Video Overview

Introduction

The phablet wars continue. Today we welcome the Nexus 6. A joint collaboration between Google and Motorola, the Nexus 6 is being hailed as the iPhone 6 Plus's brother from an Android mother. What innovations lay hidden inside the Nexus 6? Join us as we find out!

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Nexus 6, use our service manual.

Nexus 6 Tech Specs: 5.96" display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (493 ppi) 2.7 GHz Quad core Krait 450 CPU (Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SOC) + Adreno 420 GPU, with 3 GB RAM
  • Nexus 6 Tech Specs:

    • 5.96" display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (493 ppi)

    • 2.7 GHz Quad core Krait 450 CPU (Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SOC) + Adreno 420 GPU, with 3 GB RAM

    • 32 or 64 GB of internal storage

    • Android 5.0 Lollipop

    • 802.11ac 2x2 (MIMO) + Bluetooth 4.1 + NFC

    • 3220 mAh "non-removable" battery

    • 13 MP rear-facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization + 2 MP front-facing camera

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The Nexus 6 has a central rear-facing camera that looks like it might have some interesting flash action hidden alongside. More on this later... The top of the phone is decked with a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a seemingly out-of-place nano SIM card slot.
  • The Nexus 6 has a central rear-facing camera that looks like it might have some interesting flash action hidden alongside.

    • More on this later...

  • The top of the phone is decked with a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a seemingly out-of-place nano SIM card slot.

  • The bottom houses the Micro USB port, along with the obligatory FCC markings, leaving the back of the phone jargon free.

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Begun, the Clone War has. Three companies produce two phablets and we hold them up in the same hand to compare their size. Thanks to a thinner bezel, you get more screen real estate with the Nexus 6, with only a slightly larger chassis.
  • Begun, the Clone War has.

  • Three companies produce two phablets and we hold them up in the same hand to compare their size. Thanks to a thinner bezel, you get more screen real estate with the Nexus 6, with only a slightly larger chassis.

    • Nexus 6: 82.98 mm x 159.26 mm x 10.06 mm

    • iPhone 6 Plus: 77.8 mm x 158.1 mm x 7.1 mm

could you adjust the image so the hands are 'more identical' for comparison?

Kennedy - Reply

With no visible screws on the rear cover, we resort to opening picks to pry or slide our way in. The bad: No simple clips on this cover, looks like your fingernails won't be enough for this job.  The good: The adhesive securing the cover is relatively mild, once the pick sneaks into the seam, the cover can be peeled up.
  • With no visible screws on the rear cover, we resort to opening picks to pry or slide our way in.

  • The bad: No simple clips on this cover, looks like your fingernails won't be enough for this job.

  • The good: The adhesive securing the cover is relatively mild, once the pick sneaks into the seam, the cover can be peeled up.

  • The ugly: Removing the rear cover still doesn't provide access to internal components. At least we now have visual confirmation of screws, a whole legion of them.

If you peel off back cover, how will it be held in place afterwards?

Maxim R - Reply

everyone! open the sim tray and you will see a hole there through wich you can push the plastic back with a sim removal tool!

Pan Bitco - Reply

Thank you very much for the tip, you save me a lot of time !!!

Pere Verti -

My nexus 6 has a small bent part in the back cover, is it possible to get a replacement? and how can i glue it back to the device?

Sato Atoo - Reply

Do we need to warm the back cover with a hairdryer before peeling it off ?

Amin - Reply

Time to take out the (oh-so-many) screws. 22 T3 Torx screws present themselves, and silently await our precision driver. We've spotted a secret door! With a secret connector! We've learned to check for these, and disconnect them in advance, just in case.
  • Time to take out the (oh-so-many) screws. 22 T3 Torx screws present themselves, and silently await our precision driver.

  • We've spotted a secret door! With a secret connector!

    • We've learned to check for these, and disconnect them in advance, just in case.

  • A shiny copper coil catches our eye through the holey midframe. We'll be sure to investigate that once we get it cracked...

How do you reconnect the small ribbon cable connector? I can't get mine to reconnect, is there a trick to it?

Christian Lair - Reply

I believe you just push it back on. I had no trouble with mine.

njmike -

Which way do I turn the screws to loosen them up

Eviane Jeffries - Reply

Which way do i turn the screws to loosen them

Eviane Jeffries - Reply

Why does this guide say to use a t3 screwdriver and others say to use a t4? I have screenshots but don't think this site allows for those in comments.

