Samsung Galaxy Nexus Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

It's here, it's here, it's finally here! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the ice cream truck is driving up the street, playing its joyful tune. We have our dollars ready, and we can't wait to grab ourselves some goodies. Join us as we unwrap our favorite frozen treat, the Ice Cream Sandwich-laden Galaxy Nexus.

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Edit Step 1 Samsung Galaxy Nexus Teardown  ¶ 

  • The Galaxy Nexus packs some serious hardware inside. Key specs include:

    • 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor

    • 1 GB RAM

    • 16 GB Internal Storage

    • 4.65" Super AMOLED Display

    • 5 MP (1080P HD) Rear-Facing Camera

    • Near Field Communication (NFC) and Wi-FI Direct

    • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Like most of Samsung's smartphones, the Galaxy Nexus' 5.0 megapixel camera is perched in the middle of the phone's backside.

  • "Clean" is the word that comes to mind as we look at the rear of the Galaxy Nexus. You won't find any "1080p HD" markings or model numbers here.

  • Just like the Nexus S, the Galaxy Nexus features a Contour Display. The curved glass conforms to the side of your face and makes talking on the phone more comfortable.

  • The power button and three gold pins for multi-media docking occupy the starboard side of Google and Samsung's flagship smartphone.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • How does the Galaxy Nexus stack up to the iPhone 4S?

  • In terms of size, the Galaxy Nexus is big enough (5.33 x 2.67 x 0.35 inches) to devour the 4S, so hopefully you have large pockets.

    • Though it is larger than the iPhone 4S, this Galaxy Nexus is 5 grams lighter (135 compared to 140).

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Insert finger here, wiggle finger thusly, and pop goes the panel!

    • OK, we'll come clean; the phone shipped with the battery removed. We first had to install the battery and back cover, and then we did some prying. This assuredly confirms one thing: the battery is user-serviceable.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Not only does the 3.7 V, 1750 mAh battery power the phone, but the user manual states that it also doubles as the NFC antenna.

  • O RLY? We had to see this one for ourselves.

  • Lo and behold, there's a sweet antenna hiding underneath the battery's shiny wrapper. So if you ever want to buy a replacement battery (and keep NFC functional), ensure that the battery has the antenna.

    • Our battery says "Near Field Communication" on it, so that might be a good indicator if it will function as an NFC antenna.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Whipping out our handy 54 Bit Driver Kit, we reach for a Phillips #0 bit and get to work opening the phone.

  • We wrenched our plastic opening tool till it was blue in the face and went through more guitar picks than Jimmy Page, but we managed to take off the back case. No device is too tough for the dexterous hands of the iFixit crew!

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • One little screw shackles the speaker and headphone jack assembly to the motherboard.

  • Goodbye, little screw; hello, speaker and headphone jack assembly.

  • With access to Google Music and high definition movies, there's no doubt that Galaxy Nexus owners will want their phone to make some beautiful noise. Unfortunately, our disassembled phone didn't make a single chirp.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • A few connectors here, some screws there, and a wee bit of glue everywhere…nothing stands a chance against our spudger! The motherboard dislodges from its home with moderate force, but nothing too extreme.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • A flick of the spudger and out come the front- and rear-facing cameras.

  • The 5 megapixel rear-facing camera is optimized for low light conditions and has a handy continuous auto-focus feature that'll surely help keep those quick moments clear. If you prefer moving pictures, this camera can capture full HD 1080p "talkies."

  • The front-facing camera allows for video chat and will take pictures at 1.3 MP or videos at 720p.

  • The rear-facing camera has a Winbond 8 Mb Serial Flash Memory unit in line to help it buffer all the data it collects.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • The ear speaker pops off the motherboard without much effort.

    • The ability to replace individual components inside the Galaxy Nexus impresses us, since this will make repair less costly.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • The primary internals of the Galaxy Nexus are held on two L-shaped boards. The small board on the left holds the vibrator motor and several connections. The large board on the right is the motherboard, which houses the volume buttons, SIM slot and the following chips:

    • Texas Instruments TWL6040 8-Channel High Quality Low-Power Audio Codec

    • Texas Instruments TWL6030 Fully Integrated Power Management with Switch Mode Charger

    • Invensense MPU-3050 Motion Processing Unit

    • Intel XG626 Baseband Modem

    • Bosch BMP180 MEMS Pressure Sensor

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Flipping both boards over reveals a lot of nothing on the smaller board, but a ton of chips on the motherboard—a "smörgås-board," if you will:

    • RFMD RF6260 Quad-band Multimode Power Amplifier Module

    • Samsung KMVYL000LM Multichip Memory Package, which we believe to house 512 MB of RAM in addition to the main processor.

