Sorry for ANY confusion – I bought a 900 Mhz GSM phone, which will NOT work in the USA. My post below had the wrong number in it (now corrected). Sorry!
The Motofone F3—a beautifully designed phone. Sadly, the only version of the Motofone available on eBay is a 900/1800 dual band phone, which does not work with carriers in the US. The GSM version that will work in the US—850/1900—is only available in Mexico and Chilie. However, through the wonders of eBay, I was able to get a hold of the European version (the 850 900 variant). I was originally going to send it back to the seller, as the auction claimed it was a tri-band phone. Instead, I could not wait and decided to open the guy up. What follows is a disturbing set of pictures—be forewarned that these images may be disturbing to those of you who shed a tear at the destruction of a gadget.
For starters, I have posted all of these images to Flickr: Motorola Motofone F3 Dissassembly
I will be updating this post with commentary along with each picture.
This is the front of the Motofone. A bit dusty, but you get the picture. I feel this part is the least exciting, as we’ve all seen this same picture over and over.
Again, not quite that interesting. Just the back, but with four oh-so-tempting torx screws (T-5 to be exact).
Can you feel the tension building? Here we have removed just the back cover. An interesting array of copper contacts can be seen below the battery, to the right. Possibly for communication with the phone (no USB port), it’s purposes are unclear.
The battery removed, standard serial #, IMEI #, etc… plus some barcodes.
SIM card removed. The battery must be removed to remove the SIM card.
Silver Torx screws removed. To remove the casing from the keypad/display, run your fingernail along the front of the phone between the keypad edge and the casing. Doing this a few times separates the two halves. You also will have to pry up on the casing at the top and bottom, and *slide* the casing upwards.
This is the inside of the back phone casing. The Motofone is essentially 3 pieces. The display/keypad (next picture), “Motherboard” rev MA, and the back casing. You can see the speaker at the top with two spring contacts and the antennas are top and bottom.
This is a closeup of board MA, side 5B. 4 black phillips head screws (PH000?) have been removed. The microphone is attached with two wires, and fits into a hole in the keypad/display assembly.
This is the flip side, you can see the connector in the upper right, which connects it to the keypad. The text on the board:
MA (board version)
94V-0 (I don’t know about the 0)
This is the back side of the keypad. An amazingly thin assembly. It is soldered to the keypad, no screws visible to disassemble it. I did not take a picture of the front—it is exactly like the front, minus the barely-visible bezel.
This is a horrible picture, but hopefully it gives you a sense of just how thin this phone could be, if there were no battery.
If I were to be reimbursed for the cost of this phone, I’d tear it apart, unsolder the casings above board MA, and unsolder the keypad assembly to reveal all the E-Ink(y) goodness.