Kevin Hanning - Reply

Others are wrong, it is t3.

gabriel.balazs - Reply

The Nexus is finally ready to reveal its secrets. Looks like that mystery connector belonged to the battery! With cables decoupled, it's suddenly delightfully apparent why there were so many screws in the midframe. The Nexus 6 practically falls apart into two halves; the midframe/battery assembly, and the display/motherboard assembly.
  • The Nexus is finally ready to reveal its secrets. Looks like that mystery connector belonged to the battery!

  • With cables decoupled, it's suddenly delightfully apparent why there were so many screws in the midframe. The Nexus 6 practically falls apart into two halves; the midframe/battery assembly, and the display/motherboard assembly.

    • Thanks to loads of screws, we don't have to deal with any adhesive, or even any tricky plastic clips.

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Would you look at that! The shiny copper from before is an inductive charging coil! (Maybe this'll catch on after all). Quick inductive charging refresher: an inductive charging station drives an alternating current through a coil. The current moving back and forth in the base coil generates and collapses a magnetic field, which induces a current flow in the coil in the device. This AC current is then rectified into DC power to charge the battery.
  • Would you look at that! The shiny copper from before is an inductive charging coil! (Maybe this'll catch on after all).

    • Quick inductive charging refresher: an inductive charging station drives an alternating current through a coil. The current moving back and forth in the base coil generates and collapses a magnetic field, which induces a current flow in the coil in the device. This AC current is then rectified into DC power to charge the battery.

  • Peeling the coil off lets us get a look at the 3.8 V, 3220 mAh (12.2 Wh) battery.

what is that cable extending upwards?

dennis97519 - Reply

there's inconsistent specs on the battery, official numbers saying 3220mAh capacity, but the EZ30 battery is only 3025mAh. I assume the battery they are listing in official specs is the EK-MTN6 battery from the XT1100 global version of the phone. XT1103 is the US version. the EX30 battery is listed as compatible with both EX1103 and XT1100, but not sure on the EK-MTN6 version, as there's few sites that sell it.

phillip galas - Reply

As we continue our trek, we get to investigate that flash assembly a bit closer. The Nexus 6 takes the dual LED flash in a different direction—two different directions, really.
  • As we continue our trek, we get to investigate that flash assembly a bit closer.

  • The Nexus 6 takes the dual LED flash in a different direction—two different directions, really.

    • The circular camera lens cover acts as a light guide for two flanking LEDs, mimicking a ring flash. Neat!

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First peek at the motherboard brings back memories of the Moto X; big, green and lots of tiny EMI shields. We easily pluck out the rear- and front-facing cameras with a pair of tweezers. The Nexus 6 is certainly no slouch when it comes to cameras. The 13 MP rear-facing camera sports a  Sony Exmor IMX 214 CMOS image sensor (Also found in the OnePlus One).
  • First peek at the motherboard brings back memories of the Moto X; big, green and lots of tiny EMI shields.

  • We easily pluck out the rear- and front-facing cameras with a pair of tweezers.

  • The Nexus 6 is certainly no slouch when it comes to cameras. The 13 MP rear-facing camera sports a Sony Exmor IMX 214 CMOS image sensor (Also found in the OnePlus One).

How is the rear camera cable attached to the mobo? Mine is somehow coming loose every so many days, causing the camera app and flashlight widget to stop working and/or disappear. If I press hard on the back cover just below the lens (and reboot) the camera starts showing up and working again - for a day or two usually.

Anyway, just trying to figure out if tearing the phone apart is worth the effort to fix this.

Chris Weis - Reply

The camera cable slides down into a ZIF connector. It isn't too difficult to get to, and you might get somewhere by cleaning the cable with isopropyl alcohol and reseating it in the connector, but it sounds unlikely that it would just come loose in there. A poor solder joint securing the connector to the motherboard might explain why pushing down helps, but that'll be a much more difficult problem to deal with.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg -

After freeing the motherboard from the display assembly, we spy a lone IC: Atmel MXT640T CCU 1424D TW QLR64 Touchscreen Controller
  • After freeing the motherboard from the display assembly, we spy a lone IC:

    • Atmel MXT640T CCU 1424D TW QLR64 Touchscreen Controller

  • And that's it! The display assembly is bare and free of extra components, after a fairly easy jaunt to the center of the Nexus.

