Apple Watch Series 6 teardown details subtle changes and repairability score

Brittany A. Roston - Sep 21, 2020, 3:34pm CDT
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Apple Watch Series 6 teardown details subtle changes and repairability score

The iFixit team has published their teardown of the newly announced Apple Watch Series 6 smartwatch, detailing the device’s various components and the notable changes over the previous model, as well as revealing how difficult the watch will be to repair. The teardown details the Apple Watch Series 6 featuring LTE and GPS that is now available to purchase.

Visually speaking, the Apple Watch Series 6 looks very similar to the Series 5 model that came before it. However, and as expected, there are some changes under the hood. For example, the back of the Apple Watch now flips over like opening a hinged box or book. Users and technicians get easy access to the internal components this way — and swapping out hardware is easier due to the removal of Force Touch and its related gasket.

With that gasket removed, iFixit notes that there are only two ‘fragile’ cables connecting the display to the watch. There’s also thicker adhesive on the back plate and display, which keeps the watch safe, but is more of an issue when it comes to digging into the components yourself. The Tapic Engine in the Series 6 model is ‘beefier,’ iFixit notes, the battery has a greater capacity, and there are new sensors in the watch.

iFixit calls the new hardware ‘sneaky,’ pointing out that Apple doesn’t talk about many of these changes, instead focusing on the features users are most interested in. When it comes to fixing the watch yourself, however, there’s some bad news for users who aren’t terribly skilled in the DIY arts.

The teardown ultimately gives the Apple Watch Series 6 a repairability score of 6 out of 10, which isn’t terrible, but does mean that you should expect some struggle if you attempt to change components yourself. The screen and battery are the easiest things to change yourself and they’re also the most likely to need to be changed. However, the use of very small tri-point screws makes things more difficult and some component cables will require ‘skilled micro-soldering’ if you accidentally break them.


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