Pixel 6 teardown shows lots of heat dissipation, questionable mmWave layout

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The Pixel 6 and 6 Professional are out, and which means it is teardown time. PBK Evaluations has movies on the Pixel 6 Professional and Pixel 6 for us to select aside.

Crack open both telephone and you will find a ton of warmth dissipation. The again of the display screen is roofed in copper, so it is a large warmth sink. Below the show, the inside is roofed in sticky, heat-dissipating graphite movie, making the telephone look strikingly messier than the rigorously curated insides of the iPhone 13. Under that’s extra warmth dissipation: an aluminum mid-plate that connects to the key chips with thermal tape.

The again of the display screen can be fascinating. On the left is the under-display fingerprint reader, and you’ll see why firms are such followers of those parts over capacitive rear fingerprint readers. An optical reader is a super-thin sticker on the again of the show—it seems to be prefer it’s solely a millimeter or so thick. You may as well spot the cutout for the under-display brightness and proximity sensors, which, just like the fingerprint reader, invisibly dwell below the show.

The back side of the display is a big copper heatsink. You can see how thin the fingerprint sensor is on the left—it's just a sticker. Just above the camera lens on the right side is the cutout for the under-display proximity and brightness sensors.
Enlarge / The again facet of the show is a giant copper heatsink. You possibly can see how skinny the fingerprint sensor is on the left—it is only a sticker. Simply above the digicam lens on the appropriate facet is the cutout for the under-display proximity and brightness sensors.

PBK Evaluations

PBK Evaluations noticed just a few fascinating variations between the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional. On the Professional mannequin, the haptic motor is on the underside of the telephone, whereas the baseline Pixel 6 has it towards the highest. The underside is a greater location, since that is often the place your hand is, providing you with a stronger sensation from the haptic motor. Relying on area and carriers, some fashions of Pixel 6 have mmWave and a few don’t. In the event you get a mannequin with out mmWave, what you will discover within the mmWave spot is… a placeholder block of metallic.

This teardown confirms what we have suspected of the Pixel 6’s 5G mmWave performance—it doesn’t appear very properly thought out. For starters, mmWave shouldn’t be an ideal telephone characteristic. It will get outsized consideration as a result of carriers use mmWave to justify 5G velocity claims of their commercials. The reality, nevertheless, is that just about nobody has dependable entry to mmWave. A current OpenSignal survey confirmed that customers with appropriate gadgets spend simply 0.eight % of their time on mmWave.

Even should you may discover a mmWave community with the Pixel, although, the Pixel 6 has just one mmWave antenna, which sits alongside the highest fringe of the telephone (in a really seen plastic window). Many of the justification for together with mmWave in a telephone revolves round its fame for enabling excessive obtain speeds. Most of this velocity could be for media consumption, by which case the telephone could be in panorama. However with the antenna on the prime, mmWave sign will likely be blocked by your hand in panorama mode. Evaluate this Pixel design resolution to that within the Galaxy S21, which has two mmWave antennas, every positioned on a protracted fringe of the telephone, and there is a larger chance that the Galaxy S21’s mmWave sign will function higher in both panorama orientation. Qualcomm’s unique mmWave paperwork really helpful 4 antennas, one on both sides of the telephone, as a result of it is really easy to dam a mmWave sign along with your hand. Most individuals will most likely by no means discover a mmWave sign, however even should you may on the Pixel 6, the antenna location makes it appear to be it is simply spec sheet padding.

The Pixel 6 Pro motherboard. That soldered-on USB-C port will be tough to swap out.
Enlarge / The Pixel 6 Professional motherboard. That soldered-on USB-C port will likely be powerful to swap out.

Sadly iFixit appears to have deserted the Pixel line, with the final full teardown from the location being the Pixel 4. One factor I actually miss is iFixit’s investigation of the chips on the motherboard, which aren’t addressed in both video. It will be good to get a take a look at the Google Tensor SoC, that discrete Samsung Exynos 5G modem, and no matter different parts Google is utilizing, however this video is solely about changing components.

As for repairability, the USB-C port is soldered onto the motherboard, which can make a generally broken part tougher to restore. As standard the whole lot is glued collectively, which suggests any restore may compromise the machine’s water resistance. PBK Evaluations additionally tried swapping out some components to see if there have been any iPhone-style software program lockouts that stop repairs. Whereas changing the display screen went nice, they bumped into an error message when changing the fingerprint sensor. A later replace to the video description notes that they later acquired the sensor working by visiting Google’s official restore web site, operating some calibration software program, after which manufacturing facility resetting the machine.