Motorola’s Droid Bionic ties its cousin, the Atrix, as the most repairable smartphone we’ve torn down. All you really need is a Torx T5 screwdriver (and some untrimmed fingernails, if you want to forego plastic opening tools) to take the whole phone apart!
Not surprisingly, it received a 9 out of 10 repairability score, as the phone is held together with a limited number of screws and plastic clips. Adhesive is minimally used in its construction, and many components can be replaced individually — they’re not tied together with long, delicate ribbon cables. Heck, you can even replace the LCD separately from the glass!
It warms our DIY hearts to disassemble devices like the Bionic. It gives us hope for a world where people fix their devices instead of tossing them in the trash.
- A sticker, some clips, and a few — ahem, ELEVEN — screws around the perimeter of the Bionic are all that prevent us from peeking inside. All screws are of the Torx T5 variety, which are easily surmountable using iFixit’s 54-piece bit driver kit.
- We were greeted by a forest of EMI shields once we removed the rear cover. It took us forever to desolder all the shiny squares.
- We disconnected the loudspeaker from the otherwise unexciting rear case; it looked to be ideal for proclaiming the characteristic “Drooooooiiiiid” upon powering on the phone.
- The 4G LTE SIM card module is held in place by two additional screws — and that’s the extent of screw-type fasteners inside this phone. They’re also the same T5 Torx size, meaning you only need one screwdriver to take apart the phone.
- We’re relieved to see that Motorola isn’t using the same long ribbon cables found in some of their other devices. This is wonderful, since it means you don’t have to replace two or three fully functional components that are tied to the same cable as your dead component.
- The rear-facing camera simply pops out. Inscription on the component is this wonderful gem: “NCAABA 65161 0100698 2001 SH.” We think that’s code for “8 MP behemoth,” but that’s just speculation.
- The camera measures in at 7.1 mm x 9.3 mm (length x width) and weighs a porky 1.2 grams! Much like the Droid X and Droid X2, the large camera seems to be the main reason behind the “hump” at the top of the phone.
- After some slash-and-burn on the EMI shield forest, we found the big players on the motherboard:
- Elpida B8064B2PB-8D-F 1 GB DRAM and TI OMAP 4430 processor
- SanDisk SDIN4C2-16G 16GB Flash memory
- ST Ericsson CPCAP 006556001
- Qualcomm PM8028 power management chip that works in conjunction with the Qualcomm MDM6600 to provide CDMA connectivity
- Hynix H8KCS0SJ0AER and Hynix H8BCS0QG0MMR memory MCP containing Hynix DRAM and STM flash
- ATMEL MXT224E-CCU Touchscreen Controller
- Motorola T6VP0XBG-0001, believed to be the LTE baseband processor.
- TI WL1285C, an 802.11n Wi-Fi/FM/GPS/BlueTooth 3.0 all-in-one solution
- The back of the motherboard is absent of any notable features. It is possible that Motorola placed all of the chips on one side of the board to keep the thickness of the device to a minimum.
- The qHD display in this phone originally appeared in the Motorola Atrix earlier this year, and we’ve seen one in every Motorola Android phone since.