On Monday, Google announced plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Once complete, the deal will let Google compete directly with Apple to provide customers a complete mobile solution (hardware, operating system, and apps). Google will also acquire Motorola Mobility’s extensive patent library, which will help it defend Android from legal challenges.

I’ve owned several Motorola phones and pagers over the years, and have always liked them. Larry Page, Google CEO, also appears to be a long-time fan of the handset maker. Page wrote in a post outlining the acquisition:

“Its [Motorola’s] many industry milestones include the introduction of the world’s first portable cell phone nearly 30 years ago, and the StarTAC-the smallest and lightest phone on earth at time of launch. … I have loved my Motorola phones from the StarTAC era up to the current DROIDs.”

To celebrate Motorola’s accomplishments, here’s a look back at some of their classic devices and latest tech. Note: I’ve compiled just a few photos from each gallery in this blog post. To view the complete cracking open gallery for each device, click the gallery title.

Cracking Open the classic Motorola StarTAC flip phone

Cracking Open the Motorola Advisor Gold pager (1997)

Cracking open a Motorola DVR

Motorola XOOM (Verizon) Teardown

More on the Google purchase of Motorola Mobility:

Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.