updated 01:37 pm EDT, Mon March 25, 2013
Sparing use of adhesive, easily replaced battery helps score
The BlackBerry Z10 is a highly repairable smartphone, according to a recent teardown by by iFixit. The repairability score of 8 out of 10 issued by the disassembly experts stems from a relatively easy to deconstruct handset using little in the way of adhesive, combined with its easy-to-replace battery.
The main components were found to be easy to separate, allowing for easier repairs. An integrated NFC antenna was found to be part of the removable rear panel, similar to the Samsung Nexus S, while the motherboard is noted to have a complete lack of glue holding it in place, instead relying on other fixings. Qualcomm supplied the audio codec, power management component, multi-band RF transciever, and Snapdragon S4 processor for the main circuit-board, while Samsung provided the 16GB NAND Flash, controller, and DDR2 SDRAM. ST Microelectronics, Avago, and TI also supplied components.
While the Z10 offered hope in terms of its overall repairability, the small case peripherals were found to be built into a single assembly held by adhesive, making replacement a tricky task. The display is said to be extremely thin through the use of some "serious fusing," namely applying the digitizer directly to the glass, and in turn fused directly to the LCD. While the front glass is a different kind of hardened surface to the Gorilla Glass, it is claimed that damaging the glass would cause all touchscreen functionality to cease.
The final score of 8 out of 10 is a rarity for smartphone teardowns by iFixit. In comparison, the iPhone 5 managed to get close to the BlackBerry Z10, scoring a respectable 7 out of 10.