Pixel 6a teardown: Easier battery removal, plastic back

Pixel 6a teardown: Easier battery removal, plastic back

Ahead of the Pixel 6a shipping next week, a teardown has revealed the innards of Google’s $449 mid-ranger. Design-wise, there are more than a few manufacturing similarities with last year’s Pixel 6.

To start the teardown (via PBKreviews), heat is needed to remove the adhesive, though the Pixel 6a continues Google’s use of clips to also secure the screen. Underneath the front-facing camera and just to the left, you’ll notice a rounded square cutout for what should be the proximity and ambient light sensor. Compared to the Pixel 6 Pro, it’s located further down the screen.

Before going further you have to remove protective film and several screws to take off the midplate, which has a vibration motor attached to the underside and a large piece of graphite film to aid heat dissipation. Once removed, you have access to the battery with pull tabs that aid the process, though some additional prying is required and two sets of tabs might help.

For its part, the iFixit repair guides just recommend using isopropyl alcohol: 

Adhesive is only present underneath the top and bottom areas of the battery and not underneath the center. The see-through plastic strip around the center of the battery is not especially useful during the removal procedure. Feel free to remove it for easier handling by opening its adhesive seal and pulling it out from underneath the battery.

That said, PBKreviews notes that “prying this battery off was much easier compared to the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro,” so Google hopefully made improvements since last year.

The charging port is unfortunately soldered to the main board, while you get a look at Tensor (left rectangle). Lastly, the black plate is removable (with heat) from the frame and we see how it’s flexible plastic, or what Google calls a “3D thermoformed composite back” as seen in the top cover image.

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