[Android Phone Teardown] 2nd Vibration Motor Found [Part 4]

Oct 29, 2008
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
The keyboard unit being torn down
The keyboard unit being torn down
[Click to enlarge image]
A thin substrate that holds keytops was removed from the unit.
A thin substrate that holds keytops was removed from the unit.
[Click to enlarge image]
It was not easy to take out the part that has a trackball and a sub-substrate because it was connected to the display unit.
It was not easy to take out the part that has a trackball and a sub-substrate because it was connected to the display unit.
[Click to enlarge image]
We found a second vibration motor (circled in red) attached on a metal plate (center) inside the display unit. The LCD panel and touch panel were mounted on the metal case (left). The plastic part (right) has a mechanism that slides the display unit.
We found a second vibration motor (circled in red) attached on a metal plate (center) inside the display unit. The LCD panel and touch panel were mounted on the metal case (left). The plastic part (right) has a mechanism that slides the display unit.
[Click to enlarge image]

Continued from [Android Phone Teardown] Panasonic-branded Main Board [Part 3].

After removing the main board, we started to disassemble the keyboard unit located under it.

"Five-row keyboard is one of the features of this handset, isn't it," said the engineer who participated in the teardown.

There are some smartphones that have a QWERTY keyboard, but most of them have three or four rows of keys without a row of numeric keys. Smartphones with a five-row keyboard have only recently emerged except for Willcom Inc's "W-Zero3," which was released in 2006. It seems that the T-Mobile G1 followed this trend.

Before we started breaking down the handset, the engineer's impression of the keyboard was "a little bit difficult to push because it is too thin." And, in fact, the keyboard unit taken out from the chassis was very thin. Though the engineer wondered which manufacturer made this keyboard, he said, "it's not that this has an extremely impressive structure."

At this point, we had almost finished disassembling the T-Mobile G1's main body, the part that was equipped with the keyboard and located under the sliding display. The remaining parts, including a trackball, were connected with the display unit and could not be easily detached. So, we decided to tear down the display unit first.

It was not easy to break down the display unit due to its high integrity. But we managed to disassemble it into a touch panel that doubles as a cover of the LCD panel, an LCD panel, a thin metal plate, a black plastic chassis that has a mechanism to slide the display.

"Huh? There's another vibration motor," the engineer said.

This vibration motor was attached on an edge of a thin metal plate located between the LCD panel and the plastic chassis. So, the T-Mobile G1 was equipped with two vibration motors, one inside the keyboard unit and the other inside the display unit.

We came up with some guesses as to why two vibration motors were used but could not draw a conclusion.