iFixit Nexus 4 Teardown

These devices all look very smooth and nice on the outside -- the Nexus 4 is no exception -- but what makes them tick on the inside? Popular teardown and repair website iFixit has taken apart its fair share of devices, and now the Nexus 4 is on the table (figuratively and literally) as the next one to be torn down.

The teardown is finished and we now have a completely comprehensive walkthrough of the internals of this device. In typical fashion you can get a really good look at every component, including that non-removable battery and diagrams of chips on the board. And its all captured in stunningly nice photography.

They give the Nexus 4 a 7 out of 10 for a "repairability" score, which is pretty good. For comparison, the Galaxy Nexus was a 6, and the iPhone 5 is a 7 as well. The Nexus 4 picks up points for being easy to open and access components with minimal screws and prying. It loses points for a battery that's very well sealed to the frame and screen glass that's fused to both the display and display frame, making it more expensive to replace.

Let's face it, most of us will never do this to our devices, but its still cool to look at. Take a gander at the source link below.

Source: iFixit

There are 47 comments

deltatux says:

So there is an LTE chip...

a2Squard says:

Indeed there is one...

Grahaman27 says:

for later use for folks like us with sprint or Verizon. aaand to make updates take longer.

Except it doesn't have CDMA radio :P

jmoney13 says:

What exactly does the inclusion of an LTE chip mean if the phone was released without it being functional off the bat? Will the phone ever be functional for LTE?

a2Squard says:

Cousin of the Optimus G - same chips to keep from making a new circuit board most likely. Without an LTE antenna... no.

swyost says:

I'm sorry but that has got to be the most stupid headline I have seen in a long time. What exactly did you expect they would find inside a wireless phone besides phone parts - a tiny cold fusion reactor?

Grahaman27 says:

its a tradition, you must be new.

I don't think it's a tradition issue, I think it's more likely an incomplete post. But it all comes to sense when you read the same report at Android Police (yes, it's the LTE chip)

It's the exact same chip that Anandtech's Brian Klug mentioned I don't know how long ago. Let's give actual credit where actual credit is due.

That article you mentioned implies how it's possible to use LTE on Baseband 4 (it has the poweramp for it), which is what T-Mobile is installing now. Do you know anything else behind how this works? Like does the FCC have to approve this first to be able to use it or you think it will never be used? I don't have a clue on this lol.

corleyman says:

I'm quite sure Google knows what they're doing with the FCC and that LTE chip in there. T-Mobile says they'll have LTE rolled out in 2013, so it would be really cool if this chip is set and ready for the network - and simply awaiting instructions from an OTA firmware upgrade. I'm planning on this for my next phone when next available. Can't wait to see how it performs with my Solavei Sim card that's currently getting 10 Mbps+ (unlimited) on the T-Mobile network. And at $49/mo it's a pretty sweet plan: www.PenniesOverDollars.com

Diskoman says:

Just about every article on an iFixit phone teardown that I have seen on this site for a very long time has had similar wording in the title. I would agree this is a tradition. If folks don't get the silly "inside" joke they indeed must be new to this site.

rits2011 says:

Uninterested? Don't read it! There are a lot of people that are interested in the internals to see how its packaged and what make/model etc. the various parts are.

obidos says:

"little cold fusion reactor" - LOL! Verizon all but promised one would be inside my Thunderbolt.

Deegan says:

Well, see there are these things called jokes. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes not. Usually people say them to make people laugh or lighten the mood. I'm sure this is all news to you but keep your ears open maybe you will hear one someday. On the other hand you could just use your brain and and not take everything so seriously.

Touchpaddle says:

interesting... but where is the MicroSD slot?

SA13 says:

Its to the left of the removable battery compartment

return_0 says:

lol +1

deltatux says:

That looks like the MicroSIM slot instead...

Diskoman says:

LOL...some folks ^^^ just couldn't "get" satire or sarcasm even if you hit them upside the head with it!

fightcrazy says:

There is a 7 band LTE chip, sounds like it is carrying many radios for different carriers. Very interesting.

Small_law says:

Ok, how would you go about turning the LTE radios on? Failing that, if an LTE version ever comes out, would it be the same phone as the one "on sale" now?

Edit: no CDMA radio leads me to think an AT&T LTE version could be possible. Not getting my hopes up.

a2Squard says:

Or T-Mobile's/MetroPCS LTE network...

You can't turn the LTE radio on on this device. There's no supporting antenna or amplifier to make it work.

If there were an LTE version to be released later, it would be a separate hardware SKU all together.

lionsson says:

Nexus 4 teardown by iFixit is finished, phone parts found inside

I found this site Android Central, Android news found on the site!

