We’ve seen (and torn down) pretty much everything, but now Zanco’s Tiny T1 is here. It’s oblivious to your obsession with screen-to-body ratios, impervious to your petty PPI comparisons, and contemptuous of those quadruple-digit smartphone price tags—but it might just take the thin-and-light crown for good. Join us for the Tiniest teardown we’ve ever done. It’s gonna be big.

Like our teardowns? Want to subscribe? N.I.F.T.Y!

crwdns2886882:0crwdnd2886882:0crwdne2886882:0 crwdns2886883:0Zanco Tiny T1crwdnd2886883:0crwdnd2886883:0crwdne2886883:0

  1. Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown, Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 1, image 1 of 2 Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown, Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • The Tiny T1 may be small—but is it mighty? We'll let its specs do the talking:

    • Mediatek MTK6261D SoC

    • 0.49" OLED display with 64 x 32 pixel resolution (146 ppi)

    • Built-in voice changer

    • 32 MB RAM and 32 MB ROM

    • Backlit keyboard

    • 2G network connectivity

    • MicroUSB port

  2. Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 2, image 1 of 3 Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 2, image 2 of 3 Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 2, image 3 of 3
    • For size reference, we've enlisted the help of a certain furry rebel. Don't worry—we'll transport him back to the Rebellion when we're done with him.

    • While it's not the most popular tiny phone form factor, the T1's chocolate bar layout makes dialing and texting with human-sized fingers a breeze.

    • The metal back case is smooth except for a regulatory sticker and speaker grille. No fragile glass panel to shatter. No unsightly rear camera bump.

  3. Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 3, image 1 of 3 Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 3, image 2 of 3 Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • A "micro"-USB port occupies the bottom of the phone—and Zanco has managed to squeeze in a pinhole microphone alongside it.

    • Nano is such a relative word, as the "nano" SIM slot dominates the right edge of the phone.

    • If you're prone to butt-dialing people, the Tiny T1 is not for you.

    • Does size matter? We compare the Tiny T1 to its modern compatriots: a tech writer's LG ENV3 and a Samsung Galaxy S9+.

  4. Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 4, image 1 of 3 Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 4, image 2 of 3 Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • Opening a phone of this scale requires specialty tools. Fortunately, iFixit has got it covered.

    • Despite its retro aesthetic, this opening procedure is far from obsolete. Some micro spudger action frees up the front clips, and the top plastic plate is free!

    • Unlike with some phones, we encounter no proprietary screws here.

    • We move the keypad aside and find the button pad soldered to the board beneath.

    • To supply backlight to the keypad, two white adhesive pads diffuse light from four surface-mounted LEDs underneath.

    • While most modern phones are held together by an army of screws and nasty adhesives, the Tiny T1 has none of that. Zero screws! Zero adhesives!

    • The entire innards pop out with a single pry with a (normal) sized spudger.

    • The likely lesson here: to easily open normal-sized phones, we need a giant spudger.

    • Who says small can't be repairable? (Looking at you, AirPods.)

  5. Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 6, image 1 of 2 Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • Here we have the inner workings of the Tiny T1—all of them. It's just one board, with (nearly) everything soldered to it:

    • Speaker

    • Microphone capsule

    • High tech Bluetooth antenna (it's a wire)

    • "Nano" SIM slot, ironically hogging nearly half the board

    • Two mysterious pogo pins, which are accessible from outside—possibly for charging? Accessory port? A tiny taser?

    • 200 mAh 0.74 Wh battery (for comparison, the ENV3 has 3.5 Wh, while the Galaxy S9+ weighs in at 13.48 Wh)

    • While the S9+ battery packs over eighteen times the capacity, we doubt that its standby scales linearly to the Tiny T1's three-day rating.

  6. Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • What's the bare minimum amount of silicon needed for a functioning mobile phone? We're not sure, but this can't be far off:

    • Mediatek MT6261DA SoC

    • RDA Microelectronics RDA6625 Front-end module

    • Likely li-ion battery charger ic

    • 26 MHz oscillator

  7. Zanco Tiny T1 Teardown: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • That's a wrap to this Tiny Teardown!

    • The T1 shows you can make a working phone with just a little hardware—and with technological advancements, you can make it that much little-er.

    • We've come a long way from the first mobile phones of over forty years ago, even surpassing the wildest concepts from spy films and science fiction.

    • ... Which just means that modern designers of fictional gadgets have to keep upping their game.

  8. crwdns2878481:0crwdne2878481:0
    • The phone is held together by clips alone, making the opening procedure easy and painless.
    • The front plastic plate, which is prone to cracking, is easily replaceable.
    • Most components, including the battery, are soldered to the motherboard, making repairs difficult.


Nice tear down. I did notice the tiny pliers with blue handles. I believe that is from one of the Pocher 1/8 scale car kits, possibly from the Ferrari Testarossa tool kits. Obviously it is just for decoration!

rayramirez - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

IDK if I edited it correctly, but I tried to get the “Y” in “N.I.F.T.Y!” at the top to link to the ifixit YouTube channel.

Tommy Gurreri - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Tommy, that’s a genius idea! It didn’t turn out properly but I got it worked out.

Arthur Shi -

So this is a real phone!?

kc8wzm - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Yes! It is a real working phone that works on 2G networks.

Arthur Shi -

I have the phone but its only the Chinese language, how am I supposed to program the English language? Which area(s) do I need to connect with some tool to connect to USB port?

S A - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

There are language options in the settings menu. Ours came with Chinese on by default. You can try to use Google image translate to navigate through your settings, or try the following:

Press the top-left soft key once (brings up the menu)

Press the left arrow d-pad once (switches to settings). Press the top-left soft key once (selects settings)

Press the right arrow d-pad twice so you’re on page 3/6 (phone settings). Press the top-left soft key once (selects phone settings)

Press the top-left soft key again (selects language option). Press the down arrow d-pad once to select English. Press the top-left soft key to select it.

Arthur Shi -

Will it go off through the metal detectors?

dproc100 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

It depends on how sensitive the detectors are. If it can detect keys/coins, it will probably trigger.

Arthur Shi -

Speaker stopped working

do you know any way of fixing this ? Or why

aaliyahwalter - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Most likely the thin speaker wire broke, and you’d need a replacement speaker.

Arthur Shi -



crwdns2894766:024crwdne2894766:0 0

crwdns2894768:07crwdne2894768:0 10

crwdns2894768:030crwdne2894768:0 94

crwdns2894770:0crwdne2894770:0 7,751