The first batch of Android Wear smartwatches isn't even out in the wild yet, and here we are seeing the first teardowns of the devices. Though it's not exactly the thorough iFixit treatment, it does give a bit of insight into the inner workings of these super small computers, particularly the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live, as well as potentially how easy they are to break or fix.
iFixit's teardowns usually aims to document the whole process and judge a device based on a repairability scale. Unfortunately, those only come after a device has become available commercially to the public, or at least to certain portion of the public. This teardown comes courtesy of ARM Holdings, yes the people behind the CPU design for smartwatches and smartphones. They were able to get their hands on not one but two of these smartwatches and naturally they just had to take it apart immediately.
Of the two, the LG G Watch definitely looks simpler and less assuming and, it turns out, it was also built that way deep inside. Only four Torx T5 screws kept the back plate in place. Once relieved of their holding duties, the back cover yielded to expose the innards of the watch. That cover, however, isn't like your regular smartphone cover. It has built into it the G Watch's 400 mAh 3.8 V battery, as well as the rubber gasket that helps give it an IP67 rating. The extra small main PCB is equally simple, held down by two more screws. There you will find the ARM Cortex-A7 Snapdragon 400 and the Synaptics touch controller, noted to be the same one used for the Motorola Moto X.
The Samsung Gear Live, on the other hand, is a bit more complex. but not overly so. There are also four screws that keep the back in place, but it took a bit more effort to pry it away from the main housing. As in the G Watch, the back cover houses the battery, which has the same 3.8 V voltage but at a lower 300 mAh capacity, meaning a shorter battery life. On top of it, one will find a heart rate sensor. Overall, the make up of the Gear Live is more compact but also more complex, which can be credited to Samsung being in the smartwatch game longer than LG.
The first Android Wear smartwatches are set to ship next week and we will most likely see more detailed teardowns and analyses of the composition of these two devices. In the meantime, you can head on over to our review of the LG G Watch, the Samsung Gear Live, and Android Wear itself to see our thoughts about these new little darlings of the Android world.