Apple’s new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have gone on sale, and have also been put through various tests. The folks at iFixit have torn down the iPhone 7 Plus revealing what’s inside, and the focus is on what Apple didn’t talk about during the launch event. These include the battery capacity, RAM, waterproofing and how Apple is using the space freed by ditching the 3.5mm audio jack. YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, on the other hand, put an iPhone 7 through scratch and bend tests to see how durable it is. Update: Apple has revealed that the grilles on the left are barometric vents. They can measure even the slightest of changes to the altitude, even when you are just walking up a flight of stairs. The piece of plastic inside though is necessary to keep the entire device water resistant.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus teardown starts off by showing the unusual way in which the device now comes apart. The smartphone now opens to the side when you remove the display panel, and one of the reasons behind this is likely to be the water resistant capabilities. One of the talking points on this year’s iPhones is the missing 3.5mm audio jack. As noticed in a teardown video yesterday, the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack has freed up space that is now filled with a bigger Taptic Engine. But the interesting thing is how Apple doesn’t seem to have properly utilized the space freed up by ditching the audio jack. From outside you will see two speaker grilles on either side of the Lightning Port, but on the inside, the left set of grilles lead to nowhere. “Closer inspection shows a new, second lower speaker grille that leads… nowhere? Interesting,” the iFixit team says. Instead there is now a plastic bumper where the audio jack cutout used to be, which again seems to have been done with waterproofing in mind.
The larger iPhone variant features 3GB LPDDR4 RAM made by Samsung, which is in line with what was revealed by benchmarking websites. The teardown also revealed a 2,915mAh battery, which is bigger than the 2,750mAh unit in last year’s iPhone 6 Plus. At the launch event, Apple said that the new iPhone offers up to an hour longer battery life than the iPhone 6s Plus, which has since been largely corroborated by reviewers.
Among the highlights of the iPhone 7 Plus is the dual-camera setup at the back, and the iFixit team says the upgraded cameras are ‘worth the bigger exterior camera bump’. Strangely though, the team hasn’t yet revealed who has developed the camera module. The new iPhones aren’t exactly waterproof, and are more water resistant instead. The teardown reveals how Apple used several tricks, including an adhesive strip that’s “considerably stronger” holding the screen in place.
In addition to a tear down, the new iPhone 7 (black color variant) has also been put through a torture test to check its durability. The matte finished back panel of the iPhone 7 is sturdy enough to survive scuffs from everyday objects like keys or coins, but it scratches when facing the tip of a knife. The iPhone’s display scratches with a pick with a hardness level of six, which is the equivalent of most smartphones protected by the latest Gorilla Glass.
Interestingly, the camera lens and the new Touch ID sensor both scratched when subject to a level six metal pick. The reason it is surprising is because Apple claims both these are protected by Sapphire glass, which has a higher durability.
Since the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, every new iPhone launch is now greeted with the question — ‘does it bend?’ The infamous Bendgate saga gave rise to bend tests, which almost every new smartphone is put through. JerryRigEverything puts the iPhone 7 to a bend test as well, and fortunately, it is almost impossible to bend with one’s bare hands. Like last year, the new iPhones too are constructed using 7000 series aluminum.