Dissecting the Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo Show 2
Hey, welcome back to the CNET live stage at CES 2019.
I'm Jason Hiner and this is Bill Detwiler with TechRepublic, and it's become a tradition for us.
To close CNet live coverage by cracking open popular tech products.
And today we're gonna cut open the Google Home Hub and the Amazon Echo Show too.
So Bill, let's get it started.
Tell us what we're gonna do with the Google Home Hub.
Yeah, you know so these are two of the most popular smart home gadgets of the year.
In fact, we just gave away one of the Echo Shows here.
Live on the CNET stage a few moments ago.
And so we always think it's a lot of fun to take these apart to see the tech that's actually inside them to make them run and to find out if they do break, how can we repair them and how can we fix them and make them last a little longer?
Eliminate a little e-waste.
Man 1: And it's a lot of fun for us too.
Man 2: And if people are interested in seeing more of these, they can go to CNET's YouTube channel and find the whole cracking open channel full of videos of us cracking open all kinds of stuff.
Man 1: That's right.
So let's get started.
This is the Google Home hub.
Now I have pre-cooked this a little bit.
So it's just like a cooking show.
Man 2: Yes.
Man 1: It's not that exciting for everyone up here- To watch me take a heat gun and to heat the adhesive on the edge of the Echo Show two and melt the adhesive in there.
So I pre-cooked it a little bit.
It also helps me not have to break the screen.
It does happen sometimes when we damage these when we're cracking them open.
We try not to.
So I'm gonna go ahead and we're gonna try and pry the screen off.
Now with the Google Home Hub here, the way you get into this device like a lot of these new tablets and phones, is you have to go through the front.
And the front panels are held on with some really sticky adhesive in most cases.
And it's designed to prevent dust, water, other substances from getting inside the device.
It's also designed to provide a little bit of security to hold the parts together, but we're gonna slowly work our way around this.
Why don't you tell people what tool you're using here, Bill?
Yeah, so when we first started doing this, we used everything from kitchen knives and razor blades.
Now we've gotten a little more sophisticated and we've got special screwdrivers.
We got these little metal picks and tools here.
We actually have these old school sort of plastic [UNKNOWN].
These are new but any one of the old telecom [UNKNOWN] will know.
That's a great name for a tool.
Yeah, these are what they used to use to put wires into old telecom boxes.
So you can see that we have the screen detached from the front of the Google Home Hub and that was pretty easy.
Its usually not that easy in real life.
And we can see the adhesive.
See how its really sticky there?
You can also see, now if I were to just pull this off, I'd be liable to break the screen so I dont want to do that now these Have Gorilla Glass on them or they have really strong glass.
But still you put enough pressure on them and you bend them enough and they will break.
So we have a cable right here that we're going to need to detach.
These are foldable or flexible foldable cables here.
I haven't cracked this open before.
So this is kind of all new for me while we're doing it.
We're gonna try to do this without breaking it, looks like there's a catch here.
Now sometimes I can use a tool, other times, the best tool I have is my fingernail.
So we popped loose the latch, and now we can separate the screen here from the Home hub.
And this is designed, if you break it, if you crack, you could easily remove this and put this back on.
Not for the average user per se, but it can be done.
With that, now we have one of my favorite parts of the cracking open and that's to see how many screws are inside this thing.
I mean, I like mechanical connections.
I like physical connections.
But screws can sometimes be a little bit of a pain.
And there are quite a few screws in here, and I'm going to go ahead and remove those.
Luckily, I have a variety of screwdrivers that we can, we just have to figure out which one fits.
This one's a little small-
Sometimes they're not just normal Phillips head or flat screwdrivers, right?
They're always never regular screws.
So, why don't you talk a little bit about that, about how do people get these screwdrivers like the ones that you have Let me turn this around.
That's the better shot there.
If they want to do this themselves, how can they get the right tools, the right equipment to be able to do this at home?
Right, so mostly the Internet.
I mean, sometimes you can find tools at your local hardware store.
