6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Cracking Open: Cracking Open the LG Nexus 4

About Video Transcript

Cracking Open: Cracking Open the LG Nexus 4

3:35 /

Bill Detwiler shows you how to crack open the LG-built, Google Nexus 4 and uncovers a hardware surprise inside.

Google's Nexus 4 offers a pure Android experience on an unlocked device at a great no contract price. It's also fairly easy to disassemble and hides a bit of a hardware secret inside. Let's find out what it is. I'm Bill Detwiler and this is Cracking Open. With its 4.7-inch IPS display, quad-core CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and an 8 megapixel main camera, the LG-built Nexus 4 holds its own among high-end smartphones. And given its support for NFC and wireless charging, it's even a step ahead of many. It's also well-built, feels sturdy in your hands and as I'll show you fairly easy to take apart. First, remove the sim card and the two torch T5 screws along the bottom edge. Then, using a thin tool gently pop off the back cover. Now attached to the inside of the back cover are both the NFC antenna and wireless charging induction coil. The 3.8V Lithium-Ion battery is held to the motherboard by a pair of screws and to the internal frame with a lot of adhesive. Removing it takes quite a bit of patience. The speaker enclosure comes out next followed by the plastic frame covering the motherboard. The phone's vibration motor and earpiece speaker are attached to this frame. After detaching a few connectors and cables, you can remove the motherboard and separate the front and rear facing cameras. We can now remove the metal shields from the motherboard that conceal most of the phone's chips. Prominent chips include the RAM chip that's likely stack on top of a Snap Dragon CPU as well as a Qualcomm modem. Now it's really interesting about this modem is despite the Nexus 4 not officially supporting LTE, this chip actually does. And I've read online reports of people connecting to some LTE networks that operate on band 4 in the 1700 and 2100 MHz spectrum. But there's no guarantee it will work for you in your area or that the functionality won't be disabled at some point. So, even with this modem, there's still no real LTE support. Now, turning our attention back to the disassembly, we can now remove the smaller circuit board which contains the phone's micro-USB port, a microphone and several speaker contacts as well as the 3.5 mm headphone jack assembly which also houses the Ambient Light Sensor. As the front glass panel LCD and internal frame are all fused together, our teardown is complete. The Nexus 4 may not have the stylish design of Samsung's Galaxy S III or the outstanding battery life of Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx HD. But it's a solid phone and one that's not too difficult to crack open. And at $299 unlocked without a contract, it's definitely price right. Now, for more information on the Nexus 4 including real world test and pricing, check out Lynn La's full CNET Review. Now to see teardown photos and read my full hardware analysis, go to techrepublic.com/crackingopen. I'm Bill Detwiler. Thanks for watching.

New releases

2014 BMW i8 (CNET On Cars, Episode 56)
19:02 December 19, 2014
BMW's i8 is definitely a taste of the future -- but whose? We'll shed some light on MPGe, the benchmark for tomorrow's cars. And we...
Play video
Need a new size? Just tap the mirror
1:55 December 19, 2014
In a place where fashion comes first, tech is coming in at a close second. In major department stores and small boutiques, the dressing...
Play video
Did life forms exist on Mars? Curiosity makes a big find, Ep. 187
4:46 December 19, 2014
It's the last Crave show of 2014. This week, Curiosity makes a huge discovery, the US Navy has a shark drone and American satellites...
Play video
Obama: Sony wrong to pull movie over hackers' threats
2:56 December 19, 2014
President Obama addresses the Sony cyberattack and vows to respond to North Korea. Also, T-Mobile settles cramming lawsuit, and Facebook...
Play video
A cheap activity tracker you will actually want to wear
2:11 December 19, 2014
CNET's Dan Graziano gives you a look at one of the most affordable fitness trackers on the market.
Play video
Embarrassing moments in tech (2014)
2:53 December 19, 2014
The high profile tech of 2014 that aimed for the stars and landed in the gutter.
Play video
Solid tablet design hindered by so-so performance
2:48 December 19, 2014
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 has an excellent ergonomic build, but its performance lacks the same finesse.
Play video
Say hello to ZTE's mid-tier Grand X for Cricket Wireless
1:16 December 19, 2014
Featuring a 5-inch display, a dual-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera, the affordable ZTE Grand X is available prepaid from US...
Play video