iFixit.com is a website that provides repair services, mainly on smartphones, as well as reparability ratings when they tear down a smartphone, for examination and disassembly, as well as finding out how easily reparable a device is.
If you are aware of JerryRigEverything, a YouTube channel that also do smartphone teardowns, then iFixit uses the same concept.
Recently, they had a teardown of the Xiaomi Mi 11, the recent flagship from Xiaomi, to see how reparable the phone is.
The phone received an overall reparability score of 4/10, the same as the base Galaxy S21, but 2 points behind the iPhone 12.
Below are some of their findings:
With a little bit of heat, they managed to remove the back cover easily. To remove the parts, iFixit used a Moray Driver Kit, a set of screws and a screwdriver intended for disassembling phones for repair.
One of their findings is that the Mi 11 actually does not have an IP rating, meaning the phone may not be able to resist dust and water particles in contrast to phones that does have this rating. This may be the reason why the back plate was easily removed, as Xiaomi used less adhesives
The Mi 11 also had a similar motherboard layout as the OnePlus Nord, which had a reparability score of 6/10 and only needing a single Philips-head screw for repair.
The iFixit team found out that the Mi 11 uses a 108mp Samsung ISOCELL HMX Bright sensor, a 13mp Omnivision OV13B10 and a 5MP Samsung S5K5E9 macro sensor . The camera modules seems to only have two connectors, despite having three cameras. Later, they found out that the third sensor is hidden underneath the first two.
The Mi 11 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. The iFixit team has also disassembled the motherboard. on the top side, they find several integrated chips, to which they labelled by colour:
- The Maroon label is for the Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) that is also manufactured by Qualcomm. These are the PM8350 PMIC (the one on top, just northeast of the yellow label), PM8350C PMIC (beside the green label) and the PM8350BH PMIC (the vertically-aligned rectangular box beside the PM8350 PMIC).
- The Orange label is for the display power management chip
- The Yellow label is the Qualcomm Audio codec
- The Lime Green label is for the wireless charging chip, and;
- The Light Blue label is for the front-end module.
The chipset in question, the SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G chipset, is located at the rear, which are also labelled by colour
The huge red label is the Snapdragon 888 5G chip, with an integrated X60 modem (also manufactured by Qualcomm). Underneath that chipset is the Samsung LPDDR5 RAM.
The orange label is the UFS 3.1 memory chip manufactured by SK Hynix
The lime green label is the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chip. The Mi 11 supports Wi-Fi 6 and dual-band.
The yellow label is the transceiver, manufactured by Qualcomm.
The cyan label is the fast-charging chipset, manufactured by Qualcomm. This reveals that the phone does support Qualcomm Quick Charge technology.
The blue label is the wireless power receiver chip. Manufactured by Nuvolta, and finally;
The pink label is the front-end module.
Summary of Findings:
You can find the full report of the Xiaomi Mi 11 through iFixit’s website, which is linked here.
Below is the Summary/Final Thoughts of the iFixit team and their reparability score.
Again, the phone received a reparability score of 4/10, which is considered average. Like the similarly-modelled OnePlus Nord, iFixit applauded the Mi 11 for its use of only one tool, which is the standard Phillips head screwdriver.
Though impressed by this, many other conclusions are a mixed bag, such as the lack of an IP rating and a weak adhesive. Other mixed results include the chore-like removability of the screen and battery, despite them being able to be removed separately; and that many of the phone’s components are modular, which means that parts are removable one-by-one.
The phone also received negative conclusions such as the build of the phone being made out of curved glass, making them more prone to breakage and/or requiring special tools for repair; and the fact that the entire display must be disassembled to remove or replace the optical fingerprint sensor, which may cause the screen to break if not careful.