Motorola’s Droid 3, now being offered in a Verizon BOGO scheme, has been torn apart by our friends over at iFixit. The latest incarnation of the Droid family (at least until the Droid Bionic arrives this August), packs some serious bang for your buck. Running on a a dual-core 1GHz OMAP processor from Texas Instruments, the handset sports a four-inch qHD display, a five-row slide-out full QWERTY keyboard and an eight-megapixel back camera that can record 1080p clips. The Droid 3’s dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor with 512MB RAM is clearly an improvement over an ARM Cortex A8 core from the original Droid and Droid 2. Unfortunately, iFixIt notes, Motorola paid no attention to the repairability of the handset because “you still have to take apart the whole phone in order to access the display and glass, a procedure hampered by Torx screws and glue that are used to hold everything together”, prompting them to give the Droid 3 a mid-pack 6 out of 10 repairability score.
While the Droid 2 World edition has a SIM card tray in select markets, the Droid 3 includes one by default, making it easy to use the phone internationally. “This SIM enables the Droid 3 to be used almost anywhere in the world”, reads the analysis. Other noteworthy design choices by Motorola: screws and latches are hidden beneath labels (good for the looks, bad for servicing the device), a hole through the motherboard allows sound to pass through for better transmission to the outside of the phone and a five-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard gives you more control, even with the keys feeling “cheaper in quality than the original keyboard”. The innards include an Atmel MXT224E capacitive touchscreen controller – the same chip powering touch-based input on the Samsung Galaxy Tab – a Qualcomm MDM6600 baseband chip for HSPA+ speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps, another Qualcomm-branded chip (PM8028) that works in conjunction with the MDM6600 to provide wireless data connection, 16GB of SanDisk-branded NAND flash, a Hynix memory controller and more.
Disconnecting the eight-megapixel rear camera (left) and removing the motherboard (right)