HTC One (M8) 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.

Spring has sprung and HTC has hatched a new One. Join us as we take a closer look at this season's newest sprout, the HTC One (M8). After all, it's our job to weed out the irreparable, and the best way to do that is through destruction—er, precise analysis.

Ready to spring into action? Follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook, or listen to the birds tweet on Twitter.

Edit Step 1 HTC One (M8) Teardown  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 1 HTC One (M8) Teardown  ¶ 

  • For its second act, the HTC One brings some impressive props. The lengthy list of hardware includes:

    • Quad-core, 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor

    • 2 GB RAM

    • 5" 1080p display with dual front-facing speakers

    • 4 MP (2 "ultrapixel") f/2.0 rear Duo Camera with dual flash; 5.0 megapixel front-facing camera

    • 16 or 32 GB on-board storage; up to 128 GB additional storage via microSD

    • LTE, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and IR blaster

  • The immediate question is whether the M8 will prove more cooperative than its nigh-unrepairable predecessor, whose hardware secrets had to be pried from its mangled aluminum corpse.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • While we ponder our plan of attack, we pause to appreciate the One M8's appealing—albeit inscrutable—brushed metal design.

  • Dual rear cameras, dual flash—despite being dubbed the One, this phone likes its Twos.

  • Spinning the M8 around, we find the first of another pair—two card trays straddling the upper end of the phone (microSD and SIM).

    • Maybe we can just call it the One-Two? No? Moving on...

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • The extra rear camera captures depth information, enabling a host of trick features like ex post facto focus adjustments and background removal. We can hardly wait to dig our spudgers in and see how it comes apart.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Looking for a point of entry, we surprise the One M8 with a spicy hot iOpener.

  • With the underlying glue sufficiently softened, we strum away with a guitar pick until the first screw peeks through.

    • Screws! Glorious screws! Here's the missing link to make this unibody design repairable. Whenever we see gobs of adhesive and tough clips replaced with screws, we know we're in for a (slightly) happier time.

  • Just like that, the One M8's first line of defense is down—with the power of the Pro Tech Screwdriver Set, these screws are deftly dispatched.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • We're on a roll. Gaining momentum, we free the M8's guts from its rear case with the power of rock n' roll guitar picks.

  • We're happy to get this far, but we're not sure this will be a platinum record for repairability. There's only one way to find out: Keep on rockin'.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Here's where things turned ugly during our teardown of the first-gen HTC One (the phone that garnered the all-time worst repairability score of any smartphone we've ever had on the teardown table.)

  • To our delight, the pesky display cables of yesteryear have given way to spring contacts—so this time, the phone assembly comes out cleanly.

    • No mangled aluminum here—the rear case remains intact. Apart from the NFC antenna and some nice machine work, there's not much to see.

    • The rear case weighs in at 27.5 grams.

  • The remaining assembly is a fair sight less tidy. A mass of copper shielding and tape awaits...

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Next, we spudge up the battery connector.

    • Shocky the Bear says, "Only you can prevent electronic shocking."

  • We start working our way through what looks like aeons of tape strata. Digging through the entire Earth's supply of tape feels a little like a chest burster emerging from a ribcage.

  • We're free! Well, except for the billion cables yet to be disconnected.

    • Billion meaning approximately ten.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • The shields are down! Here's what we found lurking below:

    • Elpida FA164A2PM 2 GB RAM + Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.3 GHz CPU

    • SanDisk SDIN8DE4 32 GB NAND flash memory

    • STMicroelectronics 0100 AA 9058401 MYS

    • Qualcomm PM8941 and PM8841 power management ICs

    • Avago ACPM-7600 power amplifier module

    • Synaptics S3528A touchscreen controller

    • Qualcomm WTR1625L RF transceiver and WTR1625 (modem?)

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • A close up of the RF front end, highlighting the Qualcomm ET subsystem. That's "Envelope Tracking", not "ExtraTerrestrial".

    • Inside the red line is the Qualcomm QFE1100 ET IC, plus all the associated passives, weighing in at around 50mm2 for the whole footprint.

    • The QFE1100 ETIC itself

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • With the motherboard free, we turn our attention to the battery.