These are torques screwdrivers, so they're not really that difficult to find.
But they are small like these are t0s t1 t00s and sometime those can little hard to find to local [UNKNOWN] hardware retailers, so you usually have to find those online but they are not thank to internet they are not hard to find.
Like you can get them on amazon or you can get [UNKNOWN] amazon from specialty dealers.
I actually have a kit from some of our friends over at I Fix It.
They actually came on stage last year and helped me repair an iPhone>>Yes.>>So, there are a lot of companies out there as the DYI repair mareket has grown, they've been able to...they've created a market for these type of tools.>>Great.>>One thing I do want to mention, when I do this
I'm often not wearing sort of the safety gear that I would recommend people wear when they do it.
I'm doing it on stage.
If I was doing this really, on one of my own devices, I would wear a wrist strap that would give me some ESD protection.
I would wear safety glasses perhaps.
We'd make sure that we were grounded so we wouldn't have any sparking, things like that.
Here it's it not too bad, I'm not worried about it.
I just don't want to, if there's, the biggest security concern, safety concern is cutting yourself.
It's happened once or twice.
Or poking yourself, damaging, something like that, or damaging the component All right, so let's see.
We've got all the screws off of this piece of plastic here, I think.
Lemme see if I can, again, I haven't done this before so I'm learning as I go.
You're learning as you go.
One of the good lessons, Bill, youve done a lot of these.
You've been cracking things open since XBox and iPod in 2006, were some of the first thing things that we
Cracked open, as well as the first iPhone 2017.
So to crack these things open, one of the biggest mistakes people make is they rush it.
They don't have enough patience, right?
If it won't come-
They force it, right?
So I like to say you have the hands of a surgeon, enough patience of a saint, because It takes that really, you know you have to be really kinda nimble with your hands.
You have to kinda pull it a little bit here, pull it a little bit there, and see where it's gonna give, right?
Maybe I missed my calling, that's what it was.
So it does take a lot of patience.
You want to make sure that you're not rushing it, especially if it's your device.
If it's a $1000 phone, a $800 phone.
If it's a $200 phone, you don't wanna make the problem worst.
And I always recommend people.
They ask me how difficult is it to do at home?
Should I do this at home?
Well, it depends on your level of technical expertise.
If you're kind of a DIYer.
If you feel like it's something that you can tackle, then by all means go for it.
We should have the right to do that, and I encourage people to do it.
Just take the manufacturers.
Send them back, spend the money, and have it repaired there.
So we've been able to separate what appears to be the main circuit board inside the, and some of the heat sinks here likely inside the hub home or the Google Home hub here.
And then we can also get our first look at the speaker that's inside the home hub.
And so, we're going to go ahead.
I'm going to see if I can take off the circuit board because this is really kind of cool.
This is one of the reasons I really enjoy taking these apart because, a lot of the times, the manufacturers don't tell you I'll turn this around so we can get a better shot with the camera.
A lot of times, the manufacturers don't really tell you the circuits that are inside the devices.
Sometimes the do if they want to, if they really want to sort of talk about how good they are.
But a lot of times the dont.
So I like to see--
what vendors they are working with.
Yes, I like to see what vendors they are working with.
I like to see How much RAM devices have.
How much storage they have.
Cuz sometimes they'll just say, it has two speakers, it has wi-fi connectivity and that's it.
And I kind of wanna how well, how much RAM does this thing really have.
How much storage does it really have.
That's a good point, so that's a good reason to do this.
Sometimes you want to do what we're doing here for a pair, and sometimes you want to do it just to learn.
A lot of the times when we crack these things open it's, one, crack it open for the people that don't want to crack it open, to crack it open first before somebody else wants to crack it open themselves and try it, so they can learn from our From us getting inside the device, and then sometimes it's just to learn more about these devices themselves.
And like you said, it could have a pretty big impact on a small company when you open this up and you realize this new startup or smaller company chip maker is making a chip for the Google Home Hub.
A lot of times you will go and look up using part numbers and things that are on some of these chips to figure out, you know, who manufactures this part, or that part, or this component.
