Apple Watch Series 6 Teardown

The Apple Watch Series 6 is breathtaking - or at least it says a lot about your breathing. We're increasing VO2 max just thinking of seeing the new sensors (no fussy Force Touch) on this latest model, so let's start pumping blood by doing exercises in a very small space. Here is our step by step Apple Watch Series 6 teardown

Step 1

From the outward comparison of the Series 6(one on the right) with the Series 5(one on the left) we only see subtle differences, but that's what teardowns are for. Here are details we already know. New Apple Watch Series 6 has LTPO OLED Retina display optimized for always-on functionality (this time without Force Touch). It comes with new 64-bit dual-core Apple S6 SiP, updated sensor array measuring heart rate, ECG, and now blood oxygen levels. There are also compass, real-time altimeter, and water resistance to a depth of 50 meters.
 

Step 2

Underneath the new watchband, there is confirmation that this is indeed a new Apple Watch (model number A2376). On the other hand, the other band slot features nothing at all.

The opening procedure of the new Apple Watch Series 6 is pretty similar to its previous ancestors. We opened it using only one sharp knife and procedure is pretty much the same as every Apple Watch. Only difference is now it opens like new iPhones to the side like a book, and now its even slightly easier due to absence of a Force Touch gasket.

 

Step 3

Lets disconnect new Series 6 battery! The connector is still right underneath the battery, flip it and disconnect it in order to remove it.

The 44 mm Watch cell is rated at 1.17 Wh, a slight increase over the Series 5 but not quite at the level of the 1.3 Wh Galaxy Watch 3.

The smaller 40 mm Series 6 keeps the radical metal-pouch design introduced on the Series 5, and now with a 1.024 Wh battery capacity.

Summing up: that's a 3.5% increase for the 44 mm battery, and an even bigger 8.5% increase for the 40 mm from their Series 5 counterparts.

Step 4

New Apple Watch has a new and brighter display than the Series 5. It's also brighter on the inside.

Series 6 model not only lacks that Force Touch gasket, it also has fewer display connectors making it easier for repairs. The NFC cable is now routed through a display-side-jumper. The streamlined design is great especially because it simplifies repairs by a lot.

Aside from the before mentioned changes, these displays look about the same to the naked eye.

Step 5

At first glance, the three-point Taptic Engine seems to be an old hat, but it turns out that it is larger than the one in the Series 5. Maybe the slim Series 4 vibrating screen can't sniff out? It's also made using 100% recycled rare earth metals and tungsten this time, which is awesome.

With all your strength removed, it's time to turn to the brain behind this operation: S6 SiP. Even with our proven tools, this intricate maze of wiring and hidden screws is no picnic. But as always, time + tools + technique wins! Eventually this watch returns the remaining content.

Step 6

 

There are more conventional ICs on the package, we can at least find the Skyworks chip labeled 239-7. Other chips are more mysterious, none of them exactly matches the U1 chip we found in the iPhone last year.

We can see that the footprint of the Series 6 frame has slightly changed, and the lip used for the adhesive gasket is narrower, which has now been carefully wrapped around the belt mechanism.

The modified case and the lack of Force Touch gaskets may be due to the fact that this year's model is thinner, with a total thickness of 10.4 mm (10.74 mm last year). Apple somehow packed more batteries and more Taptic Engine into a (almost) smaller design. impressive!

Step 7

Fused display on top, fused sensor array on the bottom. We're not gonna find anything but broken pieces if we bust this apart, so let's teardown with our eyes.

By emitting red, green and infrared light on your skin and then observing how they bounce back through a photodiode, the sensor can tell you the degree of oxidation in your blood (red means more oxygen).

Low oxygen levels in the blood (hypoxemia) may indicate COVID-19 or other serious medical problems.

Apple Watch cannot track body temperature like Oura Ring 2. However, although it is good to know, both those may not be accurate enough.

Step 8

In terms of maintenance, we are glad to see that the cumbersome Force Touch gasket disappeared, and only two fragile cables bound the display.
The thicker rubber-like adhesive on the display and back panel also protects the watch from accidental entry (or in our particular case, the desired entry).
Although the design is almost incredibly thinner, in addition to a larger capacity battery and a more powerful Taptic Engine, Apple also uses a brand new sensor.
They just keep polishing this thing to a higher and higher gloss and it’s almost sneaky how much of it they don’t tell you about, keeping all the focus on the whiz-bang health features.

Final Thoughts

Screen replacements are difficult but possible. The screen is the very first thing to come off and detaches via ZIF connectors.

Battery replacements are easy once you are inside.

The tiny three-point screws on the entire watch can be difficult to remove and track.

Several flexible cables are directly installed on the S6 package. If they are torn, they need skilled micro-welding to replace them.

Apple watch series 6