Motorola's Moto X Is 'Fresh' Inside and Out, iFixit Finds

1 - Motorola's Moto X Is 'Fresh' Inside and Out, iFixit Finds
2 - Motorola Moto X Teardown
3 - Innovations Big and Small
4 - Made In the USA, for Better or for Worse
5 - The NFC Racetrack and Giant Battery
6 - Of Microphones and Innovation
7 - Step 17, the Motherboard
8 - Protective Foam and a Suspended Frame
9 - How Repairable Is It?
10 - What Consumers Will Care About
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Motorola's Moto X Is 'Fresh' Inside and Out, iFixit Finds

by Michelle Maisto

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Motorola Moto X Teardown

A few unique things about the Moto X from the start: It's the first smartphone designed and assembled in the USA, and users can customize their phones online before ordering, dictating color combinations, materials and inserting a custom greeting. Also, the headphone jack is on the top, instead of the bottom, as is more common. "Does this make more sense?" asked iFixit. "Probably."

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Innovations Big and Small

Also, the headphone jack is on the top of the phone, instead of the bottom, as is more common. "Does this make more sense?" asked iFixit. "Probably."

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Made In the USA, for Better or for Worse

Putting a damper on iFixit's made-in-the-USA enthusiasm, the team found a flaw in the model they received. They crossed their fingers that this hiccup was limited to the first run of devices.

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The NFC Racetrack and Giant Battery

The iFixit team didn't love the adhesive Motorola used to seal up the Moto X, but once it got the phone open, it found the orange near-field communication (NFC) coil and just behind it (the silver package) a battery said to last most users 24 hours.

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Of Microphones and Innovation

Using a spudger to unclip a microphone board from the earpiece speaker, iFixit commented, "Naturally, we love design innovation. We can tell a considerable amount of effort went in to the internal design of this device; the number of clips and contacts we've found so far is a great testament to that."

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Step 17, the Motherboard

On the back of the motherboard, iFixit found two microphones—arguably the greatest feature of the Moto X is its voice-recognition technology—and more cause for comment. "Motoroogle again shows off its novelty," wrote iFixit. "The X's vibrator motor is soldered right to the motherboard. The wonders never cease."

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Protective Foam and a Suspended Frame

"One thing about this device is certain: The design choices are nothing if not unique," wrote iFixit. "The midframe is held in place by pins protruding from the edges of the display assembly bezel."

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How Repairable Is It?

The adhesive cost the Moto X some points, though the iFixit team liked that Motorola chose to use a single type of screw, and that pressure contacts and cable connectors make the modular components (like the camera) easy to replace. It received a 7 out of a possible 10 points.

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What Consumers Will Care About

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 received an 8 out of 10 from iFixit, but it seems unlikely that consumers will care much. It's fun to play with Motorola's MotoMaker tool. AT&T is now selling the Moto X, but by summer's end, all the major carriers will be supporting it, along with retailers and smaller carriers.

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