  • You heard right: you have to remove the motherboard to get to the battery, again, which is more than lightly adhered to the LCD shield.

    • This super-sized serving of adhesive is sure to be a health risk for the M8's repairability score. Too bad HTC doesn't take a recipe from Google's book.

  • HTC touted the all-new One's exceptional battery management, with up to 2 weeks of standby from a 100% charge, and 15 hours on 5%. Wowsers.

    • Much of this comes from low-power sensors and clever software, plus a 2600 mAh battery, up 300 mAh from last year.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Time for a couple bite-sized goodies from the One:

    • The rotary vibrator motor lies in this square rubber case.

    • The earpiece speaker is backed by a plastic amplifying chamber, providing the required oomph for this half of the highly touted "BoomSound" stereo speakers.

  • With the speaker chamber removed, we're cleared for take-off to get this daughterboard off the ground case.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Or at least we thought we were, until we found the glue holding the board in place.

    • Our will spudger is strong, but our spudgering arm is getting mighty tired.

  • With the daughterboard free, it's time to gather 'round for a peek at the fancy camera tech.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Chipworks found last year's "UltraPixel" cam to be a 4-megapixel affair. This revision likely has the same pixel count, but with larger pixels.

  • Much more interesting is the addition of this secondary rear camera, which in concert with the first enables all sorts of fancy image data manipulation, retroactive focusing, and special effects.

  • Not to be outdone, the intrepid selfie-cam gets a huge spec bump, leaping from last season's 2.1 megapixels to a whopping 5.0 MP (more than selfiesufficient).

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Keeping each other company on the now-sparsely-populated daughterboard are a couple of remaining chips:

    • NXP 44701 NFC controller

    • Bosch Sensortec BMP280 pressure sensor

    • Qualcomm QFE1550 dynamic antenna matching tuner

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • A tap of our tweezers and we step into speakeasy speaker action.

  • Dr. Dre fans, beat your chests in sorrow: HTC's partnership with Beats Audio has ended. Despite this, early reviews confirm the speakers are quite good... for a phone.

  • These HTC BoomSound speakers give some good vibrations, rated up to 95dB, or just shy of a pneumatic drill.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Last to leave the party is the 3.5 mm audio jack, now sharing a small cable assembly with the microphone and micro-USB port on the bottom of the phone.

  • We give it a gentle nudge out the door with the spudger. The end is in sight...

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • With the front panel mostly stripped down, we finally get to display removal.

    • "Finally" because we've gotten accustomed to Apple's display-out-first iPhone assembly—which greatly simplifies display repairs—so we’re not sure why some manufacturers insist on burying both the screen and the battery. At least make one easy to replace!

  • Liberal heat around the edges of the glass and we're able to easily slide an opening pick around the perimeter, separating the adhesive.

    • ...A little too easily, in fact, as we discovered the exact wrong place to slice and dice, severing the digitizer cable.

    • Feel free to thank us for our noble sacrifice, breaking our phone so you don't have to.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • What a trial, to remove and replace the screen. Luckily HTC acknowledges the difficulty and provides one free screen replacement on your new M8 (in the first six months). Don't break it after that.

  • With all of the quality control stamps and signatures on the back of the 1080p display, we're reminded of a certain Macintosh we recently tore down.

  • To make a thin phone (9.4 mm), you need thin components. The fused LCD and digitizer measures little more than 2 mm.

  • Down to a bare midframe, it's time for the teardown team to high-five, have a beer, and mull over the storm of a repairability score to come.

    • Spoiler alert: it's going to look a lot like this One.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • HTC One M8 Repairability Score: 2 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • It's very difficult—although no longer impossible—to open the device without damaging the rear case. This makes every component extremely difficult to replace.

    • The battery is buried beneath the motherboard and adhered to the midframe, hindering its replacement.

    • The display assembly cannot be replaced without tunneling through the entire phone. This makes one of most common repairs, a damaged screen, very difficult to accomplish.

    • Copious amounts of tape, adhesive, and copper shielding make many components difficult to remove and replace.

    • Solid external construction improves durability.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Opening Picks set of 6

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

iOpener

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Magnetic Project Mat

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Tech Screwdriver Set

$59.95 · 50+ In stock

Anti-Static Project Tray

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Popular Products

iPhone 5 Power and Lock Button

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 23 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

Do you know the model of the 802.11ac chip?