Definitely, and one of the things that's really interesting is as technology has been miniaturized and componentized, device manufacturers are able to put chips, and they're able to put sensors into devices in a much more interesting way, and in a much smaller space.
And so it's really interesting to see what's inside these devices.
One of my favorite cracking open was the pair of The Snap glasses.
And so they were really cool to see the kind of chips that were in there, and it was basically the same chips that are used for law enforcement body cameras, which makes sense, right?
In essence, it's just a body camera, but it's on your face.
All right, so we can separate The main system board here from this little piece of plastic looks like there's some contacts for the board here.
And probably one of the wireless antennas.
Up here, you know the Google Home Hub does not have a camera on it.
So it has a pair of far field what they call microphones that are inside of it and then it also has an ambient light sensor.
And we can see The circuit board for the ambient lights.
It's right on the back of this piece of plastic here that holds the screen onto the base.
So we're going to put that aside.
And now we're going to see if, good.
Now this is really interesting on circuit boards.
A lot of times They have these are almost always.
They have these metal shields.
These are designed to protect the circuits from electromagnetic interference.
And so we can pop those off usually.
Sometimes they're soldered to the board.
And what problems could electromagnetic interference cause with the strips?
It could just cause the device to malfunction.
It can cause the device itself if it emits any type of.
It can cause other devices nearby to malfunction.
All devices like this are required through government regulations to meet certain standards.
And so this is one way that they do that.
Basically to reduce That.
And so luckily, this, we can pop it off here.
Try not to bend the metal, it's pretty thin.
So you're not forcing it, you're finding where it's going to give.
Yeah, we're trying here.
I could be a little bit more rough but I don't want to.
There we go.
Okay, so as we remove one of the shields we'll see if this one will come off.
This one might actually be soldered on.
So that's the difference between this main one right here and then these smaller shields.
Those are actually soldered to the board.
So I'm not going to remove those because I'm afraid it will damage.
Well, I know it will damage the circuit board itself.
And I do like to put these back in working order.
When I'm finished with it.
Now I don't do this to destroy the devices.
People are like, you're cracking open a $1,000 phone.
Yes, I am, but I'm trying to put it back together in a working order.
I'm trying to learn from it.
I'm not trying to destroy it.
So I don't cut these off.
I'm not gonna de-solder them.
There are companies He needs to do that, but I'm not.
I'm also going to remove this.
This is a little bit of conductive material that helps with heat.
To transfer heat away from the processor, the main SOCK, whatever this has in here, to the EMI shield to the heat sink out here.
Underneath that we can see a bunch of chips right?
So you can see the main processor or the main sock here.
Which is doing all the work.
You see a couple of Nanya chips over here.
Which are likely RAM chips.
Looking at these I suspect, let me see the numbers.
I think if I can make those out, those are 128 megabit.
So that's megabit and not megabyte, right?
So you divide everything by eight.
So I think, I can't get those off, but I think there are another two underneath there.
So for a total of four of them.
And then you can see, I believe this is a I'm not sure.
I can't really see.
Usually, that's the thing that we use a macro lens for on these.
I think the wireless chip is actually under here, that would make a lot of sense.
And then that's kind of there is on these things.
It's amazing how mini components that manufacturers can cram in such a small space.
I really find that fascinating and cool.
And this is the brains that help make the speakers smart.
Now, you and I have talked about this before, it's not really this that provides the intelligence for the speaker.
It's the cloud.
It's the cloud running much more powerful chips in data centers thousands of miles away often.
And so here we have the speaker, and this, and the plastic shell.
Let's see, I think the bottom of this can come off here.
And we do this, like you said Jason, we take these things apart on CNET's YouTube channel.
You can see them there.
And we also, you can see photo layout of our [UNKNOWN] opens in the Cnet Magazine.
The latest issue which is on display here are CES 2019 in the booth has me with the latest ring video doorbell.
Yes, I remember that one well.
All right, so we're gonna take the bottom of this off.
