A teardown of the recently released Motorola Droid 4 reveals some quirky features, iFixit has revealed. The phone received a paltry score of 4 out of 10 for user repairability, but its innards contained some unusual wonders.
Though the Droid 4 comes with a rear panel removal tool that looks like a wind-up key, taking the back cover off revealed a sticker saying the battery is not user-removable, a big departure for Motorola's Droid phones. The battery is held in with two Torx screws and a generous amount of adhesive—not insurmountable, but it appears Motorola wants the days of the pop-out battery to be over sooner rather than later.
Another of the more unfortunate features of the Droid 4 is that, unlike the Droid 3 that came out only six months ago, the keyboard's pressure sensors are attached to the back of the motherboard. If one gets worn out, the entire motherboard has to be replaced. iFixit also found that that the raised rubber over the pressure contacts are in the shape of the letters they correspond to, a very odd design choice that they (and we) can't see much reason for, other than ease of alignment. Overall, the authors praised the design and usability of the keyboard for texting.
The raised rubber letters marking the pressure contacts. You know, in case you need to text while your phone is undergoing major surgery.
More positively, the Droid 4's display glass and LCD are separate pieces, so if owners manage to break the first but not the second, they can get away without having to replace both. On the downside, owners would have to take the entire phone apart to separate and replace those pieces.
The Droid 4's 4 out of 10 score in user repairability is bested by the Droid 3's 6 out 10. We'd argue the Droid 4's superior QWERTY keyboard is worth that step down.