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Moto X's unique design choice earns a 7 out of 10 repairability score
Teardown specialist iFixit had their hands full on Friday as Motorola’s latest smartphone – the Moto X – finally hit retail. First impressions were generally good as the team found the device to be slightly smaller than the Galaxy S 4 and they were impressed with the contoured back shell although a defect next to the SIM card tray is hopefully an isolated incident.
Getting inside the Moto X proved a bit difficult as Motorola not only clipped the rear shell in place, they also used a bit of adhesive. Multiple steps (and tools) later, the team finally breached the interior only to find Motorola’s X8 Mobile Computing System front and center. The brains of the phone, this bundle includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a natural language processor and a contextual computing processor.
Elsewhere is a 2,200mAh lithium ion battery, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a 10-megaxpiel rear shooter, Toshiba THGBMAG7A2JBAIR 16 GB eMMC NAND flash, SK Hynix H9TKNNNBPDAR RAM, an NXP 44701 NFC chip and other various chips and components.
If nothing else, iFixit described the design choices as unique and in conclusion, it earned a repairability score of seven out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). The use of pressure contacts and cable connectors make the modular components easy to replace while a single type of screw (albeit a fairly uncommon size) will limit the number of screwdrivers you need.
Shortcomings include a taped-in battery that was less accessible than they liked and a digitizer that is fused to the display which increases repair costs for a cracked screen. The display midframe can be separated, however, potentially lowering the cost of the replacement part.
The Moto X is the first Motorola smartphone to be assembled in the US and the first big release since Google took over the company. The Moto X is touting out of the box customization, choose one of 18 back colors and designs, colors of the phone buttons and the ring around the lens of the camera. The X is powered by a Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.7 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.2.2. It also features a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display and comes in 16GB or 32GB versions.
The Galaxy S4 is a continuation of Samsung's flagship Android handset, in a sleeker and more modern version inside and out. The S4 features a 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, and a 5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display. The S4 also packs 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, IR LED Remote Control, MHL 2.0, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
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