Nokia N8 Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

The Symbian^3 powered N8 is regarded as Nokia's direct competitor to the iPhone 4, as well as all the Android smartphones on the market. Betting the farm on the success of the N8, Nokia has packed this phone full of awesome features.

Join us today as we tinker our way to the heart of Nokia's freshest smartphone.

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Edit Step 1 Nokia N8 Teardown  ¶ 

  • Our latest victim -- Nokia's just-released N8.

  • Technical specs:

    • ARM11 680 MHz processor

    • 640 × 360 (nHD), 3.5" capacitive, multi-touch display with AMOLED technology

    • 256 MB SDRAM

    • 512 MB internal NAND memory and 16 GB on-board memory

    • 12 Megapixels (main) with Carl Zeiss optics and Xenon flash, 16:9 720p video, 25 FPS

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The 12 MP auto-focus camera is a honker. As we've seen in other smartphones, the thickness of the camera drives the thickness of the phone.

  • According to Dr. Hubert Nasse, the lens inside the camera module is composed of five individual aspherical shaped optical elements. This complex shape facilitates very high quality pictures out of a very small device.

  • Nokia chose to have the camera protrude outside of the back cover, which could either provide a good grasping point when taking the phone out of your pocket, or make it a hassle when returning the phone to your pocket.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Aside from a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, the N8 features both a mini HDMI and a micro USB port. Not sure what to do with that HDMI port? Try setting a world record.

  • Buttons include: Power, Home, Hold, Camera, and Volume Switch.

  • The SIM and MicroSD ports are mounted side by side on the exterior of the phone, allowing for hot-swapping of the MicroSD.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Utilizing the front facing camera, apps such as Fring or Skype enable users to video chat anywhere they like with mobile-to-mobile as well as mobile-to-desktop connections.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Hey look at that -- visible T4 Torx screws! We figured this was a good place to start to take it apart.

  • A trifle later the bottom portion of the phone was off. If we only had one of these...

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • After the bottom cover of the phone is removed, a small battery retaining bracket can be popped out of its socket.

  • After that, the hologram-equipped battery can be slid out of its cozy home.

  • Although it requires the removal of two odd-sized screws, the battery really isn't that hard to replace. Thumbs up for no soldering!

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The BL-4D 3.7 V, 1200 mAh Li-Ion battery is considered non-removable. Sure Nokia, sure...

  • The hologram stuck under the battery's pull tab is most likely there to ensure you're getting an actual Nokia-approved battery and not some low quality clone.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • After popping off the protective cover, a T5 Torx screw near the mini HDMI port can be removed.

  • The top of the phone comes off next, exposing more Torx screws for us to remove.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • The front part of the phone opens up like a clam.

  • The digitizer and display cables still attach the front panel to the rest of the phone, so be sure to lift the display assembly from its top edge if you decide to open your unit.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Thankfully the glass is not fused to the face of the AMOLED display, so you don't have to replace both if just the glass breaks.

  • The silk screen on the back of the display reads:

    • AMS347FF01-0

  • The silk screen also indicates the display was manufactured February 2, 2010. This thing has been around for quite some time.

  • The touch screen controller is a Synaptics T1201A. This is the same chip found in the Microsoft Kin Two and RIM Blackberry Torch.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Here's a comparison of the N8's display with an LCD from the 4th generation iPod Touch. You can differentiate between LCD and AMOLED screens by noticing the slightly blue tint the AMOLED display gives off when a light is shone against it.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • A couple T6 Torx screws and the upper antenna hold the mid-plane to the inside of the N8.

  • Six pads akin to steel wool help ground the back of the AMOLED display to the mid-plane.

  • Nokia got pretty creative with their antenna placement, as this device is primarily encased in aluminum. The main antennas are located near the flat plastic plates on the top and bottom of the phone, as seen in the second and third pictures.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • After removing the screws and popping off the antenna, the mid-plane can be removed from the N8.

  • The design of the steel mid-plane is pretty genius. Nokia integrated a large EMI shield into the mid-plane to protect the main chips. In addition, thermal pads were placed on the inner face of the mid-plane to conduct heat away from the main chips.

