New phone, fresh iFixit teardown: This time, it’s the Moto X’s turn on the slab.
Many applaud the fresh take on the Moto X design cues, and those that have used it start to appreciate the software polishes. This isn’t about any of those, though. This is about the most derided part of the X: the hardware.
For a new device, the Moto X is easily labelled with the “less than” tag in regard to hardware. Not the fastest processor, or the most memory. No removable battery, and no 20 megapixel shooter. In the teardown process, though, it became clear that Moto really did rethink mobile phone assembly.
While iFixit reports that there are some nuisances with the Moto X (“sticky adhesive on the back cover is annoying”), the ease of teardown seemed to delight and impress. There aren’t a ton of screws or tight spots, and iFixit notes “One thing about this device is certain: the design choices are nothing if not unique.”
The entire devices tears down a lot like a snap together model, with the device being held together with pins and pressure contacts in lieu of a litany of screws. This isn’t a knock on the device, just a distinctly different method for assembly.
As for guts and glory, there isn’t much. You already know all the specs, so the real story is how it’s put together. Even in lamenting the adhesive on the back cover, iFixit admits it’s probably to give the device a better feel when in-hand:
Our guess is that the adhesive pad was added to make the phone feel more solid than one purely secured with clips. The pad also keeps the flash firmly in place, and may act as as padding to protect internal components.
Naturally, we love design innovation. We can tell that a considerable amount of effort went into the internal design of this device; the number of clips and contacts we've found so far is a great testament to that.
The final verdict? A fitting 7 out of 10. For a device that seems to live at the “7 out of 10” level but remain impressive, the teardown was no exception. The only real knocks in regard to build were the adhesive (which is easily negotiated with a heating pad), and the digitizer having been fused to the display, which could increase the cost of that part.