Teardown: Take A Look Inside The Huawei P9

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The Huawei P9 and P9 Plus were launched earlier this year with much fanfare in London, UK. One of the highlight features of the two devices was the Leica dual-camera set up that both smartphones have on them as part of a partnership between the Chinese tech giant and the German optics experts. However, the dual-cam setup was the source of an unlikely controversy last month when some reports claimed that Leica isn't actually involved in the development process of the camera module, and is only licensing its name to Huawei for use in its flagship smartphones. While there isn't anything legally wrong with that per se, both companies got a bit riled up over those charges and ended up releasing a joint statement refuting the allegations.

Either way, that camera setup is now under the microscope again, this time from iFixit, the guys whose job it is to systematically tear down smartphones and other tech gadgets and rank 'em according to how easy and inexpensive they are to repair. Apparently, the Huawei P9 is held together by pentalobe screws, making it one of the very few Android smartphones to use the proprietary screw design to hold together the device. However, what really caught the attention of the DIY repair gurus is the dual-cam module that is noticeably smaller than many other single sensor cameras including, but not limited to that of the iPhone 6s, which comes with just a single 12-megapixel camera instead of the twin 12-megapixel units that can be found inside the Huawei P9 duo.

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The teardown also reveals that the phone comes with 3 GB LPDDR3 RAM from SK Hynix and 32 GB eMMC flash storage from Samsung. Meanwhile, the fast-charging IC is from Texas instruments, while the audio chip is from Huawei's own subsidiary, HiSilicon Technologies. The Huawei P9 incorporates a 5G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 controller chip from Broadcom and an NFC controller from NXP. Meanwhile, the front-end modules for WCDMA/LTE and FDD/TDD LTE come from Skyworks. The phone also comes with modular and independent 3.5 mm audio port and a USB-C port, making them easy to replace in case they wear out from repeated usage. All in all, the device gets a respectable 7 out of 10 in terms of repairability, with points deducted for its fused display assembly and the aforementioned proprietary screws that require specific screwdrivers to open.

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Senior Staff Writer

    I've always been a tech buff and have been building my own PCs since as far back as I can remember. My first computer was a home-built desktop running MS-DOS on which I learnt to program in GW-BASIC and my interests apart from technology include automobiles and sports.

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