    • Samsung K3PE7E700M 512 MB DDR2 SDRAM

    • Samsung SWB-B42 BT 4.0 Dual Band Wlan FM Tx/Rx. Chipworks says the module is actually manufactured by Murata, and houses a Broadcom BCM4330 die inside.

    • NXP 65N00 Smart Card IC. According to Chipworks, this two-die package houses an MCU and a PN544 NFC controller.

    • Silicon Image 9244 MHL transmitter

    • SiRF SiRFstarIV GSD4t GPS tracker

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • The chip labeled as 274 U141 031 hides the Bosch BMP180 MEMS Pressure Sensor, which should be responsible for the "Barometer" feature inside the Nexus.

  • The Bosch BMP180 is identified by its markings CMD 173 as noted by our friends at Chipworks.

  • Check out the wire bonds on the third image. This is a very, very small chip.

  • Just how small is it? Well, here's how a U.S. dime looks like next to the chip (indicated by red arrow)

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus Repairability Score: 6 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • Battery replacement is incredibly simple thanks to the removable rear panel.

    • Minimal adhesive makes removal of the motherboard and other components a snap.

    • Headphone jack and speaker assembly are not soldered to the motherboard, so replacement is easy.

    • The only soldered components are the volume switch and vibrator motor.

    • Removing the rear case to access the motherboard and other internals requires a lot of careful prying and guitar-picking.

    • The glass is fused to both the display and the display frame. So don't crack the glass unless you're good with a heat gun, or you're fond of replacing the glass, display, and frame together ($$$).

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 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

512 MB DDR2 SDRAM ? Thought 1 GB....

John Doe, · Reply

We are pretty sure that the rest of the memory is contained in the Multichip Memory Package.

Jake Devincenzi,

According to Samsung: http://www.samsung.com/us/business/oem-s... the K3PE7E700M-XGC1 is a 1GB LPDDR2 memory package.

According to ABIResearch: http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1008... the KMVYL000LM MCP houses 16GB of NAND flash and only 64MB of SDRAM.

The OMAP4460 is almost certainly underneath the K3PE7E700M-XGC1, not the KMVYL000LM. I tried to make these corrections but those changes were denied. Apologies if that is not allowed here. Let me know how I can help get the correct information there.

Alex Leigh,

Alex,

We always appreciate user contribution and input! You have pointed out an interesting conflict between the Samsung part specification (which has a slight part number mis-match) and the ChipWorks identification. Samsung claims 8 Gb and ChipWorks claims 2 sets of 2Gb totaling 4 Gb. Based on our discovery of ChipWorks claim of 4 Gb, we were under the impression that ABI had a typo (they are not a well known source to us). As far as location of the processor, we only make our guesses. Because we didn't de-cap any of the chips this round, we can not make any solid statements about the processor's location. We will certainly be investigating the memory conflict and making changes if we are SURE that a change is necessary. We always appreciate reader input, so please keep on reading!

Phillip Takahashi,

Actually, there isn't a part number mismatch with Samsung's catalog. Samsung just listed the part number in a confusing way. The catalog lists "K3PE7E700M-XG(1)", but the "(1)" isn't actually part of the part number, it's a footnote below the table, which says that the "(1)" stands for two letters that designate the speed. Since this particular part is LPDDR2, the corresponding designation is "C1". So the part number in its entirety is "K3PE7E700M-XGC1", which is exactly the part we are looking at. Since this is an exact match, we can be pretty confident that this is an 8Gb module, and ChipWorks made an error in their listing.

As for the location of the SoC, I'm just going by what ChipWorks has said in the past with their analysis of devices that also happen to use the K3PE7E700M, but I understand that you don't want to speculate without further verification. Are you planning to de-cap the chip in the future? Many of us are curious whether the OMAP4460 has distinguishing marks compared to the 4430.

Alex Leigh,

Great job! what baseband chips used for 3G & HSPA+? I guess same question for the US model for LTE, but I guess unavailable at this time.

Vinnyman, · Reply

Probably X-Gold 626

milan03,

So is the TiOmap a 4460 or a 4630?

Grayson Grouge, · Reply

Did you guys find it strange how little EMI shielding is in this phone? Could explain the volume control bug, perhaps? Especially with how close the volume control ribbon is to the radio amplifier.

Alex Leigh, · Reply

I thought the HSPA+ versions were only in 16GB for now...

Brian Crook, · Reply

Where's the GPS Chip?

EdF, · Reply

GPS receiver is CSR SiRFstarIV GSD4t, located right of the RFMD power amp. Tried editing but need to add image stuff and not sure I can do that.

backstroke,

This may be a stupid question but where are the CPU ja GPU located?

