Feeds

Teardown gurus iFixit play with Fire – Amazon's new mobe

Amazon handset proves a complex bit of kit in repair tests

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The teardown team at repairs biz iFixit has cracked open Amazon's Fire smartmobe, and it seems the new handset is indeed a complex piece of kit even by modern smartphone standards.

The teardown repair tutorial, designed to serve as both an exploration into the device and a loose guide for home repairs, found a number of unique but complex and occasionally tedious design techniques which will make the Fire Phone a tough task to take apart.

The teardown spotted the expected hardware components in the Fire Phone such as the 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor from Qualcomm, a 2400 mAh battery and 2GB of Samsung RAM and 32or 64GB of flash storage. The handset sports a 13-megapixel main camera and a two-megapixel front-facing camera.

Among the features noted by researchers was a striking lack of adhesive on many of the components. Researchers found that key pieces such as the internal battery lacked the heavy layer of glue used in other popular smartphones.

Fire Phone opened

Inside the Fire Phone
Credit: iFixit

Though the lack of heavy adhesives will be helpful to would-be repairmen, iFixit warned that users should take care for hidden or complex cables, such as the one connecting two LEDs, a micro-USB port and the handset's microphone.

"While the lack of glue is a boon to repairability, having so many components on a single cable means that if any one goes, you'll be replacing the whole fire-roasted enchilada," the researchers wrote.

Further dangers lurk in the four sensor modules used to produce the Fire Phone's 3D display effects. Those sensors, which track the user's proximity, help to calibrate the display in order to let the Fire Phone create the 3D image for the user's eyes.

Researchers at iFixit were able to produce a demonstration video showcasing just how the sensors operate.

While the sensors help to create one of the Fire Phone's defining features, they also make repairs difficult. Teardown researchers found that the four sensors each had to be carefully calibrated in order to function properly and as such were glued into the device and difficult to remove.

Fire Phone sensors

Those sensors don't come out easy
credit: iFixit

Those sealed-in sensors, combined with features such as difficult-to-access proprietary screw and the network of internal cables which can connect multiple hardware components, soured researchers on the repairability of the Fire Phone.

While not particularly encouraging for home hackers, the score is at least higher than mobile devices such as the Surface Pro 3 and the iPad Air, which were deemed practically unrepairable. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS
It's got four KILOWATTS of something, apparently
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?
Subtle, naturalistic ambiance – perfect for Transformers 4
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.