Breaking Down SoftBank's 'Internet Machine' [Part 1]

May 8, 2008
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad

As indicated by the name "Internet Machine," the 922SH handset is designed primarily to view Websites and use online services. This article delves into the internal hardware structure revealed by breaking down the handset.

A handset equipped with a QWERTY keyboard and a 3.5-inch landscape-oriented LCD display for the comfortable browsing of PC Web sites: This is the selling point of the "Internet Machine SoftBank 922SH" released by SoftBank Mobile Corp in March 2008.

After being disassembled, it was determined that a number of components in the 922SH were identical to those used in the "FULLFACE2 SoftBank 921SH" and other models developed by Sharp Corp. The 921SH also shares many parts with other Sharp handsets (See related article 1). This implies that the company intends to reduce component costs by standardization.

The Internet capable mobile phones are still expensive in Japan, slightly less than ¥100,000 if bought outright with a new contract. One of the factors driving up the price is probably the high number of components.

One of the differences from the 921SH was the sensor unit. To enable mobile phone functionality with the handset closed, the 922SH employs a mechanism called a "Sensor Key." With the use of a touch sensor, a certain portion of the chassis acts as a button when it is pushed.

While the 921SH also uses a touch sensor, the 922SH was different in that it can be operated by "tracing" with a fingertip and by "shaking" with the use of an angular velocity sensor.

Striking differences between the two models were the design concepts, which feature unique user interfaces by providing different keyboards, screens and sensors, etc, while sharing the same basic hardware such as the application processor and communication LSI. The concept seems rational because many mobile Internet terminals are differentiated by the user interface.

The following pages describe the details of the main board, the sensor unit arranged on the chassis on the LCD panel side and each of the antennas on the chassis on the main camera side. Like the previous operations, the investigation was carried out with the cooperation of Fomalhaut Techno Solutions. (See related article 1, 2)

Product NameInternet Machine SoftBank 922SH
DimensionsAbout 56 x 116 x 17mm (when folded, excluding protrusions)
MassAbout 132g
Battery standby timeAbout 340 hours (in resting state, when folded, W-CDMA network), about 310 hours (in resting state, when folded, GSM network)
Talk timeAbout 250 minutes (W-CDMA network), about 270 minutes (GSM network)
Display3.5-inch (480 x 854 pixels)
Memory cardmicroSD and microSDHC memory cards
CameraEffective pixel count: 2 Mpixels (main), 0.11 Mpixels (sub)
Battery3.7V, 820mAh

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