Nexus Q teardown

Ever since the Google Nexus Q was announced last week at the Google I/O developer conference, folks have been trying to rationalize (or pan) its $299 price tag. We've been using it for a week now and believe it's justified. But if you're still not convinced, you need to check out iFixit's teardown photos.

We couldn't care less about the reparability of the Q, but it's obvious that some serious design and manufacturing work went into this spherical streaming wonder. IFixit also points out that any number of components could have (and likely were) sourced from outside the United States, taking a little luster off the "Made in the USA" claim, but for a device as complicated as the Q, that never really should have been taken as more than a bit of marketing speak anyway.

Hit the link below for the full gallery. It's definitely worth a gander.

Source: iFixit Nexus Q teardown


Reader comments

Nexus Q torn down - think it's worth $299 yet?


Looks nice, but I don't see - even if the components are WORTH $299 - why I would pay $300 for a device that does what it does. Unless you're loaded, I don't see how that's a $300 convenience. I might be missing something... are there some components that are super high quality?

I see Sonos as the main competitor to this and it seems to do a great deal more. Sonos has the ability to stream things like Sirius XM, Spotify etc...It links with iTunes and hopefully will with Google Music soon. Sonos is also social as long as other people have the Sonos app installed on their phone. I use it at my friends house all the time and we all take turns playing songs at parties. Sonos is also cross platform meaning I can can control it using my GNex while my friends can do the same with their iphones. I see no reason for this product if it doesn't have Google TV built in as well. The only advantage over Sonos is Youtube videos.

Still not worth 300. Maybe $99 and I'd buy one to play with. I'll stick with popcornhour's at $200 that do a whole lot more.

Without DLNA it's not quite worth the price-tag, oh and the other thing stopping me buying one is the fact that IT'S NOT FOR SALE OUTSIDE THE USa......

I'm pretty sure they said "assembled" in the USA.

And Yeah, pretty much agreeing with everyone. Useless sphere.

What i think is reducles Nexus Q... Nexus 7 costs 100$ less and can do a lot more, Apple TV that costs 99$ can be lot more useful then this, since it can work idependely. If this was Google TV device (which i thouth it is when they first annouce it) then it would diffrent story. Somebody say that you pay for what it is not what it does...... isn't this what makes Android users hate Apple devices? Quality over functionality? Ironically Apple got similar device (just not with NFC) which is cheaper and can do more.

But if high price is caused by good amplifier inside or soothing like that it could be good device for audiophile... at most.

Can it play content from a hard drive or can you load apps to it? It's maybe worth about $50 for what it does. They should practically give them away since it is to stream content only from Play as far as I can tell.

"We've been using it for a week now and believe it's justified."

How so? It's a neat device for sure, but I really don't see how $300 is justified for what it does. If you mean, "The parts and R&D that went into it justify a $300 price tag," well that's fine, but for what it actually *does*, $300 is goofy.

Yea, they keep peddling that line but won't actually tell us what makes it worth 300 bucks compared to the competition. The thing could be gold plated and if the functionality isn't there NOBODY BUT ANDROID NERDS WILL CARE. I still don't see how that's so hard to grasp.

I agree with all of you Google TV/Apple TV is more functional than this, no Netflix support or even google chrome, only support for the play store, not worth the price tag, you cannot stream your own content if is not in the cloud, I just dont see it happening. 99 price tag vs 299 price tag.

Considering the quality of the build, the price is in line.
However, as Jerry pointed out, you could put the guts into a simple plastic case (or orb) and sell it for $100 - $150 less. This price point would reach a larger audience of early adapters.
And Phil - are you going to tell us about your experience with it? Did you hook it up to your TX-NR509 or what?
No DLNA???

I want to like this and justify the price. But I really can't. I think it's seriously over priced and hopefully google will see this too and bring it down to the "right" price.

Meanwhile I am just waiting for my N7

I really like the concept, social streaming is something no one had honestly thought about... The execution still leaves a lot to be desired. Obviously they had to limit it to their own services in order to make it work initially, doesn't mean they couldn't do regular streaming of other services tho.

The hardware is entirely capable of doing it. If it were $150 and able to either stream from other non-Google services or able to directly mirror a tablet/phone then I'd think about it.

I still don't see why they didn't integrate this functionality into the ailing Google TV, high end Google TV hardware can easily handle it... No integrated amp but most consumers have no clue whatsoever how an amp works or what passive speakers are.

Anyone with a high end home theater is gonna be using a Sonos or some other music streaming solution already anyway, Google Play movies/TV aren't enough of a draw yet.

I know many of you aren't Americans, but if you realize most of the parts were sourced from the U.S. and assembled by Americans, then yes, the $300 price tag is justified. You are all so spoiled by companies that have their parts and labor outsourced to another country. It's the fucking Facebook generation of assholes who couldn't care less about where your product is made from as long as it's cheap and lets you update your Twitters. Idiots....

I'm American and you're delusional, not to mention wrong. Most of the parts come from over seas and if you think Joe Public will pay 200 extra dollars over an Apple TV for a less functional device just because MURICA I want some of what you're smoking.

