Motorola's Atrix is getting high marks in one area: ease of repair.
iFixit, a site that publishes how-to guides for fixing computer hardware, published a teardown of the Motorola Atrix, in which one of their staffers demonstrates how to take one apart. The phone is one of the easiest to repair, said Miroslav Djuric, director of technical communications at iFixit.
We really didn't expect the Atrix to be that easy, he said. Motorola's earlier offerings were more of a challenge to take apart.
The Atrix, he said, has a few advantages over other smartphones - notably the iPhone. The screws that hold it together are simple Torx screws that can be found anywhere, unlike the specialized versions - called Pentalobe used in the iPhone. The back cover is easy to take off, and the battery is simple to replace - there are even instructions for how to do it printed inside.
Another big plus, Djuric said, is the fact that the liquid crystal display is not attached to the glass on the front of the phone. That means if the phone gets dropped and the glass is cracked or broken, the display doesn't need to be repaired with it. Some manufacturers stick them together and that prevents dust from getting between the glass and the LCD, but something like 80 percent of people drop the phone, he said.
The way the phone is constructed also drew praise for the limited number of screws and plastic clips that were used, and the fact that no tools are needed to remove the SIM and MicroSD cards.
iFixit did a teardown of the iPhone 4, both the Verizon and AT&T versions. iPhones don't have user-replaceable batteries - at least not without voiding the warrantee from Apple. (The phone can be taken to an Apple dealer if the battery needs replacing, but that Apple charges for the service on top of the cost of the battery.
The only down side, Djuric said, is that Motorola's own version of Android is designed to prevent users from altering the system software. But he admitted that for most users that isn't a big issue, unless they want to change carriers. We are all geeks here, he said. So we like to take things apart.
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