Galaxy Nexus teardown reveals a repair-friendly, tinkerable phone

iFixIt tears down the Galaxy Nexus, the latest "Google Experience" phone (a phone that ships with a stock Android installation and no telco/manufacturer crapware installed) and finds it to be admirably tinkerer/repair-friendly. The device is held together with standard screws, and very few of the components are glued together, meaning that it will be fairly straightforward to repair.

The phone is meant to ship next week, and I've already pre-ordered mine (I'll let you know how it works out). I've owned two other Google Experience phones (the Nexus One and the Galaxy S) and been very happy with them.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Teardown (via Wired)



  1. “Google Experience” is a not-bad branding. Hopefully, it will become common parlance, so we get more phones with less crapware.

    1. It’ll be the motorola experience soon enough.  Turns out if you don’t actually make the products for sale you can only have so much influence on them.

  2. iFixit gives this phone the same repairability score as the iPhone 4S – 6 out of 10. Not sure about tinkerability though, or even what that means. Circuit bending? Adding colored lights and cooling fans? Upgrading the CPU?

    1. Fnord! Fnord! Fnord! All non-iPhone owners have a deep, burning desire to be able to swap out the battery, screen (if it gets broken), umm… all the other bits… etc, err… etc. Etc.

      Anyway. Ignore that only a MUCH smaller subset of the aforementioned people are actually aware it is possible to take a modern phone apart, then ignore that of those that are aware it is possible only a fairly small subset of those people actually do anything with that knowledge/ability.

  3. iPhone 4 & 4S tear downs –
    Look pretty similar to me. Ooh, wait, the iPhone 4S used eeeevil pentalobe screws that nobody can undo without having tamed a Unicorn. Or bought the screwdriver from iFixit.
    Replacing the better is pretty much identical in each case – except the Nexus battery includes the antenna. Weird. And probably added expense.

    And oh dear, a mere 5Mp camera? How last year. ;-)

    1. I’m confused, are you implying that a feature specifically designed to be difficult to use isn’t evil?

  4. Quite a naming scheme they have there. What’s next? The “One S,” the “S Nexus,” and the “One Galaxy”?

  5. As an unlocked Nexus One user, I’m very interested in this phone. After experiencing the relative freedom it provides, I’m not sure I could ever bring myself to get a phone that isn’t as tinker-friendly (and by this I assume we’re referring to the software) and otherwise hackable.

    My N1 is definitely showing its age, not least of which because of the power button, which doesn’t work (my workarounds are a bit clunky, but I’m used to it). Thing is, even though I know it’s relatively easy to repair (like this new one also is, perhaps) it’s not something I really care about and I’ve never bothered to try to fix it (the power button was a design flaw in the N1 and a replacement part likely would fail again anyway).

    Frankly, these devices really should not have failures that can be repaired with a soldering iron. Swapping in a spare battery, of course, is something else entirely and my N1 would be useless at this point if I couldn’t do that (though I only worry about battery life when I’m traveling and using the phone very heavily – it’s not that bad).

  6. Cory, can I ask why you have owned three Google experience phones? What was so bad about the others that you had to replace them? I’m not asking this to make any digs at Android, I’m asking because it always seemed to me that you were the sort of person to use their technology until it was no longer feasible to do so. The rapid turnover in buying new phones nowadays is hardly positive for the environment, or a good example of reuse. 

  7. I have a Nexus S currently and it runs way smoother than the Samsung Galaxy S that I lost in a rural field during extreme quad biking. There was an amazing amount of Samsung  crapware on the Galaxy S.

    Also it needs to be said that the batteries of both (like every other normal phone) are accessible without unscrewing anything. Batteries die. Why would you want a phone which you need to unscrew to get to it when it does?

    1. Second on that – the nexus is a great little phone. You can strip it down to the basics and it’s got a great display with a more honest implementation of android than the manufacturer-tainted phones. 

  8. If only they’d make a Nexus phone with a keyboard!

    I hope the Motorola takeover will fix all of Motorola’s stupid self-destructive policies. Their hardware is perfect, but their software and ownership policies suck so bad I just cannot buy from them anymore. If Google fixes that, I’ll come back.

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