.

  • With the adhesive out of the way, we get our first peek inside this delicious new device.

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Before taking another bite, we pause to chew over the back case:

    • We find conveniently labeled antennas for the Wi-Fi, MIMO, and GPS. It's not quite instructions, but hey, we'll take what we can get.

    • The NFC and wireless charging cables' spring contacts aren't so nicely identified, but are present and accounted for.

    • The vibrator is held in place with only a small amount of adhesive. That means an easy repair, should your phone lose its ability to shake it up.

  • How many licks screws does it take to get to the center of a Nexus 5?

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Google gives us the Goldilocks of glue: It's just enough to hold the battery in place, but not too much—the battery can still be removed with minimal prying and virtually no bending.

  • Non-LG manufacturers, take note! We don't want none of your "that ain't possible" funny business when it comes to using glue in devices.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • LG's 3.8 V, 2300 mAh battery offers a slight jump in capacity over last year's Nexus 4.

  • Google boasts that this pack will keep you sugar-high for 17 hours of talk time, 300 hours of standby, or 7 hours of LTE web browsing.

  • We're pretty sure this warning icon indicates that it's unsafe to let pets smaller than this battery anywhere near it.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Time to break us off a piece of this KitKat phone!

  • The speaker pops out with minimal fuss; it's only secured by few screws and no cables. This is the Nexus standard single speaker, despite the dual grilles.

    • No, this Nexus is not preparing for a BBQ—the second grille is for the microphone. Don't worry; we'll get there soon.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • We free the Oompa-Loompa-colored daughterboard, and she's got more goodies than the Easter Bunny:

    • Microphone

    • RGB Indicator LED

    • Micro-USB port

    • Speaker spring contacts

    • Antenna spring contacts

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Less tasty, but more powerful than a Pixy Stick, our spudger makes motherboard removal easier than taking candy from a baby.

  • We quickly spudge away the wireless charging control and NFC board. LG built this little board into an EMI shield assembly that pops in right over the motherboard.

  • NFC is the tech behind Google Wallet—one of the Nexus devices' most loved features and one often blocked by carriers. Last month, the rumor mill speculated that the Nexus 5 would feature a Broadcom NFC controller that could eliminate carriers' ability to wallet-block customers.

    • Lo and behold: the Broadcom BCM20793M NFC controller.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • That's some scrumptious silicon! Feast your eyes on these ICs:

    • Sandisk SDIN8DE4 16 GB NAND flash

    • Qualcomm WTR1605L LTE/HSPA+/CDMA2K/TDSCDMA/EDGE/GPS transceiver

    • Qualcomm PM8841 power management IC

    • Broadcom BCM4339 5G Wi-Fi combo chip with integrated power and low-noise amplifiers (the updated version of the BCM4335).

    • Avago RFI335

    • InvenSense MPU-6515 six-axis (gyro + accelerometer) MEMS MotionTracking device

    • Asahi Kasei AK8963 3-axis electronic compass

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • SK Hynix H9CKNNNBPTMRLR-NTM 2 GB LPDDR3-1600 RAM

    • The Quad-core, 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC is layered beneath the RAM

  • Qualcomm WCD9320 audio codec

  • Analogix ANX7808 SlimPort transmitter

  • Qualcomm PM8941 power management IC

  • Texas Instruments BQ24192 I2C controlled 4.5 A USB/adapter charger

  • Avago ACPM-7600 Multi Mode, Multi Band RF power amplifier

  • Qualcomm QFE1100 Envelope Tracking IC

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Out next is the 8MP rear-facing camera.

  • Google has taken some criticism for the less-than-impressive image capture in last year's candy-powered devices. This year they've added Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), but we've only heard tepid reviews so far.

    • The Nexus 5's OIS is powered by an InvenSense IDG-2020 dual axis gyroscope.

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • We pop out the last of the bite-sized morsels in the Nexus 5:

    • Earpiece speaker

    • Headphone jack

    • 1.3 MP front-facing camera.

  • What a treat! These components were modular and only lightly adhered, seasoned just to our repair tastes.

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Unfortunately, our hopes come crashing down like a blood sugar crash after a candy binge: the front panel is one fused flustercluck.

  • While we saw this in the Nexus 4, we had hoped the LG/Google team could learn the error of their ways.