Timothy Cappalli, · Reply

It is Qualcomm's WCN3680, located in bottom-left corner of the board near the two Camera Flash LEDs.

Also the dual RFIC (WTR1625L + WTR1625) is to support concurrent use of multiple RF bands, which can be for either SV-LTE (for VZW) or for LTE-CA.

Michael Goldsmith,

Stainless steel deep drawn and pressed on plastic body.

Jan Rueter, · Reply

Were you able to identify the motion sensors, particularly, the accelerator and the gyro? And the manufacturer. Thanks

tom, · Reply

Can you please identify the motion sensors - the accelerator and the gyro and their manufacturers? Thanks

tom, · Reply

where exactly is the IR blaster located? is it still under the power button or does it now reside somewhere in the elongated black window?

i've seen some phone cases that block that window, leaving only the power button visible/accessible, and some cases that leave the entire top visible. i want to make sure i get a case that does not block the IR sensor

Dan Hymer, · Reply

I own the phone and it seems that the IR blaster still works fine with a case that only leaves the power button exposed, but occasionally i will have to hit a button a second time for the receiver toget the signal when I do have the case on.

Zachary Laborde,

Wow, this is real ugly. Too much tape and too many wires. Galaxy S5 sure look so much better.

http://www.ferra.ru/photo/mobile/review/...

Daniel Kim, · Reply

What's the microphone spec in the M8?

rkslive, · Reply

Is the ram DDR2 or DDR3

Daryl Chang, · Reply

It is Ddr3 memory

Zachary Laborde,

Is there any way to add a slider keyboard to that phone?

Pawel T, · Reply

I have noticed a lot of scratches on my camera lens. In this picture it looks to be attached to the camera itself. On the M7 a new lens came with the replacement back housing. Is that not the case with the M8 because I'd like to replace that lens as it's starting to affect my photos.

brandonherer, · Reply

Do you know the speaker box size?08x15mm? top and bottom?

nbsword, · Reply

I want to buy HTC One M8. I have source of its wallpapers to make it look stylish.

http://waoweo.com/htc-one-m8/wallpapers

george wessels, · Reply

I threw my M8 against a brick wall pretty hard yesterday. While the wall has a nice dent about 1 cm deep now, my phone came out undamaged. Well, apart from the top right corner of the screen, where the adhesive seems not to be able to hold the screen in for longer than 15 minutes so it stands out about 1.5 millimetres until I push it back in. Pretty sturdy phone if I may say that. My 3310 back in the day exploded into a million pieces when it hit that same wall. ;)

Marco Hellmann, · Reply

Excellent tear down as usual!

Regarding the speaker element itself: What material is the speaker face made from? Is it hard plastic?

Paul Campbell, · Reply

My friend you saved my butt! I sat my M8 face down and speaker first into a little pool of pancake syrup. I couldn't hear anything any more! But a little research on google to find your image with a guitar pic made all of the difference, i used a hair dryer lightly to soften the glue (warmed it slowly). I needed to use a pin to start the removal but the pick to remove it clean. I cleaned it all up inside and now works like a champ! TY

Mike, · Reply

Screen repair disaster. Of course I'm 2 months out of my HTC replacement deal-and first screen I've ever broken. Brought this in and they said it was involved, as I knew it would be-hence not doing it myself. They broke a cable inside, I believe to do with the sim card. Had to wait a week for the part/fix. Just got it back and now my GPS is no longer working. It seems to see satellites, but won't lock. I'm 100% certain they damaged something else as it worked perfectly always. Any ideas hardware wise where the damage could be? Another cable,antenna, chip possibly? I'm concerned they may not want to fess up to it so I'm trying to figure out what I can. Any software test I can run to narrow it down? Cheers

Jeffrey Miller, · Reply

Weird update-the phone mic/ear speaker doesn't work either, but it works on speakerphone.

Jeffrey Miller,

the upper one is not ultrapixel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lampshadelight, · Reply

Is it just a depth sensor or is it an actual camera?

