iFixit tears apart a Windows phone and finds Nexus One hardware

Highlights found by iFixit include a partially hidden MicroSDHC card, which is shielded by a piece of tape.

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?"

IN PICTURES: The 11 hottest Windows and Android tablets unveiled at CES

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."

HTC has gone all-in on both Android and Windows Phone 7, manufacturing numerous devices for each operating system.

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:

• Qualcomm RTR6285 multi-band UMTS/EGPRS transceiver with integrated GPS

• Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1GHz RISC microprocessor with embedded DSP

• Samsung KA100O015E-BJTT 512 MB NAND Flash + 512 MB SDRAM

• Qualcomm PM7540 power management IC

• Skyworks SKY77336 power amplifier module

• Audience A1026 voice processor

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 Surround has two Nexus One-esque motherboards that are attached with a large ribbon cable spanning the gap between them. This is not much of a surprise, as HTC is the manufacturer of both the Nexus One and the Surround."

• "The hefty metal slider mechanism should hold up to years of opening and closing the speaker grille."

• "Like the Nexus One, the Surround utilizes dual microphones (working in conjunction with the Audience A1026 voice processor) to cancel background noise during phone conversations."

• "The motherboard interconnect cable is sandwiched between the many layers of the upper motherboard, much like on the Nexus One. This technique eliminates the space requirements for thick connectors and sockets, making the final connection much thinner."

• "Metal plates with strategically placed holes are soldered to the front of the Surround's two speakers to direct the sound out of the fancy speaker grille, and not into the phone."

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."

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftsmartphoneswirelessAndroidNetworkingPhonesconsumer electronicsHTC Surround

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?