  • Alas, the front frame, LCD, and glass are doomed to a single shared death sometime down the road to Candy Land.

    • Imagine if one cavity meant losing all your teeth... Talk about a hard pill to swallow.

  • Tucked in at the base of the display, a Synaptics S3350B IC provides touchscreen control.

Image #1

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Nexus 5 Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

  • Very modular design allows independent replacement of several wear-prone components—like the headphone jack and speakers.

  • Only very mild adhesive holds the battery in place, making it fairly easy to safely remove and replace.

  • Standardized screws (ten identical #00 Phillips) simplify repairs and reassembly.

  • The back cover is held in place with plastic clips. Sturdy and rather difficult to remove, but easier than glue.

  • The glass and LCD are fused to the display frame. Fixing broken glass will be either expensive or very difficult.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Opening Picks set of 6

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

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iFixit Lock Pick Set

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Inspection Scope

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Frictionless Ratchet

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Portable Anti-Static Mat

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Comments Comments are onturn off

It looks like the old assembled desk top PC, with lot of connectors and ICs, each dedicated functional IC's, with lot many juggler connectors,

dvg234, · Reply

Step 6

Why add any thickness of a label over that battery when the battery would never be seen after manufacturing sealed it in? That would be like putting a label over every IC in the phone.

ldunbarl, · Reply

does it have ir blaster? i want that nexus 5 comes with ir blaster :( i think it doesnt have ir blaster :(

Licenciado Nexus, · Reply

There is no IR blaster, but ridiculously, Kitkat has native support for it. Sometimes I really don't understand Google; Nexus line is supposed to be a dev phone, so why they decided to cut down the IR blaster, when there is software for it, is a big mystery...

Alexander Tatevyan,

The phone comes with a back hoop with a pin to release the SIM card. I stupidly stuck this in the tiny hole at the top of the Nexus 5 that I believe is actually a secondary microphone. I was wondering, using your dismantled phone, if you stick the black pin into the hole can you tell whether it damages the microphone?

Matt Williams, · Reply

Could it be possible to change SDIN8DE4‐16G to SDIN8DE4‐32G? Both hardware and software wise, so it is able to boot. Thus getting 32GB storage instead of 16GB.

Uldis Seglins, · Reply

I have a similar question.. want to use 64 GB on the 32 model. Is this possible?

Jayendran Ramani,

Great guide. I wonder if you have an opinion about the speaker issue and the XDA mod with the 5? One of the features you take for granted in a phone is its sound quality. Everybody oohs and aahs about screen size and processor speed, but a seemingly insignificant and overlooked component, such as a speaker, can ruin a device. Do you think a software update can fix this, or should I consider the XDA mod.

jamieFL, · Reply

Where can I get the tools you have used? Can you please provide links?

Thank you.

Jayendran Ramani, · Reply

Make sure to press not only the side tabs back in place when putting it back together but the middle also.

I put mine back together and my wireless charging stopped working. once I ran my fingers through the middle of the phone in a pressing motion moving from bottom and working my way up, I heard a click and then the wireless charging started working again.

you will notice if that tab is not in all the way because the back bubbles and if you poke it you see it give a little

Jose Rivas, · Reply

Jose Rivas, You're a life saver... i had the problem you mentioned after opening my Nexus5 to do the GPS fix procedure, and after that was unable to use NFC... while searching for a solution, yours came very handy as indeed i had the missing middle click. Just followed your simple instructions and the phone was once again working as it should!! Thanks, mate.

Gemini Gem,

Thanks, I was going crazy after the wireless charging stopped, thought I messed something up. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!Thanks! Thanks!Thanks! Thanks!

YDC,

As of what I have heard, the battery life on the Nexus is pretty poor.

Is it possible to replace the battery for a longer lasting one?

James Whitehead, · Reply

Just wonder, how do Google knows if I open up their phone?

halloween88, · Reply

Also, if after disassembly the vibration stops working press/rub down in the middle of the back plate until it snaps into place to get the vibration motor connected again.

jaimevisser, · Reply

16G is OK. Use Meenova MicroSD reader to add storage: http://goo.gl/2iJ6gf

jgfei, · Reply

Tips and tricks to fully master your Nexus 5:

http://smart-phones-how-to.blogspot.com/...