Zachary Laborde,

It must support Meenova MicroSD reader to add storage!! http://goo.gl/2iJ6gf

jgfei, · Reply

The second camera sensor is used only as a depth sensor, but you can do some pretty cool editing effects using the extra data.

Paul Campbell, · Reply

is the front speaker plate metal or plastic?

Huang Junyi, · Reply

Those covers may be silver colored, but they’re actually a flexible plastic.

Sam Lionheart,

Is antenna on the back shell?

Joseph Qu, · Reply

Dual WTR1625 is for SVLTE or CDMA/TDD coexisting solution

Tom Chai, · Reply

What audio codec does it use is it a Wolfson or Qualcomm wcd9320

Matty Anderson, · Reply

Des it have the Qualcomm WCD9320? Thanks. :)

Rc San Andres, · Reply

is easy to remove the battery?

Yukiyinyin, · Reply

I have noticed a lot of scratches on my camera lens. In this picture it looks to be attached to the camera itself. On the M7 a new lens came with the replacement back housing. Is that not the case with the M8 because I'd like to replace that lens as it's starting to affect my photos.

Bob Fitzgerald, · Reply

Were you able to find out? Is the lens glass removable without tearing about the motherboard?

brandonherer,

That's a crappy coating HTC put on the lens. There's a thread on Android central forums that talks about how to resolve the issue: http://forums.androidcentral.com/htc-one...

Ian Rasmussen,

Yes, the lens cover is part of the rear cover (battery cover). I sent mine in for warranty repair and that is what they replaced. Seems like it would be somewhat easy to replace the back on this phone.

Bob Fitzgerald, · Reply

You can just rip it off, it's plastic. They sell replacements on the internet for like $6, they come with adhesive on them. If you're worried about scratches, it's actually a coating that HTC put on the lens, and just scratches easily. You can read more about the issue and how to resolve it over at android central forums, everyone has this problem: http://forums.androidcentral.com/htc-one...

Ian Rasmussen,

There is a pressure sensor on the left top. It is a BMP280 from Bosch Sensortec. Pressure sensors are used for indoor navigation, personal weather forecast and altimeter, but only Bosch is reaching the performance which is needed for these use cases.

Thomas, · Reply

Can you identify the microphone? Looking for the spec:)

rkslive, · Reply

from some other posts, it looks like there are several microphones. would love specifics on each, as I am having an issue with speakerphone mic's call quality.

anyone else having this issue?

Christopher Vassallo,

Same here, it is a feature I use a lot and people are now saying they can't hear well, etc..

Paul, · Reply

> we’re not sure why some manufacturers insist on burying both the screen and the battery

I figured it was to coerce customers into buying a new phone when the screen or battery broke, instead of repairing it. Much more profit in that than making it easy to repair.

Dan Lapoint, · Reply

Yes, that is on par with most big company's 'planned obsolescence' in design (I'm an industrial designer). You make something that people want to buy, but not want to keep for long (a year in most cases with phones), and would rather buy a new one than repair. If repair costs (that could very likely go to a 3rd party repairer) are close enough to the cost of a new phone (which would go to the manufacturer, albeit somewhat indirectly), why not just get a new phone right?

Super irresponsible in my opinion.

Ethan,

I have read and watched your tear down very carefully. I wonder if it should not be possible to remove the display assembly right after you removed the backcover witout disassembling all the rest. Of course it is neccessary to know which two connector to release (digitizer, display) and than on which corner to lift the display first, but that' s what we know now after your first trial.

Would be nice if you can responde to this thought now after you have done this job and seen the details. Regards Marty.

Marty, · Reply

No it is not possible, there isn't enough clearance for the digitiser cable.

This phone is a royal mess in terms of internal design.

Tom Chai,

Could you please explain why you think the "HTC black bar" is present below the screen? Does it actually serve any function? I can't see anything critical underneath it!

Suman Gandham, · Reply

It provides extra space for internals and a larger battery. I personally don't mind, despite it creating an offset screen when gaming in landscape mode. There's less than a 3mm difference between the top and bottom of the screen because the bottom speaker grill is shorter than the top one. I actually don't notice it when gaming or watching movies.

Paul Campbell, · Reply

View Statistics:

Today: 356

This Week: 1,787

This Month: 9,359

All Time: 216,684