HTC Evo 4G: What's inside first WiMAX smartphone

The inner workings of this smartphone explained

The latest gadget disassembled by iFixIt is the HTC Evo 4G smartphone. And just in time. The first phone capable of running on a WiMAX network is due on Sprint's network at the end of this week.

The Evo, running Android 2.1 as its OS, has gotten some strong initial reviews. PC World's Ginny Mies summed it up as "a winner with its solid hardware, multimedia capabilities, and speediness." When WiMAX is not available, Evo makes use of 3G cellular connectivity.

The teardown laid bare the details of the processor, display and memory. The phone uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, running at 1GHz, and 512MB of onboard RAM. The 4.3-inch LCD display is among the largest currently available. The full details are at the Web site, along with step-by-step photos.

The top part of the rear case features the rear-facing 8-megapixel camera and two LED flashes. A separate 1.3-megapixel cam faces front. Prying off the case reveals a vivid red interior, and the 3.7 V, 1500 mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery, at 31 grams, pops out easily. According to iFixIt, the battery has 23% more capacity than the iPhone 3GS, 15% more than the Droid Incredible and 7% more than the Nexus One.

The main components include:

* Broadcom BCM4329 radio chip (top right, red outline), a popular smartphone choice that includes 802.11n Wi-Fi (with max data rate of 50Mbps), Bluetooth, and FM. The phone can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, an access point to which up to eight other devices can connect.

* Sequans SQN210 WiMAX chip (iFixIt apparently incorrectly identifies this as the "SQ 1210"), which supports mobile WiMAX baseband and three frequency bands: 2.3-2.4, 2.5-2.7, 3.3-3.8 GHz (center-left, orange outline).

* Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 chipset, which supports CDMA2000 1X, 1xEV-DORel 0/A/B, GSM, GPRS, EDGE and HSPA networks (large chip in center, yellow outline).

* Amtel AMT224 Touchscreen controller (just below the Snapdragon, light-blue outline).

* Qualcomm RTR6500 CDMA2000 transceiver with GPS (to left of Snapdragon, dark-blue outline).

The Evo draws on Samsung for NAND Flash, and Texas Instruments for a power management integrated circuit.

Follow John Cox on Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww

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John Cox

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