Posted in: Mobile phones

Nexus One torn apart, Wi-Fi 802.11n and FM radio transmitter/receiver found hiding inside

The guys at iFixit sure have picked a strange name for their site, considering they tear down everything high-tech they get their hands on. But they are pros at it and very often they uncover interesting things.

Take the Nexus One teardown for example – it turns out that Google’s Superphone contains a Broadcom BCM4329 chip, which can do 802.11n Wi-Fi and FM radio receiving and transmitting. Neither of those three things is listed in the official specs though…

Officially, the Nexus One only has 802.11b/g support (both the HTC page and Google page say so, but the info there seems to have changed at least once since the phone was first announced).

Anyway, the hardware is there, which makes the Nexus One the second mobile phone with 802.11n support I’ve seen – the first of course being the HTC HD2. On the HD2 there was no official 802.11n support either, but as it turned out that was a dead simple fix with a registry editor.

Fingers crossed, the WirelessN tweak for the Nexus One won’t be more complicated than that. Android OS doesn’t exactly have a Registry as WinMo, so I’ll leave the speculations to the smart people over at the XDA-Developers forum. They’re bound to find a fix soon.

Interestingly, there’s a topic in that forum in which several Nexus One users who complain of a “pink” camera issue, very similar to the one the HTC HD2 had.

Another thing not listed in the official Nexus One specs is the FM radio, but the hardware is there. A similar thing happened with the HTC Touch Pro2. Again, thanks to the XDA-Developer forum, the problem was fixed.

As it turns out, the Motorola DEXT MB220 (or CLIQ in the USA) also has an FM radio capable chip. It even has an application to use it, but it’s command line only.

A solution for enabling 802.11n Wi-Fi and the FM radio receiver/transmitter can’t be too far away. Most of you might not care about the FM radio stuff (though an FM transmitter can be very handy in a car), but the N amendment to the 802.11 standard provides a big speed bump for Wi-Fi, which is hard to ignore.

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