You just reiterated what I said. "most parts" are sourced in America is the same as "most parts' come from over seas. Apple TV has been around since 2007, and yes, people paid $230 when it first came out and it did less than what Google's Nexus Q is doing now for around the same price. Oh well, continue to buy your Rebel flags shirts from Walmart that were stitched in Honduras.

But this isn't 2007 you dolt. Google is releasing a half baked over priced product to compete with much cheaper fully realized products that have a ton more functionality. Seriously, the only people who are going to care about this are Android nerds, Joe Public couldn't give any craps that the Nexus Q stacks up super well against a product released in 2007. And the fact that you can't see that is both adorable and pathetic.

Thanks for the link to the article and if folks will read it the 3rd to last paragraph states they expect the cost to decrease as production ramps up:

"At $299, the device costs significantly more than competing systems from companies like Apple and Roku. Google says this is in part because of the higher costs of manufacturing in the United States, but the company expects to bring the price down as it increases volume. The company is hoping that consumers will be willing to pay more, though it is unlikely that the “Made in America” lineage will be part of any marketing campaign."

People actually have to care about it for production to ramp up. I've seen nothing so far that tells me this will sell in any kind of quantity.

"Rah, Rah USA!"

The "Buy American!" argument always comes with the subtext of "Pay more for the product just because it was made here." Americans USED to be gung-ho capitalists, back when we were in the front of the pack. It used to be that everyone thought buying the best product for the best price was the ideal to strive for, getting value for your dollars. That all changed when other companies did as well or better for less money. When an American company has the product I like at a price I like, I buy it. If someone else has better, then they get my money. Simple equation. If you want to encourage companies to make the best products at the best prices, that's how it's done.

Were you sober when you posted this or is being angry and insulting just your personality?

"You're paying for what it *is*, not what it *does*."

Sure, they price it that way but consumers don't make purchasing decisions that way.

Being a non-American I can say that the 'Made in America' tag would mean id want to pay LESS for it not more..

Value for me has to be based on what competing products with equal or greater capability cost. At this point, Q fails this test - numerous alternative products with more capability priced $150 - $200 less.

Q has unique design and the "Made in USA" tag may be worth some premium - but not that much.

Well the panda said a lot more functionality is coming to the Q that could change the world so they must have something up its sleeve for this thing. Although I don't recommend buying something On what it might do in the future. But just wanted to let people know they are expecting to add more to it

As someone who bought the VWZ Xoom on day one, I'll never buy another product that isn't fully baked at time of purchase.

For me it's not worth it because I don't see the functionality, regardless of where it is made.

I am seriously considering a Google TV box, and if this had Google TV... I would probably have jumped on it. My concerns with it are:

1. All it does is play music from My Google Play Music account and purchased movies from Google Play Movies. I rarely buy music since I use Rhapsody, and I rarely buy movies because I use Netflix and Redbox.

2. The Social Networking aspect is cool, but it relies on the unrealistic assumption that all my friends and family use NFC-equipped (probably ICS and above phones). Do I even need to reiterate who ridiculously small a percentage of people that is lol? Lots of people in my family use iPhones (suckers), nevermind compatible Android devices.

3. I don't really need a built in amp since I have a nice Sony all-in-one Blu-Ray Home Theater system that has plenty of power. So that's a wasted added cost for me.

4. Lack of Google TV really just makes it a lavish toy right now. The only thing I could see using it for would be out in the yard hooked up to some quality bookshelf speakers. But even then, I would need to start purchasing or uploading all my MP3s on Google Play. I'd rather but a Bluetooth compatible player and stream Rhapsody or Spotify unlimited for $15 a month....

I'm pretty sure that Google expects people to hack this thing and put Google TV on it. If that happens and is easy to do.. then MAYBE.

If it was $199, I'd do it. I paid $99 for Apple TV so $199 for a real quality, Made in the USA (though I'm Canadian) product with lovely design? Sure.

$299 is too much.

And no Google TV on there? Why?

From Phil's tweet:

"You're paying for what it *is*, not what it *does*."

What does that even mean? When I buy a piece of tech, I'm buying the ability to do something. I've yet to see that this offers me anything close to $300 worth of functionality.

you guys have to remember, it's "hackable'. now whether or not this will unleash desirable capabilities and justify the price, I don't know. but I'd like to think it's possible

Sometimes I really think that Android Central has a lot on the ball, then they go whole hog defending an over priced under featured product. And then say things like you're buying it for what it is. Which literally makes no sense. You mean you're buying it because it's an overpriced gimpes media player.

Exactly. Like I said in my comment...I have no idea what Phil meant with that comment. Does he mean because it's cute and round, and we should buy it because of the design? If that was my motivation, I'd be an Apple customer. Or is it a patriotic thing, because it was assembled in the US? Is that really a reason to buy it?

Thanks, but no...I'll continue to buy my tech for what it does, and this just doesn't have it.

If its made in the USA, then its worth it to me to pay extra. 3 times extra than the competators? I don't know. From what I've seen it do, it pretty cool, but only with my friends that have androids. I think Google is on the right track but I
would have liked to see this as a Google TV overhaul and not a completely new device.

Mike from

Answer to everybody's concerns and problems:
BlackBerry Music Gateway at a price of $49.99! Boom!

You're welcome!