iFixit Google Pixel XL teardown
What lies inside Google's marquee post-Nexus smartphone? iFixit

As with all new smartphones, it is only a matter of time before someone does the unthinkable and starts prying open their pricey new toy to see what lies under the hood. This time around the knife has been applied to Google's post-Nexus, iPhone-competing Pixel range, with the larger Pixel XL baring all for the world to see thanks to the surgeons at iFixit.

After applying some heat, a suction cup and a plastic pick, the team at iFixit pop the two-tone back off the Pixel XL and get to work on removing a large internal bracket that protects the smartphone's innards.

Tearing apart mobile devices in this way is often a good indicator of how easy it would be to repair should problems arise, and the Pixel XL rated a solid, if unspectacular six out of 10 on iFixit's ranking scale. By comparison, Apple's iPhone 7 scored one point higher, while Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge scored a lowly three out of 10.

The process also revealed several design aspects of the smartphone that are somewhat surprising – chiefly the modular-like arrangement of many of its components. The camera module, USB Type-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack are all picked out as easily removable – and crucially for repair purposes, replaceable.

Also surprising is the almost complete lack of HTC branding within the Pixel considering the Taiwanese smartphone maker co-manufactured Google's first phone since it dropped the Nexus moniker. iFixit says that there is "zero evidence of this phone's HTC manufacturing origin" aside from a tiny HTC logo on the 3450mAh, 13.28 Watt-hour battery.

The main reason for the mediocre repair score for the Pixel relates to its 5.5in screen, which iFixit was unable to keep intact during the teardown. In a video review (embedded below), iFixit note that the lack of a frame or bezel and ultra-thin components led to the OLED panel breaking with relative ease.

The Pixel range also utilises Samsung tech with the 32GB Universal Flash Storage and 4GB LPDDR4 RAM both provided by the Galaxy maker. Qualcomm makes multiple appearances as well, providing power management components, the Snapdragon 821 processor, quick charge unit and more.

To hear our full thoughts on the latest Android competitor, you can find our review of the Pixel and Pixel XL here. If you already own a Pixel and are looking to protect your Nougat-sporting device, then take a look at our top ten case recommendations.

YouTube / iFixit