You can see sometimes we can
Can see even more circuit boards here.
This is one of the boards that has the audio.
Or that's power, I'm sorry, the power jack right there.
And you can also see-
Yeah, USB connector.
Now that's not something that is user accessible.
But in the factory it would have been used to either load software, do testing, things like that before Before they put the base on.
If you were to plug into that and plug it into like a Linux machine or something like that, you would probably need an administrator password of some kind likely to actually access that.
And there are You know, again, people are who are trying to learn about devices that will do stuff like that.
And learn in the same way.
They'll try to learn from the software the way that we're also learning from the hardware.
Yeah, let's see if we can get these screws out of here.
There we go.
And we can get this other little board out.
Look how tiny that board is.
And then agani, the cable that was fed through this hole and connected to the circuit board.
Let's pull this off.
There we go.
So we have the I/O board, the input/output board, as we would say.
And the power board.
And then we have the speaker right here.
So let's see if we can get into the speaker.
I think we still have A little bit of time so we can separate the white case.
And sometimes things go easily, right?
This was easy.
This is pretty easy as far as cracking open go.
Remember the S9?
That was not easy.
When we did the back of it.
We cracked that one, right?
We've literally cracked.
We literally cracked open.
I like to say that I can count on two hands on the number of times in the past now 14 years that we've been doing this where you broke a device to the point that it was unusable.
And of the hundreds of devices we've cracked open now Most of them you've gotten back together in working order.
Now occasionally you'll get it back together and then it's something won't work, and then you'll take it apart.
Take it apart again, don't you hate that?
You'll figure out what it is.
You just hate when you put something back together and you left out a ****.
Or when you break out the furniture and it's like I have this **** left over.
Yeah, I put my dresser together or the bookshelf together and I have a **** left over.
You'll get a device done, and you'll hand it to me, and I'll come back and I'll be like-
The [UNKNOWN] doesn't work, the camera's not working.
There's no sound, and you're like, I figured when I put that ribbon cable back in, I was afraid that wasn't all the way flush or something.
So you'll crack it back open, plug it in, but the point is You've made a habit of getting these back together.
And then our team of editors and journalists, they'll test the device and learn from it, learn from the actual behavior of the device to share tips and tutorials and reviews in some cases.
With the audience.
And we really wanna do, we're gonna do a lot more of that in the future.
One of the things that we're working on right now, I don't know if it will come to fruition.
There was a certain manufacturer here at CDS 29 Team that shows off some really cool televisions, one of the ones that rolls up into a really small box.
And so I think we're gonna definitely try to put a call out to them, see if they'll give us one of them So as part of the test, maybe they'll let us crack it open.
I promise I'll send it back.
Well I think that's it for the Google Home hub.
That's about it.
Right now, I mean.
That's all she's going to do.
There's not much left.
You can see that we have the speaker assembly right here.
And, We still have that little piece of plastic, but this is the point where we would probably stop.
There might be some screws that are down in there that we could take apart if we kind of had a little bit more time to spend on it.
I'm not sure you can actually take these speakers apart, but also have another device I wanna tackle.
Crack open here-
I think at this point we can probably-
So we'll call this one done, for now-
We can probably move on to it's competitor-
It's biggest competitor in the market, cuz a lot of these, you know, were devices that were only speakers and now with both of these devices They've added screens and that's the big thing.
Of course, I've been holding on to this screen.
Still pretty impressive how thin they've gotten these things to be.
So now that we've got this one.
Let's move all these stuff out of the way and we're gonna bring in the Eecho Show 2.
I'll clean up a little bit.
You'll clean up a little bit, okay.
You bring that one over.
And we'll see what we can learn and compare these two.
Now, this is the second generation of the Echo Show, and we just gave one away earlier about a half an hour ago, like I said, and I never cracked this one open either.
So it'll be really cool for me to do that.
It might also be a little challenging.
We might break something.
And it'll be interesting to see how it compares to last year's model.
Now last year's model had the two speakers mounted at the bottom.
