Nokia 9 Teardown! – How do all these Cameras work?
The Nokia 9 PureView – the crazy smartphonewith one selfie camera in the front and 6 cameras on the back. Talk about overkill. Holding this baby up to your ear, you’ll looklike the outside wall of a high security detention center. Today we’re going to see what it all lookslike from the inside. This video is sponsored by Audible. Let’s get started.
[Intro] As with most glass backed smartphones, we’regoing to start with the heat gun. The thing that makes this Nokia 9 differentthough is the amount of adhesive holding it all together. Yeah, most glass backed phones are glued shut,especially when the phone has an ip67 water resistant rating like this one. But this adhesive is excessive. I can use my razor blade to slice betweenthe glass and the metal frame and cut through some of the adhesive.
But since there are never any repair guidesfrom the manufacturer, I’m going into this phone blind and just hoping that I don’t cutanything important. With all the adhesive, this is definitelyone of the hardest phones to get inside that I’ve taken apart so far this year. Finally, I am able to peel up that back glasspanel revealing a shockingly vibrant wireless charging cable with a pretty sweet goldenFC foil wrapping around the camera lenses. This would make a pretty awesome looking clearphone.
It would be pretty similar to that Pixel 3that we made transparent last year. I’ll peel off the last little bit of blacktape over the top of the wireless charging. Then let’s see if this thing still turns onafter all that prying. I’m always amazed at the amount of ingenuityand design that goes into making these phones. Speaking of extreme ingenuity, the book I’vebeen listening to this month is about the Wright brothers. Huge thanks to Audible for sponsoring thisvideo.
The Wright Brothers is quite possibly oneof my favorite audio books of all time. It talks about how 2 guys were able to succeedin building the first ever flying machine using their own brains and their own money. What makes their invention even more impressivewas that at the same time the Wright brothers were working, the government was droppingoodles of money into developing their own flying machine, which ended up failing miserably.
The true story of the Wright brothers’ hardwork and ingenuity paid off big time and I definitely recommend listening to it. You can get your first audio book for free,even this book, when you try Audible for 30 days. Check the link in the description or visitAudible.com/jerryrig. You can also text the word “jerryrig”to 500-500. The trial also comes with 2 free Audible Originals.
These are exclusive audio titles found onlyon Audible, created by storytellers from all kinds of genres. Theater, journalism, literature, and a lotmore. Audible.com/jerryrig or text “jerryrig”to 500-500. Even if you decide to cancel your free trial,you still get to keep your audio book It’s a win-win. Let’s see what’s under this black and goldpanel. There are 8 screws holding the top half tothe phone, then the whole thing can start to peel up. There is still adhesive on the right side…surprise.
And the ribbon cable for the flash and depthsensing cameras over here as well. I can unplug that ribbon with my plastic prytool. And then look at all this adhesive. It’s getting kind of ridiculous. Now that the back plastics are off, we getour first real glimpse inside at all the cameras still hidden underneath the motherboard. I’ll unplug the long gold battery power ribbonand then make my way around to each of the 5 internal cameras, each one unsnapping likea little Lego. And yes, this is indeed the funnest thingI’ve done all day.
Up here is some metallic tape connecting thefront camera to the vibration motor. It’s a 20 megapixel little guy. It looks like the motherboard is one solidpiece running all the way down to the bottom of the phone, so I’ll unscrew the 5 bottomplastic screws and pop off the loudspeaker covering that bottom portion of the motherboard. There are 3 white circular water damage indicatorson top of the motherboard And then an additional 5 screws holding the motherboard into placeinside the frame.
And then, of course, we can remove the SIMcard tray. This can also be step number one if you’reinto that kind of thing. But I usually like to spice things up andfigure out it’s still there later on. Finally the motherboard can shimmy out ofthe frame revealing some pretty cool stuff. The whole frame is made from milled aluminumwith a cutout for the copper heat pipe, and a deeper indention for the camera module thatwas milled after the frame went through its anodizing process since it’s a different colorinstead of blue.
The tiny earpiece is up here in the corner,along with the circular vibrator motor. Taking a look at the backs side of the motherboard,we get a dollop of thermal paste sitting over the processor and these 5 cameras. Since all these cameras do the exact samething at the exact same time, it’s super important that they are all sitting in the exact samehousing. If any one of the cameras was out of position,it might mess up the image that the phone is trying to stitch together.
Each camera is housed in the same solid blockof metal. None of the cameras have OIS either, becauseif they were all independently optically image stabilizing at the same time, and individuallymoving themselves to compensate for shakiness, it would be even more difficult to stitchtogether the image that they are all taking simultaneously. The cameras are also labeled. You can see the bottom and center camerasare RGB or color cameras. And the outer cameras are all mono or blackand white detail cameras. It’s a pretty cool set up. I’m a fan of new innovations, even if theydon’t always go mainstream.
It’s still fun to see how they work from theinside. Unfortunately for us though, Nokia is stillnot giving up on the super strength adhesive that’s holding this whole phone together. Including underneath the battery. My thin metal pry tool is no match for thebattery adhesive. I can grab my plastic tool for more leverage,but even then, the battery is bending at unsafe levels. Batteries are made up of positive and negativelayers all wrapped around each other.
And if those layers bend or crush into eachother, the battery can short out, spark, and start a fire. So it’s super annoying when companies putpermanent adhesive underneath the batteries. And for that reason alone, I highly recommendthat you do not buy this phone. Future battery replacements would be nearimpossible and recycling the phone after it’s life is over is even harder. Instead, just buy a phone that can be repairedand recycled easier than this one. Along with the unnecessary amount of adhesive,Nokia also put the display flex ribbon right under the battery in prime prying location.
My efforts to remove the battery ripped theribbon cable for the screen, most likely killing the display. The battery also sits on top of an old schoolfirst generation under screen fingerprint scanner, which is probably why it struggledso hard to function. It doesn’t work near as well as the laterunder screen fingerprint scanners with lenses and better sensors like inside the OnePlusphones. I’ll put the 3320 milliamp hour battery backin its slot over the copper heat pipe. And now it’s time to see if I accidentallykilled this thing by removing the battery.
I’ll try smashing the quintuplet cameras backinto each of their own little square holes in the motherboard It’s kind of hard to linethem all up with their squirrely ribbon cables. Honestly, this phone does look really coolinside, but it’s definitely not one of my favorite phones to take apart. I mean, except for snapping in all 5 cameraribbons like little Legos. I’ll do that part again any day.
I’ll get the front camera back into place,and then the battery gets plugged in and the 5 screws holding down the motherboard. Then I can clip in the back panel ribbon cableand get the plastics all situated with their screws. And unfortunately, just like I feared, theaggressive battery removal toward the display ribbon that was hidden underneath the battery,I only get vibration and sound, but no image.
Usually we are successful with these reassemblieseven though we go in without knowing what to expect. So I guess could we say that the Nokia 9 failsthe teardown? Until companies stop putting permanent adhesiveunder their batteries, I’m going to suggest not buying this phone. Simple pull tabs or gentle adhesive is morethan enough, and it’s not like the batteries are going to go try to escape all on theirown.
Either way, don’t forget to grab your freeaudio book with a 30 day trial of Audible. Link in the description. Hit that subscribe button if you haven’t already. And come hang out with me on Instagram andTwitter. Thanks a ton for watching. I’ll see you around.