  • As processor speeds increase and devices become more integrated, the need for thermal management becomes critical to ensure longevity and operability in many environments.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • After the mid-plane is removed, the motherboard can be simply lifted out of the rear case.

  • The daughter board at the top of the motherboard has an interesting design in that it is connected to the main motherboard via a ribbon cable that is sandwiched between the many layers of the motherboard.

    • On most devices, ribbon cables are attached with ZIF connectors or are soldered to the surface of the board, not sandwiched between layers.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • The Nokia N8 motherboard:

    • Toshiba THGBM1G7D4FBA13 K23538 (16 GB Internal Memory)

    • Samsung K5W4G2GACA - AL54 (CPU + DDR RAM + NAND ROM)

    • Broadcom BCM2727 GPU with dedicated 3D Graphics

    • 4380044 9920Q VJ (RF Transceiver) from STMicroelectronics

    • EPCOS D1053 (RF Front end module)

    • RENESAS 09801A (RF Power amplifier)

    • 4376057 GAZ0035G (Baseband) from Texas Instruments

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • With the motherboard out of the rear case, the flash unit simply lifts out.

  • As opposed to many other smartphones that use either a single or double LED for the flash, the N8 uses a Xenon flash tube similar to the kind of flash found in full-size cameras.

  • The large capacitor on the flash module supplies the high voltage necessary to produce such a brilliant flash.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • The loudspeaker can be pried off the adhesive securing it to the rear case at this point.

    • This loudspeaker is primarily used for speaker phone as well as for playing audio from media stored on the phone.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Nokia N8 Repairability: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • The battery, although considered by Nokia not to be user-serviceable, can be easily removed.

    • The AMOLED display easily comes apart from the glass, which means that you can replace the glass and the display independently.

    • There are mostly mechanical fasteners, and very little glue inside.

    • You still have to use a heat gun to remove the front glass, but at least you're heating up metal that won't deform as easily as plastic.

    • Removing the cameras is near-impossible, and requires tedious, potentially detrimental steps.

Required Tools

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 33 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

T5 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

T4 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I love the way they've managed to hide an iphone screen cover in the n8 (step 11!) Nice touch!

Tandy, · Reply

don't do it yourself ! it's impossible at least you have specific tools and parts that are systematically replaced !

Elbeeyou, · Reply

Any idea what is the top antenna used for?

Georgi, · Reply

Link <these> only goes to Staple's general search page.

Mike Wilson, · Reply

The two outer screws are T5 not T4 Torx

Geo, · Reply

"The top of the phone comes off next" in this tutorial only :-(

I was not able to go on the "t5 unscrew": top cover seems to be "solidly attached"

Roberto Venturi, · Reply

The cover is retained by 2 plastic lockers and needs some stress to pull off

http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi...

You need to apply a lot of pressure. For example by applying your thumbs on the back side of the cover and push in the back-to-front direction:

http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi...

Daniel B, · Reply

Can you explain more about the look of the touch panel...it look like the flex circuit board was adhere to the panel nicely....does the touch panel or window feel like plastic or glass? (if you knock/ tap on it)

stephen, · Reply

The wrong screen is being displayed

Jaboor, · Reply

That is a comparison picture. Read the text.

Andrew Bookholt,

Can you tell if there is any underifll around ? looking at the pictures i cant see any and comparing it to iphone.. that one has a lot of it

florida2629, · Reply

Are you sure the main camera can't be removed? To me it seems like you can pop it right out of that metal frame, just like on many other mobile phones.

Chipicao, · Reply

Certainly the main 12MP camera can be removed, if you have the right tool - the N8 service manual[1] on page 20 shows the 12MP camera being removed with an extraction tool (Camera Removal Tool SS-182).

1. http://db.tt/JpBJ7S (PDF)

Arthur Nunn,

In fact the main camera can be removed using thin slivers of plastic stuffed down the edge of the camera module to disengage the clip holding them in the socket. No need for the expensive tool.

JimBob, · Reply

That's right JimBob, you can replace the main camera, just search on YouTube for 'N8 camera removal' and you'll see it done!

You'll also find a full video showing how to take this apart and put it back together..

Martin, · Reply

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