    • Even though it was easy to get here, the display is still fused to the digitizer glass—it won't be a cheap replacement part if you crack your screen.

it's time to have guides on unfusing the display and glass cover panel, since so many displays are now fused.

dennis97519 - Reply

just habe to use heat to soften the OCA glue and cut through the glue with a thin strong wire

dennis97519 - Reply

Finally, the part we've all been waiting for! Let's identify some of the ICs that power this Nexus:
  • Finally, the part we've all been waiting for! Let's identify some of the ICs that power this Nexus:

    • SK Hynix H9CKNNNDBTMTAR 24 Gb (3 GB) LPDDR3 RAM, with Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC layered underneath

    • Qualcomm PMA8084 Power Management IC

    • SanDisk SDIN9DW4-32G 32 GB eMMC NAND Flash

    • Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE Modem

    • Qualcomm WTR1625L RF Transceiver

    • Qualcomm WFR1620 Receive-Only Companion Chip

    • Texas Instruments TMS320C55 Digital Signal Processor

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Even more ICs: Qualcomm SMB1359
  • Even more ICs:

    • Qualcomm SMB1359

    • Broadcom BCM4356 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 IC

    • RF Micro Devices RF7389EU F14NRC2 Envelope Tracking Power Amplifier

    • Speaker Grille RGB LED

      • For some reason, Motorola decided to keep this LED a secret.

    • NXP TFA9890A Audio Amplifier

    • Qualcomm QFE1100 Envelope Tracking IC

You've identified the Audio Amplifier, but what's the quality of the DAC sending signal out through the 3.5mm? I'm too lazy to walk around with a portable external DAC and AMP via USB OTG, but I'd still like to have a halfway decent experience listening to my lossless audio with my Sennheisers. I'm in between the Nexus 6 and the Note 4 for my next handset, and I'll just pick the one with the best audio experience.

Ryan Caldarone - Reply

Phone novice here, but the charge port on my Nexus 6 is bad to the point where I have to angle the mini usb to get it to charge. Is the charging port one of the infamous soldered components?

Zedric - Reply

It looks like it from the picture, though I haven't taken my Nexus apart to see myself. That's not much help, I know, but I didn't see anyone else responding yet.

However, it's also got QI charging, so you could do your charging with that (It'd be slower to charge, but it'd keep you in power).

robinbrucesizemore -

  • But wait there's more! Motorola is touting its Turbo Charger, boasting enough charge for 6 hours of use in just 15 minutes of charging.

  • Compatible with Qualcomm's new Quick Charge 2.0 tech, the Motorola Turbo Charger lists three different output options: 5 V at 1.6 A, 9 V at 1.6 A, and 12 V at 1.2 A.

  • Sounds like there's nothing snailish about this Turbo, but really there's only one way to find out...

    • ...And that's by slicing our way in with a rotary tool!

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On the one side, amidst wads of epoxy, we find a transformer surrounded by some plain jane capacitors, voltage regulators, and a USB port. On the other side, amid a sea of solder and surface mount components:
  • On the one side, amidst wads of epoxy, we find a transformer surrounded by some plain jane capacitors, voltage regulators, and a USB port.

  • On the other side, amid a sea of solder and surface mount components:

    • A bridge rectifier, responsible for converting AC to DC

    • Dialogue iW1760B Power Supply Controller, clearly the brains of the operation

Any chance you can identify for us the two power transistors on the top side?

Paul Franzosa - Reply

You should include some info on the caps (brand and temperature rating) and you should tear down every charger on every phone

Mateusz Bonkowski - Reply

Motorola Nexus 6 Repairability Score: 7 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair). Pressure contacts and cable connectors make the modular components (cameras, buttons, headphone jack) easy to replace.
  • Motorola Nexus 6 Repairability Score: 7 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • Pressure contacts and cable connectors make the modular components (cameras, buttons, headphone jack) easy to replace.

    • The Nexus 6 uses a single kind of screw, although it's a fairly uncommon size (T3).

    • Many many screws hold the midframe in place—this makes its removal somewhat tedious, but also means no clips or adhesive are needed to secure it to the front panel.

    • The glued-in battery is less accessible than we'd like, but it can be replaced.

    • Several components (vibrator, SIM slot, speaker, USB port) are soldered directly to the motherboard and will be more difficult to replace than if they were connected by cable.

    • The digitizer is fused to the display, increasing repair costs for a cracked screen, but it is easy to get to the bare display assembly.

with this much glue and the fact that you need to remove the motherboard to access the screen i think 7/10 is a little too much...

Xavier DAUCHY - Reply

The Nexus 4 also got a 7/10, and with much of it being glued/adhered together it was much more difficult both to take apart and to properly put back together than this sounds. And you had to remove the motherboard to get at the screen with the Nexus 4 too. So if anything I'd almost argue that it's too low, comparatively.

keithzg -

31 Comments

Step 12, the chip above the orange one, Broadcom BCM20795 NFC controller chip.

