Motorola Caught Diving in TI’s Dumpster

Dumpster diving confirmed. It looks like Ars Technica nailed it — the Moto 360 features a four-year-old TI OMAP3630. That’s the same processor we found in the Motorola Droid 2 four years ago, as well the big cheese that powered their MOTOACTV smartwatch back in 2011. Oh, and we also found a battery that fell a little short of its advertised spec.

Even though Ars didn’t take the watch apart, they were spot-on with their “ugly on the inside” assessment. The Moto 360 has a layered design, like other smartwatches — but adds in hellatons of glue. We like to keep things ticking, so we used lots of heat and careful prying — but we still managed to crack the plastic back panel that houses the goods. All things considered, the Moto 360 earned a not-so-polished 3-out-of-10 repairability score.

Teardown highlights:

• Motorola claims that the Moto 360 should fit any standard 22 mm wristband. That said, the included instructions warn us that replacing the band, or adjusting the metal band, requires “specialized tools” and the skills of a jeweler. But we had no trouble with our trusty tweezers.

• The Moto 360’s innards are sealed in tight. No easy point of entry and a rubber o-ring waterproof this oyster, but make opening the watch extra difficult. We suspect Motorola has a special tool for this job. For the rest of us, there’s the Jimmy.

Using a Jimmy for the Motorola Moto 360 Teardown

• The motherboard assembly is loaded with five spring contact pads that line up with openings through the rear housing — perhaps an access point for programming, testing, or hardware hackers. (Just peel up the FCC sticker under your watch band, without disassembling your Moto 360, to access these pins).

• Talk around the water cooler is that the Moto 360 suffers from an abysmal battery life. Motorola claims 320 mAh. Inside we find a 3.8 V, 300 mAh battery rated for 1.1 Wh of energy. We did some mathemagics, and 1.1 Wh / 3.8 V = 289 mAh, a full 10% less than advertised on Moto’s site. We’re not sure if that’s a rounding error or what; we just reports what we finds.

• The Moto 360 is the first Android Wear smartwatch to feature an ambient light sensor (for an auto-dimming screen). To save space, Motorola built the sensor into the display assembly, which explains the black bar found on the bottom of the display.

  • Inside we find:
    • Texas Instruments X3630ACBP (OMAP3630) Applications Processor
    • Texas Instruments TMS320C5545 Fixed-Point Digital Signal Processor
    • Micron Technology MT46H128M32L2KQ-5 IT 512 MB Mobile LPDDR RAM
    • Toshiba THGBMAG5A1JBAIT 4 GB e-MMC NAND Flash
    • Texas Instruments 1211A1 USB 2.0 PHY Transceiver
    • Atmel MXT112S Capacitive Touchscreen Controller
    • Texas Instruments AFE4490 Integrated Analog Front-End for Pulse Oximeters
    • Wolfson Microelectronics WM7121 Top Port Analogue Silicon Microphone
    • Wolfson Microelectronics WM7132 MEMS Microphone
    • Texas Instruments TPS659120 PMU for Processor Power
    • Texas Instruments BQ51051B Integrated Wireless Power Li-ion Charger Receiver
    • Solomon Systech SSD2848K1 MIPI Display Interface Controller

• We also took apart the charging dock, just for shoots and giggles. The dock’s internal assembly is secured by a single clip, which is easily dispatched with the flick of a spudger. The main event is an insulated inductive charging coil, backed by a ferrous board.

  • More ICs await us on the charging dock’s motherboard:
    • Texas Instruments BQ500212A Qi Compliant 5 V Wireless Power Transmitter Manager
    • Texas Instruments 97376M Synchronous Buck NexFET Power Stage