Juha Kokkonen, · Reply

Under the Samsung K3PE7E700M, it is a PoP (Package on Package) chip.

Lai Zhijie,

Yamaha Magnetometer YAS530 is on the PCB at the most top and the most right at the picture Step 12

Kenny, · Reply

Microsoft offers free phones and training to webOS devs

http://techworldtimes.com/microsoft-offe...

Joel Mohanraj, · Reply

Does the protective glass cover over the sensor block NIR wavelengths? It would be interesting to remove the glass cover and use it as an NIR camera if that is the case.

Thanks!

Lyot, · Reply

What is the thing right below the SIM card container and above the battery container? (as seen in the first pic of Step 6)

Antoan Angelov, · Reply

Ok, I know this is a longshot, but here goes nothing....

I have a completely dead Samsung Galaxy Nexus 32GB, purchased in July of '12. A few weeks ago, I noticed that the charging port was loose, and as time went by, it became harder and harder to get it to take a charge. Eventually, it quit taking charge and the battery went dead.

I took it to Verizon store and after the Sales Rep made a call to corporate, a brand new (Refurbished) Galaxy Nexus arrived the next day. My Hail Mary question is.....is it possible to somehow get the pics and vids off the dead phone? I tried charging the battery in the new phone, and popping it into the old one, but it won't turn on at all. I'm thinking that they only possible thing to do, it physically take the storage out of the old phone. Am I just dreaming? Is this possible?

Note...I'm not an un-locker, the phone is actually my wife's and it hasn't been modified in any way.

Jeremy Wray, · Reply

Has anyone tried to change the glass on top of the display? I accidentally dropped mine and the display has cracked. Good thing is that everything (visibility, touch) works, but there're huge cracks on the display. I can't find a guide here that helps with changing the screen glass. Any help would be appreciated.

Bharath Narayan M G, · Reply

I recently broke both the glass and display so had to replace both. For fun, I tried to see what it would be like to try to replace the glass only.

I'll be writing up what I wrote later today if you want to stick around but the moral of the story is that there is a lot of adhesive and you'll have to be VERY careful.

Logan Kennedy,

I'm writing a book and as a plot-point one of my characters is tearing an unbreakable flat-screen out of a device. Could you tell me what it looks like when you look through the screen on this phone? Dark, clear, wavy oil-slick rainbow? Thanks.

Wolf, · Reply

Make sure you remove the buttons for the volume rocker and the power button before you try removing mainboard from the frame!

Markus Jungbluth, · Reply

Where is the bluetooth connector? I have a problem and my BT isn't repsponding at all.

Manolis Lagia, · Reply

This shot shows the fat chin and makes the nexus look much thicker when in actuality it is thinner throughout the majority of the phone. Needs a width comparison from the front and side to accurately show the thickness.

rsjet, · Reply

How does the Antenna on the battery work, is it attached to the charging circuit and then that attaches to the NFC chip? Or is the NFC chip combined with another?

Danny, · Reply

there are 4pins for battery connector; i think that 2pins for battery, others 2pins for NFC and battery signal indicator.

Lai Zhijie,

Galaxy nexus works only as a reader NFC or also transmits information?

Fabio, · Reply

Can I go up to Step 6 for cleaning purposes and reassemble without too much difficulty?

ntejas, · Reply

Removing the rear case (as shown in Step 6) took a lot of patience and care. I'd advise against it if you're just cleaning, since you might inadvertently scratch the case or glass. Anyhow, you're welcome to try; just know our teardowns aren't meant to be repair guides. Good luck!

Matt Wiens,

What is the thing directly below the SIM card container and above the battery container in the first picture?

Antoan Angelov, · Reply

Step 6 is *much* easier if you push up from the bottom in the slots along the edges with a flat head screw driver. Came out relatively easily, and no prying/picks required.

gomtuu, · Reply

The 8Mb serial flash is too slow to be a buffer for the image, its probably to store some configuration information.

anonymous, · Reply

Please post unmodified picture. I need pictures of the resistors next to the processor

AdamOutler, · Reply

To check out unmodified photos, click on the Image metadata link in the top left corner of the image. Then you can choose to view the source image.

Jake Devincenzi,

I agree with Alex's comment: "The OMAP4460 is almost certainly underneath the K3PE7E700M-XGC1"

It is also almost certainly a POP configuration - examination of the sides of both chips should clarify which one has a processor sitting underneath the memory package (It would be VERY interesting to know if the OMAP device was integrated fully into a memory package...)

Curtis Barrett, · Reply

What is the socket/connector next to Melfas 8PK173 1126 Touch Screen Controller used for? It sits under the volume ribbon on the motherboard but I cannot determine what it is connected to.

jvonfeix, · Reply

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