The gadget teardown team at iFixit has taken apart the HTC Surround, a device based on Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, and found that the Surround hardware recycles parts HTC used to build the Android-based Nexus One.
"We started off the new year by doing a 'something completely different' teardown - a Windows 7 phone! At least, that's what we thought initially," the iFixit blog stated Tuesday. "As it turns out, we've already seen a lot of this hardware in the Nexus One. In fact, five of the major chip packages on the Surround's motherboard are identical to the Nexus One, and the sixth (Samsung NAND+SDRAM) appears to be just a revised chip found in Uncle Nexus. Hey if it ain't broke, why fix it?"
The two phones are so similar that iFixit goes on to say "The Nexus One - err, the HTC Surround - is a very solid, capable phone that will undoubtedly please its users. Still, we're a bit underwhelmed that HTC chose to put year-old hardware in it, especially since dual-core phones are coming right around the corner."
Most people won't want to risk their own smartphones for such a project, but the iFixit team's job is to tear them apart and inform consumers and technology enthusiasts about what's running inside their devices.
Highlights found by iFixit include a partially hidden MicroSDHC card, which is shielded by a piece of tape. If you take the tape off, it should be possible to replace the 16GB storage card with something bigger, but such a process would apparently void the warranty.
IFixit also lists six chips used in the HTC Surround that are identical to or newer versions of motherboard components found in the Nexus One. They are as follows:
Taking the phone apart is not advisable for the average user. IFixit says it "gave the HTC Surround a mid-pack repairability score of 5 out of 10," which means it's easy to remove the rear case to replace the battery, but "you'll have to void your warranty to take anything else out, and it's very difficult to access the front panel and LCD if you'd like to replace it."
Here are some more highlights from the iFixit teardown:
The HTC Surround is sold by AT&T and was called a "solid Windows phone" by PC World, which said the phone is "built to play music - out loud."
Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.
This story, "iFixit Tears Apart a Windows Phone, Finds Nexus One Hardware" was originally published by Network World.