Clearly that doesn't to be the case with this one because the screen is pretty much edge to edge here.
There's a black bezel around it but the glass is edge to edge.
So what we're gonna do is we're gonna see what we can find out about how we take this thing apart.
Now when I took this out of the box earlier I noticed that there were these two little tabs right here.
I'm not actually sure what they're for.
Maybe it's to latch it to something to add accessory.
I don't know.
I didn't have a chance.
They work like screws.
You're gonna turn and see what happens, right?
Yeah, we're gonna turn them and see what happens.
So we turn this.
We're gonna turn, oops, looks like it turns the other way.
You'll notice that this one has a much, much larger screen than the Echo Show does.
They pop off.
Than the Google Home Hub.
So those come off and it appears that this is a rubber base.
That was easy.
So I suspect, let's see what it's hiding underneath.
We're gonna go ahead and pull this off and lay this down.
This will make it a little easier.
Again, Bill's being pretty gentle with this, not forcing it.
All right, so it's just an adhesive.
Well that was easy too.
Just some rubber here so that was easy here.
Now unfortunately it doesn't look like there is any Screws.
There's no way for me to get into this, so I'm not sure whether I have to go through the glass.
You're gonna have to go through the screen, uh-huh.
Actually, I think that there's a little trick to this.
And so I was messing with it a litte bit, I haven't cracked this open, but I was messing with it a little earlier.
And so this is kind of cool.
I think, compared to the first generation one, this one is gonna be a little easier.
And so I I think if we start here along the edge.
That's a better place to go.
That's a good point.
You start long whereever sort of the edges are of things to see will something just pop open.
So just like that we're gonna be cooking something.
Now, we've got a lot of screws.
We have a lot of screws.
You know, I like Physical fasteners like I said, screws, clips, not things that are adhesive based because you can pretty easily remove them and then reattach them.
I don't know, this seems like a little bit of an overkill here.
You better limber up your wrists for this one.
[LAUGH] And I don't have an electric screwdriver so while we talk I'm gonna be unscrewing screws.
Now what we can see right of the bat that is It's really cool, though.
We can see a design change, and that's one of the things that we really like to look at from generation to generation.
So unlike the first Echo Show, which had the speakers mounted up here and here, this has them mounted in the back of the unit, mounted to the sides.
We have these two speakers here, and then we have this passive driver here, actually.
It's gonna help reverberate and help the sound sort of move through the chamber and come out.
All right, let's see what kind of ****.
Looks like we have a mix of large Philips screws.
Standard Phillips screws, so that's good.
And it may be some torque screws in there.
And that's kind of, again, it's kind of-
Do you a extra Philips so I can make myself useful here?
We could go at this from two angles.
Here, try this.
I think this will fit.
You want me to do that one?
I think this one will fit down in there.
It will, indeed.
Try to get those torque screws out of there.
Well, both, yeah.
[CROSSTALK] You're giving me the good job here.
Just these long torque screws, all right.
Yeah, that's the only one.
So This is a popular product.
The first one, people have been asking for them to put a screen.
I don't think there's screws there.
Let's see what happens when we just remove these.
I'm not gonna-
We might try these here, too.
All right, I got one of those torque screws out.
All right, great.
Your trust was well founded.
Yeah now one of the big differences from this device besides the larger screen of the Google home hub.
This one has a camera in it versus the home hub.
Yeah which is a good thing or a bad thing depending upon who you are.
Yeah again depending on who you are, depending on what you want.
To do with the device, depending on where you're going to use the device.
Me, I'm still a little bit wonky about having the device sitting on my kitchen counter, I'm gonna grab this from you, with a camera sitting in it, actually I'm gonna give it back, it's a small one.
When you have kids, you're definitely more, like you and I do, you're definitely more a little more sensitive to some of those privacy Issues.
And so that's a thing to remember with a lot of these smart devices.
Is that that data isn't just being collected on the device depending on the terms of service it's being collected to be shared with the manufacturer of the device possibily to third parties depending on the terms of service.
And so you do have to make a concious decision about whether or not you want to share that device and.
