Motorola XOOM Gets Torn Down


Jeez, it seems like just yesterday I was wishing the Motorola XOOM would get its own teardown. Oh wait, that was yesterday. Anyway, the folks at iFixIt got their hands on the newly-launched Motorola XOOM and wanted to see just how Motorola was going to perform the 4G upgrade.

They say that the innards were designed from the start with the upgrade in mind as the process to access the radio board is so easy that a donkey could perform it in less than two hours. (Their words, not mine.)

1. (http://bit.ly/el3lvv) Use a T5 Torx screwdriver to unscrew two screws on the bottom, and then slide the back panel to expose a mysterious circuit board that immediately becomes accessible. In fact, there are retaining clips on the back of the rear panel that prevent it from sliding any further (which of course we immediately circumvented).
2. (http://bit.ly/f5jMlM) Disconnect two antenna connectors, unscrew the two Torx screws holding the board in place, and swap it out with a 4G LTE board.
3. And… That’s it. Here is a picture of the dummy board we found in our Xoom, which we believe currently acts as a routing path for the antennas:http://bit.ly/fiVEo8

A seasoned technician can perform this swap in less than 10 minutes. Heck, a donkey could probably pull it off in less than two hours. We have no idea why a customer couldn’t just go to a Verizon store and have on-site representatives enable 4G on the spot, just like they’re able to transfer mobile contacts and perform other activation procedures.

Go on over to iFixIt’s site for the full breakdown of images and the step-by-step procedure. I’ve left some of their notes about the teardown below.

* A dummy SIM card is included in the Xoom, with the inscription “Replace with SIM only after 4G upgrade.” Verizon’s 4G LTE network requires a SIM card, so not every Verizon device will have 4G. Right now the list of compatible devices is very short: the Motorola Xoom and the still-unreleased HTC Thunderbolt.

* According to Motorola, the Xoom weighs 730 grams, exactly the same as the iPad 3G — although the Xoom is noticeably thicker.

* The Xoom features a 5 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front camera. At least for now, Motorola’s got Apple covered in the tablet camera arena. And unlike Motorola’s other recent device, the Atrix, both cameras are connected to the motherboard by separate cables. You won’t have to replace a ton of other stuff if just your camera fails.

* The 3250 mAh, 24.1 watt-hour lithium ion polymer battery boasts a healthy 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and video playback, and a massive 3.3 days of MP3 playback. It’s also just as beastly as an iPad’s battery, taking up a very good chunk of internal real estate.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. “We have no idea why a customer couldn’t just go to a Verizon store and have on-site representatives enable 4G on the spot, just like they’re able to transfer mobile contacts and perform other activation procedures.”

    Because they’re retarded and haven’t thought things through.

    6 days. Fuck off.

  2. Or maybe because Verizon stores and sales reps aren’t equipped for hardware upgrades. Activation and contact transfer is all automated through software tools. The donkey could do those in 10 minutes.

  3. You people are so angry!

  4. There are actually two 3250 mAh batteries, they are wired in series so it reads out as only 3250:


  5. I wouldn’t trust your average Verizon store rep to do a hardware upgrade. Not to mention the cost to Verizon of sending and maintaining stocks of 4G cards at each individual store across the country. It really probably is cheaper to pay shipping to and from a centralized “upgrade center” than to distribute the cards out to the stores. Especially since a large number won’t even know they can send it in for the upgrade, another portion will be going wi-fi only and won’t care what cellular radio is has, and yet another portion of the buyers won’t want to hassle with the 6 day turnaround and will never get it. I’d bet there will be significant savings to Verizon by not offering a quick and easy upgrade in store.

  6. I wouldn’t trust a Verizon store rep to change my battery, let alone tear down a Xoom and install the LTE chip.

  7. So, can someone educate me?
    I thought 800 bucks was a very reasonable price for the xoom….
    How come people are trying to sell it on ebay for 1000 bucks?

  8. @DroidFTW, they’re preying on people who are uninformed or bad at math.

  9. Hmm 499.99 + 1yr contract .. pull the trigger?

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