Thanks to some wonderful folks in the UK, we got our hands on the elusive Samsung Galaxy Nexus even before its release date has been announced on our side of the pond.
And we’re glad that it’s here, as it contains some features we’ve never before seen in a smartphone.
Sadly, it’s not all fun and games. The phone is a bit difficult to get into, and glass replacement is costly due to the glass being fused to both AMOLED display as well as a display frame. So, either get good with a heat gun or just don’t drop the phone. Consequently, the Galaxy Nexus received a mid-pack 6 out of 10 repairability score.
Not only does the 3.7 V, 1750 mAh battery power the phone, but the user manual states that it also doubles as the NFC antenna. Of course, we had to see this one for ourselves, so we peeled apart the battery. Lo and behold, there’s a sweet antenna hiding underneath the battery’s shiny wrapper.
If you ever want to buy a replacement battery (and keep NFC functional), ensure that the battery has the antenna. Our battery says “Near Field Communication” on it, so that might be a good indicator if it will function as an NFC antenna.
The 5 megapixel rear-facing camera is optimized for low light conditions and has a handy continuous auto-focus feature that’ll surely help keep those quick moments clear. If you prefer moving pictures, this camera can capture full HD 1080p “talkies.” We weren’t that impressed with the camera during our five-minute pre-teardown test, but that’s just our impression.
The front-facing camera allows for video chat and will take pictures at 1.3 MP or videos at 720p. Pretty standard stuff nowadays. But, the cool part is that is also has a Winbond 8 Mb Serial Flash Memory unit in line to help it buffer all the data it collects.
The rear speaker pops off the motherboard without much effort. The ability to replace individual components inside the Galaxy Nexus is always great, since this will make some repairs less costly.
The primary internals of the Galaxy Nexus are contained on two L-shaped boards that are held together by soldered wires from the vibrator motor. We found the following chips:
Texas Instruments TWL6040 8-Channel High Quality Low-Power Audio Codec
Texas Instruments TWL6030 Fully Integrated Power Management with Switch Mode Charger
Invensense MPU-3050 Motion Processing Unit
Intel XG626 Baseband Modem
RFMD RF6260 Quad-band Multimode Power Amplifier Module
Samsung K3PE7E700M 512 MB DDR2 SDRAM
Samsung KMVYL000LM Multichip Memory Package, which we believe to house an additional 512 MB of RAM in addition to the main processor.
Samsung SWB-B42 BT 4.0 Dual Band Wlan FM Tx/Rx. Chipworks says the module is actually manufactured by Murata, and houses a Broadcom BCM4330 die inside.
NXP 65N00 Smart Card IC. According to Chipworks, this two-die package houses an MCU and a PN544 NFC controller.
The chip labeled as 274 U141 031 hides the Bosch BMP180 MEMS Pressure Sensor, which should be responsible for the “barometer” feature inside the Nexus. The Bosch BMP180 is identified by its markings CMD 173 as noted by our friends at Chipworks.
Checking out the wire bonds in the Bosch BMP180 MEMS Pressure Sensor