You're basing your trust on the transparency, on the reputation, of the manufacturer.
But what they're going to do with the data?
And what you think the manufacturer's, whoever buys the manufacturer.
Might do with that data.
There may be a great company but they may not be around forever.
So just keep that into consideration.
And so, there was a long time.
That I resisted having an Amazon Echo in my house.
Because I didn't necessarily want a speaker recording me all the time.
I have three of them in my house now.
[LAUGH] They wore you down.
They wore you down.
And so that is a lot of, you do break that kind of resistance to it.
I mean, I don't know if break is the right word.
It's just the value prop was pretty good for me And so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot, and I really like it now.
And I find myself I say this every year when I come to the show.
When I come into my hotel room and I check in, I wanna wake up in the morning, ask it what the weather is?
And I can't do that, and I'm frustrated.
So you're saying there is one hotel here That's in the process of putting Amazon Echo in all of its rooms for that very reason.
So we were able to pop this piece of plastic off here and see our first bit of circuitry down inside the Amazon Echo Show 2 here.
Again, more screws in here.
This is probably gonna be one of those 20-screw devices.
Man, they are-
This is why you do have to have patience when you do this.
I'm assuming there are the speaker wires, speaker connectors, that I'm detaching here, that they're showing on the camera.
They wore you down to get the Echo Show, but I don't think they're gonna wear you down with all these screws to not be able to get in this machine.
[LAUGH] No, no, no, we'll take it apart like so.
Whatever we don't get done today, we will actually feature on CNET.
We'll actually probably I'm gonna do this for one of the future episodes or issues of the magazine, and a future episode of cracking open.
So Whatever we don't do we will do the whole thing.
Again on YouTube you can find it and if you go and wstch one of our videos on YouTube the YouTube channel you can also leave us some feedback and comments and tell us something you would like us to crack open.
Because we're always looking for something new to crack open, as well sometimes as little stiff.
So little stuff.
That you love to crack open, we've cracked open an Atari 2600, we've cracked open an original IBM PS2, we've cracked open all kinds of stuff.
Amiga, Comodor, all kinds of things.
And even some of new retro stuff, like the Classic NES, right?
That's right, that's right.
Or the NES Classic, that was really fun because we were able to see that basically inside This little box that Nintendo was selling as the NES classic, was an emulator board.
It was a really cool emulator board.
Appeared to be running a Linux distro in there, running all the ROMs for the games.
That's really neat.
You can see that one on our YouTube channel as well.
That one's up there.
So again, go to any of the videos on our YouTube YouTube channel and tell us what you would like us to crack open, and we will definitely consider it and potentially put it on the list.
Yeah, send me a DM on Twitter.
We're easy to find.
You can find Bill on Twitter at @billdettweiler.
You can find me at @jasonheiner.
You can Find CNET, of course, @CNET, @TechRepublic as well.
So any of those, you can, we lost a ****.
That's all right, we'll get that one later.
That happens, too, sometimes.
I can't tell you how many hours over the years I've spent walking around trying to find screws.
So the first board is out.
We've got one of the, it looks like a USB connector here, and we've got the power connector here This is likely the powerboard that drives the speakers since it was connected to them.
We haven't seen the guts that run the actual inside.
So we're gonna keep looking here.
And looks like we've got a lot of screws here.
I'm gonna go ahead and take these.
Off and see if we can't get this black plastic here-
Off while you-
This is the big reveal if we can get this thing, because this thing is a lot bigger.
It is much larger, so we'll see how much bigger the actual circuit boards are when we get in there and-
I, and the funny thing is, I suspect they're not much larger.
They're about the same.
That's what's really interesting.
You don't need that much more tech-
That much more space To do the kind of sensing, to do to the kind of computations on these devices that you once did.
You can condense those chips under pretty small space.
One thing that's important to know that you mentioned earlier Bill, is that You gotta remember the companies behind these, Amazon and Google, are two of the biggest, most important, most advanced cloud companies in the world.
