Teardown gurus plunge screwdrivers into Google Pixel 4XL: Check out the speedy display from, er, Samsung

Also: a few surprise chips and a lot of adhesive

Google's Pixel 4XL may still be wet behind its ears, but it couldn't escape the indignity of a teardown by spudger-brandishing folk at iFixit, who came away unimpressed after some tinkering with the screwdrivers.

Digging into the phone's innards, the engineers found a variety of components sourced from rival handset manufacturers, as well as a design that's stubbornly difficult to repair.

One of the stand-out features on the Pixel 4XL is the 90Hz display, which can show 90 frames per second. In theory, this promises a smoother experience compared to slower displays.

However, as iFixit noted, the screen is tightly glued to the display, making it a challenge to safely remove. Once detached, it became apparent the screen came from Samsung.

Google Pixel display - pic by ifixit

SPotted: Sammy's "supersmooth (sometimes)" 90Hz screen. Pic courtesy: iFixit

This is notable because, to date, Samsung hasn't released a phone with a 90Hz display. Not even in its high-end handsets, like the Galaxy S10 Note.

iFixit also discovered the device's RAM came from Samsung. That isn't much of a surprise, given the South Korean tech giant runs a brisk business in components. The iPhone X, for example, uses OLED displays made by Samsung.

Despite the crew's best efforts, iFixit couldn't find the phone's lauded Pixel Neural Core, which performs much of the AI heavy lifting. iFixit theorises that this is hidden beneath another component, like a memory chip.

It also identified a Knowles audio processor chip, which it reckons is a major factor in the phone's on-device speech recognition tech.

Like its predecessor, iFixit gave the Google Pixel 4XL a slightly dismal repairability score of four, which is worse than the iPhone 11 Pro Max's score of six, but slightly better than the Samsung Galaxy Note S10's score of three.

Although it commended Google's decision to use standard T3 Torx fasteners, it noted that any potential repairs would be complicated by Mountain View's liberal squirtings of adhesive at every stage of the construction process. ®

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