Mac58 says:

Why does the post by android central not mention LTE chip....that's kind of a BIG deal....

deltatux says:

BIG deal only in certain places, many places in the world don't have a mature enough LTE that it matters. Most are stuck with HSPA+ until they hit an LTE zone.

Personally even though I'm in an LTE zone, I really could care less about LTE because the speed difference right now is about the same but uses twice the battery power. I'll keep my HSPA+, it does what I need.

Of course, not everyone uses their smartphones like me (browse web, Facebook, email, Twitter) but at the same time, it's not a BIG deal for everyone either...

Mac58 says:

But that is exactly why its a big deal. The market for LTE may not be mature now, but in the future more than likely it will. Therefore knowing that a device like this has the 'capability' to work on LTE networks in the FUTURE should be kind of a big deal since it means your device will not be completely outdated in a year or so... Do you disagree?

I suggest everybody reads some of the comments here.

This is why we don't bust a nut at seeing an LTE chip on the Nexus 4.

21plays says:



+9000 That makes complete sense. Never once thought that it was cheaper to include the LTE chip than exclude it.

Mobius360 says:

Just wondering.... Wasn't the big reason for no LTE chip to keep costs down? Why on earth would there be one?

Typically these are not the types of features they just add one day via a update, so as Phil mentioned no reason to get your hopes up. Prove me wrong Google.

Enternal says:

The Nexus 4 base board is based on the Optimus G (has LTE) and therefore it is cheaper to continue to use the already existing manufacturing line for the Optimus G to make the "same" boards for the Nexus 4.

sk8trix says:

I repair devices for living at sprint so for me this is pretty awesome because I already got most of it down so that when it is out and any of them are damaged or need something repaired I can do it quiker great write up and also video love these posts always something very useful for my job thanks Andrew

piizzadude says:

So they had room to put in a chip that does nothing, but could give decent memory or a SD card slot.

Yes I know Googs hates SD cards and all that, still doesnt make it better

Enternal says:

Read one of my responses above. What it pretty much is the base board for the Nexus 4 is the same for the Optimus G which has LTE. Therefore it's cheaper to continue to use that manufacture line to produce those boards rather than making a new manufacture line just to make the same board but without the LTE chip.

The lack of extra memory and SDcard have nothing to do with saving physical space inside the phone.

xxcusaoxx says:

I'm new at this whole phone 'dissecting'reviews
But from the comments I'm reading, how difficult would it be to turn on the LTE capabilities and if there's a sd card slot, can you upgrade storage the same way you upgrade Ram on a pc or laptop?
Yes it may be a naive or stupid question but please indulge me.
Thanks ;)

The LTE chip is there, but that doesn't mean there's any associated hardware (like antennas) or software (like an LTE network stack) on the phone to use it.

You can't add hardware to this. These phones aren't built to be upgradeable.

toonhead85 says:

What if the LTE is pending the deal with Dish Network!!! Google could be a world wide Cell provider of LTE data!!! PLEASE GOOGLE, TAKE MY MONIES!!!

BUT, would we want satellite cell services vs towered services?

As noted above, the LTE radio can't actually be used in this device, it's just a carry-over from the chipset and board used for the Optimus G. There's no supporting hardware like an antenna to actually make it work.

That aside, the network Dish is trying to deploy is actually a ground tower service. They're not trying to deploy a satellite internet service. They have spectrum licenses to operate a terrestrial network just like any current cell carrier.

diegoms89 says:

my only doubt its, which are the specs for this camera module?

is it possible to know from this? I read there, but couldn't figure it out

thanks in advance

It's an 8MP Sony BSI sensor.

diegoms89 says:

ok, this I already knew...

but, other specs like aperture, size of the sensor, and stuff like that

the only thing its backing me up to buy this phone is the camera

everything else its perfect for my use...

diegoms89 says:

i just found it at xda:

Sony 5 element BSI Sensor
Aperature: f/2.4
Receptor size: 1.1µm

don't quote the source, so, can't confirm

corleyman says:

The Nexus 4 appears to be a phenomenal phone, and I can't wait to get one for myself. I use Pandora for music and Netflix for movies, so I don't need a big micro-SD card. And now that I've got a truly unlimited service plan (including 4G data running 10 Mbsp+ in Orlando), this unlocked GSM phone is exactly the hardware upgrade that I need! Here's a quick 1-min video of the no-contract plan that I'm enjoying - and hope to use the Nexus 4 on soon! www.PenniesOverDollars.com