iFixit has added to the poor reception given to Amazon’s first ever smartphone, the Fire Phone, by rating it 3/10 for repairability. Even Amazon didn’t seem to have great confidence in the technology, its first ad focusing instead on the free 1-year Amazon Prime subscription you get with the phone.
Despite external, non-proprietary screws and no adhesive holding the casing together, iFixit found that simply removing the battery proved challenging, requiring a mix of heating and prying. After that, says the company, things only got worse …
- Anti-tamper sticker to reveal that the case has been opened
- Tons of cables and connectors make disassembly tedious and reassembly difficult.
- The four Dynamic Perspective cameras are encased in glue. Replacement will mean heat and cutting.
- A replacement display assembly will need to include four replacement cameras ($$), or will require a lot of extra work transferring cameras.
- The Fire Phone is not modular; several components share cables—this will increase the cost of replacement parts.
iFixit generally does some research into the components it identifies, so we can expect to learn more later about the technology found inside the camera. So far, it has been able to confirm Amazon’s promise that Bluetooth LE will be supported at a later date.
It should be noted that the WCN3680 chipset does indeed support Bluetooth LE 4.0. Amazon has promised to enable this option in the future.
More photos below, and you can see the full teardown over on the iFixit site.