They're doing a lot of compute, a lot of processing in the cloud.
And of course a lot of the intelligence for these devices actually comes from the cloud, so they don't have a lot of capability when they are disconnected from the internet.
You find something good?
No, I found that was interesting in the fact that we're gonna take these speakers out, I'm still trying to figure out a way To get this to separate from this.
From the screen?
Yeah I wonder if it might be through the screen.
I'm gonna take off every **** in the back and see what we can do-
And we still might have to go through the screen?
[LAUGH] And I still might have to go back through the screen.
And that may be the last thing we do here today.
To see if we can get it to-
It might take us our whole time to get into there.
It might take us the whole time there But we're going to go ahead and take the screws off of the speaker here.
Because that's the one thing I like to do first.
I like to remove the screws first.
I like to look for any type of snaps before I really start to mess with adhesive in the screen.
Unless I know I have to you because just increase the danger of cracking the screen.
And the problem with that is that it's hard to find replacement parts a lot of times.
Especiallly a couple years To go it used to be really hard before companies like Apple started making it easier to take your phones into an Apple store to actually be repaired.
Now you can do that.
You used to not be able to do that and you can see the speaker is kind of flopping around inside.
I'll turn it around.
So we can shot with the camera maybe.
You see the speaker's kind of flopping around in there right?
Yep it's gonna lose.
That's probably not a good sign for the fact that these screws probably don't hold.
The plastic here on the front, they're just holding the speakers in place.
But we're going to keep going and see what we can, I'm going to remove these screws here and then we're see what we can do.
We might be coming through the front.
Yeah, we might be, I don't know.
Well, one of the cool, sorry go ahead Bill.
No, no, no, go ahead.
I was gonna say one of the cool things Cnet's mission has always been to help demystify technologies and at first that was involved computers, and then eventually it was TV's, as TV's got more advanced.
And smart phones.
And now it's more so devices like these, the smart speakers, which are powered by a lot of AI, and complicated algorithms and things in the back end.
But helping users understand what this technology's about, what they can learn so that they can put it to better use in their lives.
Those are the kinds of questions That CNET's always been about answering and today there's just always a new technology that is worth demystifying.
And this is one of the speakers, these smart speakers are one of the biggest, most important ones today.
And another interesting thing is this battle between Amazon, Alexa, and Google Home is really the biggest battle ground of CES 2019 so it's.
It's pretty fitting that we end with this in our last segment here on the CNET stage because this really has been one of the biggest stories, one of the biggest subtexts of this show is this Growing battleground between these two ecosystems, which are trying to approach this problem in similar ways.
Alright, so you got all those screws?
I think we've got those all out.
We've got two more here, and then I think we can lift this whole thing out.
And that sometimes happens.
I didn't see them.
They were way hidden down in here, and there's like four more screws, so actually I could have left all those screws in there.
There were a few in there.
Nothing's more riveting that seeing me remove screws here from these devices.
I've seen you wrestle with these things for an hour where you're like, I know that this comes lose.
I can see that it jiggles a little, and there's just a **** somewhere or some kind of catch that I'm missing.
There we go.
And we can remove this here.
And there it is.
And there it is.
So this is the speaker assembly here.
The speakers are clearly stuck inside this.
And again, what do we have?
A lot more screws.
One, two, three, four, five, six, we're not doing that.
We'll save those for later.
Yeah, we'll definitely save those for later.
But what we are going to do though is we're gonna try to get in and we're gonna try to look at the circuit boards.
Now that's the cool part you can see on the camera over my head.
A massive it looks like heat sync here.
So and then tied to the circuit boards underneath.
A much larger circuit board surprisingly.
Yeah I don't know, we'll see what happens, and let me give you might try that see if either one of those works.
Sometimes these are different sized torque screws I think, but that one might be too small.
Yeah too small for that one.
You might try that one right there, see if that one works.
Because I think this one
is actually a little bit.
That one's a little too big.
This one's just right.
You're going to have to get a wrist work out.
It's the Goldilocks screwdriver, right?
