updated 03:05 pm EDT, Fri October 8, 2010
Nokia N8 torn down by iFixit with surprises
iFixit today conducted a teardown of Nokia's just shipping N8 smartphone and discovered an unusually repairable device. Despite being wrapped in aluminum and officially unserviceable by the owner, the N8 actually has a completely stock battery that can be pulled out by anyone removing the bottom plate with a Torx T4 screwdriver. Virtually all components that aren't part of the mainboard can be replaced with the exception of the front and back cameras.
The full-touch phone is also cheaper for replacement parts than an iPhone. As the AMOLED screen and glass layer are separate, only the part that breaks has to be replaced.
Clever design touches are also in place. The xenon flash is closer to that used by a dedicated camera, iFixit found. Antennas have also been strategically placed at the top and the bottom of the phone to give it good reception even in an otherwise all-aluminum outer shell. Even the anti-interference EMI shield is built into the mid-plane of the phone's insides, protecting the hardware but simplifying the number of parts involved.
Of the individual components, the Broadcom BCM2727 is the most unique as it's a rare instance of a dedicated media processor. The chip is the key to the phone being relatively fluid, as Electronista could attest at CTIA this week, even with a relatively low-power 680MHz processor.
Americans should have access to the N8 towards the end of October at $549 for an unlocked version that will work for 3G on both AT&T and T-Mobile.