turned the tablet market upside down with its low cost Kindle Fire family, and now it will try to do the same thing in the smartphone sector with its recently launched Fire Phone
. While that plays out, the Fire Phone has already received the teardown treatment, and lucky for Amazon, passing the test with flying colors isn't a prerequisite for big sales figures.
Straight to the point, the Fire Phone isn't a handset you'll have fun trying to repair on your own if something goes wrong. The folks at iFixIt
found this out by doing what they always do -- busting out their tools and disassembling the device at all costs.
Things started out on a positive note thanks to the use of non-proprietary screws on the base of the phone. Though the Fire Phone looks awfully similar to an iPhone 4, it doesn't use those annoying Pentalobe screws that require a special screwdriver to remove. Instead, Amazon opted for the much more common Torx T3 screws.
Be warned that there's a tamper-evident sticker ready to rat you out if you separate the front assembly and rear case. That's too bad, because getting inside is relatively easy thanks to the lack of adhesive. However, once you're in there, you'll quickly discover that even swapping out the battery isn't a super easy affair, even though it looks like it should be. There are flimsy pull-tabs and connectors that make it more challenging that it should be.
Beyond that, iFixIt
dinged the Fire Phone for using "tons of cables and connectors" throughout, all of which make reassembly "tedious" and "difficult." It also lost brownie points for having the four Dynamic Perspective cameras encased in glue and not being module -- several components share cables. The final score? A 3 out of 10.