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iFixit rips into new iPhones

by on19 September 2014

Huge battery on 6 Plus

The intrepid iFixit team has gotten a hold of the latest iPhones and it did what it does best – a full teardown of Cupertino’s new toys.

The findings aren’t earth-shattering, but there are some interesting bits in both phones. Aside from the bigger 5.5-inch 1080p display, the iPhone 6 Plus also features a much beefier battery. At 2,915mAh it is almost twice the size of the iPhone 5 battery and it is substantially bigger than the 1,810mAh battery found in the standard, 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

The start of the show is Apple’s 20nm A8 processor, built by TSMC. Not much is known about the new processor, but it looks like a ‘tock’ of the good old A7. The LTE modem hails from Qualcomm and it is a 28nm model dating back to late 2012.

In addition to the bigger battery, the iPhone 6 Plus also features optical image stabilisation for its 8-megapixel camera, but the sensor is the same. It is a nice touch, but we feel the regular iPhone 6 should have it too.

The NFC chip is located at the top of the phone, which looks a bit odd as most Android phones sport it at the back. However, the location makes perfect sense after you see an Apple Pay demo video. NFC functionality on the new iPhones is limited to Apple Pay and third-party apps cannot use it for the time being. Apple did the same thing with Touch ID, as it wouldn’t let third-party devs use it at launch, but it eventually opened up the API with the introduction of iOS 8.

And now for Nick Farrell’s favourite part of any Apple teardown – the drop test.

The new iPhones are durable, but the tests indicate they are no better than the iPhone 5 series. Back drop tests and side drop tests went well on the iPhone 6, but the heavier iPhone 6 Plus suffered a shattered screen in the side test. The regular iPhone 6 was shattered in the front drop test.

Both phones kept working, but iFixit says the screens started coming apart following the tests due to the phones’ seamless design. The added weight may be another factor, especially on the 6 Plus. You can check out the video after the break.

Oh, and iFixit found a bunch of new gaskets around the buttons, so the new iPhones should stand up to water and dust somewhat better than the 5 series. 

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