Cook Book, · Reply

I am not that much satisfied with Nexus 5. It is rumored that Nexus 6 is coming soon. Hope it will upto my expectations.Highly awaiting

http://appinessh.com/google-nexus-6/

Divya, · Reply

My sim car reader inside my nexus 5 is damaged, is there any way to get replacement parts? I did a little research but I couldn't find anything.

mariozaizar, · Reply

All parts described here are amazing.Also show parts of http://nexus6google.com Nexus 6 when it will release..

Adhikansh Garg, · Reply

That's not spilled chocolate syrup, its melted KitKat bars.

walter moorhouse, · Reply

Are those metal disc magnets in the back cover or perhaps mount points for a magnetic Qi Charger like the Palm Touchstones? That's what the Nexus 4 was missing, and the Orb Wireless charger couldn't hold onto the N4 to save its life.

Adam B, · Reply

Can you give the dimensions of the battery please?

Los Ma, · Reply

ALL manufacturers, take note, WE DON'T WANT *ANY GLUE* IN OUR PHONES!

Maxim R, · Reply

Soldered buttons are no-go too!

Alexander Tatevyan,

Any chance we'll be able to find a higher capacity battery to fit this space?

Eoin Murphy, · Reply

Would an LG G2 battery fit in this bad boy?

Robert Santiago, · Reply

it will not, the LG battery is 7mm longer

Doug Lynch,

Whoa! The dog/battery icon is cute, but wth is that swastika-looking thing for?

Eric Blankenhorn, · Reply

Do you know of any off-the-shelf battery that would fit in this slot and would work with the Nexus 5?

Anton, · Reply

Can it be modded to have dual speakers? What is in place of the second speaker grill?

Abul Kasam, · Reply

I really wish there was a compatible speaker that we could replace this one with. It sounds terrible. No, worse than terrible! Anyone know of one that would work? Thanks.

Robert Santiago, · Reply

Can the microUSB port be replaced easily, by yourself? Or is it, idk, glued to the board or something?

Shiv Gunter, · Reply

Also the pressure sensor is visible here. Maybe worth to mention the tiny metal guy with the hole. :-)

klo25, · Reply

Soldered buttons??? Excuse me, but this is bullshit! It is a well-known fact, that those parts break easily. So, one would need to replace the WHOLE motherboard in case of button malfunction (at least, not everyone is familiar with soldering technique). Both thumbs down for such a poor design!

Alexander Tatevyan, · Reply

Does anyone know what the small black and round component is just above (in this picture) the sim-slot? I poked a pin into the phone to remove the SIM but it went past the lever and into this mystery component and damaged it.

George, · Reply

This is not a MEMS camera. It doesn't look anything like the mems camera... http://www.extremetech.com/wp-content/up...

Steve Garon, · Reply

The Nexus 5 most definitely has no MEMS camera, this was crazy reporting by some blogs based on early leaks about the Sony sensor the Nexus 5 uses.

Andreas Proschofsky, · Reply

So what is the camera sensor? What's its crop factor vs 35mm, pixel size and sensor size? What's min/max aperture and ISO? Does anyone have a reliable spec sheet?

Bottomline, isn't it amazing that weeks after launch we're still seeing all different rumours about MEMS or not, but not even the basic confirmed form factor dimensions?

dear UB, · Reply

In the first image of step 13, what is that small grey piece that sits along the top edge that is next to the small hole in the case edge?

Dean, · Reply

It's just a channel to direct sound from the mic hole in the case to the mic on the daughterboard.

Sanya Rajan, · Reply

does the screen have any SPR(self panel refresh) technology? aka GRAM like the G2. and why are there make and model numbers for most other parts but we dont know the make or model of the screen/panel?

Doug Lynch, · Reply

This is an LG phone.

LG is the largest(or close to) LCD manufacturer in the world.

Why would this panel be made by anybody else. :)

Maxim R,

FWIW, I *was* able to separate the LCD from the housing on my device with a broken screen (I ordered the wrong replacement part from etrade -- oops!). Unfortunately this required chiseling away at glued-on glass for 90 minutes over a garbage can.

If they had chosen to use a lighter adhesive on the screen, they could have dropped the cost of screen replacements from $200 to $150.

Matt Mastracci, · Reply

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