Yep, wrists and fingers.
I'll let you hold it there.
So we're going to remove this heat shield.
And that's interesting.
So you can see the heat Sort of the way it dissipate the heat sink here, and then you could seat a heat sink here, and that's something that's a difference that's interesting to look at, at least we find it interesting.
I forgot there was one more part of this job.
I said you have the patience of a saint and the hands of a surgeon, but you also kinda have to be a hand model too with this.
So saint Surgeon hand model, all three wrapped into one.
Or at least have clean fingernails.
That's usually what I try to do.
That's a big part of it.
Alright, so we got all the screws here off of the Google or the Echo Show Two, and we're gonna pull this off.
So now we do have a much larger circuit board>> We do>> We find all that we learn things about these devices all the time and we take them apart>> Sure>> We have ideas about what might be inside but we don't know for sure until you take them apart.
That's why we do it.
And obviously with the camera inside this and some of the other components marble needs a few more
processor chips on the board.
So we're going to go ahead and disconnect
vOkay.>> all these little cables.
Because with this device you can actually video confrence with people something similar to a facetime call.
With this divice, But not with
the google home hub.
So google home hub, interestingly has Focused a little bit more on privacy.
Whereas this device is focused a little more on additional functionality.
Also remember that one of the big reasons that people wanted these devices.
They said they wanted it is to play YouTube videos and on the first version
Of the Echo show, you could play YouTube videos for a while, but then because of the ecosystem wars, Google stopped them from doing it, stopped their ability to do it.
So now, you can watch YouTube videos on this, but through this device, you have to do it through the web browser.
Reminds you of the old VHS Beta wars, right?
Ecosystem wars are never good for consumers, almost never, right?
They're usual hostile to consumers.
We saw some good developments in that regard here, suprising developments, yes, of Samsung working with Apple, right?
iTunes is going to be on the Samsung TVs.
So you figure If those two companies can work together after their many legal battles, maybe-
Maybe there's hope for us all, dogs and cats.
Maybe there's hope for us all, exactly.
Or maybe there's at least hope that you might be able to play YouTube videos on your Echo Show someday again.
All right, so we've got the circuit board out, a much larger circuit.
Let's compare that, so a much larger circuit board here.
the Echo Show two here, the second version of the Echo Show.
And the Google Home hub.
Let's pop off, but you see a similarity too.
The same orange sort of thermal paste here.
It's thermal pads, not thermal paste anymore.
You see the same shielding on the boards.
We're gonna go ahead and see if we can't pop some of these off.
It does look like they can be removed.
Maybe pop one or two as an example?
Yeah pop one or two as an example here.
Because we're pretty much down to the end of this one too.
You got both of them accomplished in one segment, live on the stage.
There we go, take these little, shields off.
We can see some of the chips.
And I'm kind of interested to see this, because, like I said, I haven't seen inside here.
And I haven't seen anyone else do this yet.
Obviously, I don't have time on stage to look up all the chips that are inside of it.
But this is pretty interesting.
You can peel this off and see if we can see what, there are some markings on there.
Again, like you said,
What we'll do is we'll take our own in our office, in our studio back in Louisville, Kentucky.
You'll take the macro lens on a camera and you'll take a real close-up of that, and then you'll be able to be able really look at some of the markings Letters, numbers-
On the chip, and that's how you figure out-
And how you figure out what's inside it, that's how we figure out who's putting the components in it, what the specs, the real specs area.
Sometimes beyond what the manufacturers put out there.
So yeah, stay tuned for that.
If you wanna find out what's actually in here, We'll put this up on the site at a later date, after CES, and yeah, you can find, and you can see more of them on the YouTube channel as well.
Very good, Bill Detwiler, well done.
Another succesful cracking open.
All right, that's all the time that we, and that's the end of our live programming for CES 2019.
We hope you had as much watching as we did covering the show this year Even though we're signing off here, you can catch of all the videos and all of the reviews of the show of CES 2019 online.
Just head over to cnet.com.
Thanks for watching.