Frank Chen - Reply

So is it possible to put back the back cover or it need some kind of glue ?

th3d3vi0us - Reply

It's still pretty sticky, so it ought to go back on and stay without any additional adhesive.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg -

I'm struggling to stick mine back on, what adhesive can I use?

Zaidoun Haddad -

Is it possible to upgrade to upgrade the storage?

Collin Corcoran - Reply

Yeah, I was wondering that too given that AT&T currently only offers the 32gb model. However, it looks like that SanDisk chip is soldered in place, so not upgrade-able.

Chris Martini -

Any information about speakers?

John Nguyen - Reply

Since they're front-firing, I believe they're fused with the rest of the display assembly.

Matthew Merkey -

I wonder what the SOT23-6 device marked 4M03 in the charger is. Looks to be connected to the USB data lines which makes me think it might have something to do with the QuickCharge protocol. Maybe it's a 6-pin uController (Atmel/TI/Microchip)?

Nir Tasher - Reply

I'm told the two lines framing each corner on the outer edges are the antenna? Is this true?

Andy Crowther - Reply

Good question. i also want to know where the GSM antenna is ?

sean -

I have cracked the screen on mine, phone still works perfectly , how is easy it to buy a replacement glass and fix it?

wiliam - Reply

I recently shattered mine and went to the phone doctor. the screen was over 200 bucks installed. It seemed to cause them a lot of issues to install as well. took a lot longer than usual.

adam martin -

Can someone please help. I need the plastic frame/ screw mount. Every screen replacement dose not come with the plastic frame metal frame or foam.

nick martin - Reply

Hi Martin,

Could you find frame? - I also tried to find it.

Sergo

Sergo -

where would i be able to buy a replacement nexus 6 battery? im in dire need of one?even its not an OEM which obviously it wouldnt be but where would i be able to buy a replacement one?

Ryan Evans - Reply

I just ordered a replacement battery from this site. Looks they have quite a few replacement parts.

https://www.strivemobile.com/motorola-ne...

njmike -

For some reason, I thought it said the screws were T4 when I read this yesterday, so I thought I was lucky when I found a screwdriver set at Home Depot today with a size that small (I would have gotten one with anything smaller if they carried one). I was momentarily disappointed when I opened this guide back up, but happy again when the T4 worked perfectly.

Is this guide wrong, is the label on the screwdriver set wrong, or are T4 and T3 known to be interchangeable?

njmike - Reply

Why no one mention that Nexus 6's dual LED flash is not as bright as Nexus 5's LED flash. Seems like no one compare them on the internet.

Google - Reply

No information about the headphone connector?

claudiounb - Reply

Where can I buy T3 screw's, 17 were stripped in my phone?

hotmamasita603 - Reply

so were you able to remove the stripped screws from the phone? I'm trying to do that right now

bob kwan -

where can I buy the T3 screws?

hotmamasita603 - Reply

saw them on ebay, type "nexus 6 screw set". all from US though, don't know if thats a problem for you

gabriel.balazs -

It seems that the microphones are intolerant to moisture. I changed the microphone and still no working mic. Then I noticed that there are two more to the left and right of the microphone that I changed. I got the one in the middle from Digikey, but I can not identify the other two. Does anyone have a schematic or know where to find these other two microphones?

T1T! - Reply

I spilled coffee and microphone and earpice are not working. Does any know where I find instruction and parts? zb11

banjanin -

Is there someone who knows where are the sensors placed? (gyro, accelerometer, etc)

Alessandro Carlo Paolucci - Reply

My daughter dropped the Nexus 6 phone and there are no cracks on the screen, but the display is not working? Is it possible to replace the digitizer without replacing the screen? Or Do I need to replace the Motorola Nexus 6 LCD Screen and Digitizer?

Venkat Guntupalli - Reply

How do we change the metal pieces at the bottom and top of the screen? they are both between the glass and the backing part of the screen and is not easy to get to.

vpaday - Reply

If someone needs to know: two metal pieces at top and bottom of screen glass can be pulled out from the front (with difficulty, since they're fixed in well) and can be pressed into a new screen, they clip into place. good design.

Does anyone know where the GPS sensor is and how to test if it works?

vpaday -

i really dislike the low volume of this phone, can not hear anything if in a crowd...forget it

Lori hemminger - Reply

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