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iPhone 7/7 Plus tear down reveals a barometric vent replacing the headphone jack

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With a new iPhone, it’s time for a teardown treatment by the folks at ifixit. Although the iPhone 7/7Plus are virtually the same with the previous models on the exterior, there are several massive differences on the inside.

First up is the display where it is now popped from the sides instead of from the bottom. Like the previous model, opening the iPhone is done by removing a pair of Pentalobe screws which now matches the colour of the iPhone. The front panel is still glued on with adhesive and it is said to be noticeably stronger than the previous model which is likely due to water resistance.

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With the front panel out of the way, you’ll notice a larger taptic engine right below the battery. The iPhone 6s/6s Plus also had a taptic engine which gave it a haptic feedback for the 3D touch feature but it was much smaller than this.

The folks at ifixit had recorded the taptic engine in action under X-ray and it looks like a zigzag spring that vibrates from left to right. Not only this gives a more accurate sensation than a typical vibrator but it also designed to emulate the feel of a mechanical button since the new iPhone 7/7 Plus features a pressure sensitive static home key.

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Right below the taptic engine lies a piece of plastic which occupies the spot of the former headphone jack. According to The Verge, this piece apparently acts as a barometric vent. Since the iPhone 7/7Plus is now sealed for water resistance, the additional plastic helps to get a more accurate reading. The barometer is responsible for measuring altitude or the number of floors you’ve climbed.

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Being the first iPhone with water resistance at IP67, it has lots of rubber gaskets all around including the buttons, SIM tray slot and even the lightning connector to keep water out. Technically the new iPhone 7 should be able to survive submersion up to 1 metre for 30 minutes but Apple isn’t marketing it as a waterproof device.

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As for the battery, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are confirmed to be carrying a 1,960mAh and 2,900mAh capacity respectively which are larger than the iPhone 6s (1,715mAh) and 6s Plus (2,750mAh). As a comparison, the older iPhone 6 has a 1,810mAh battery while the 6 Plus had an even larger 2,915mAh unit.

In terms of repairability, both iPhone 7 and 7 Plus scored 7 out of 10, which is significantly better than the Galaxy Note7’s score of 4/10. You can check out both teardowns over at ifixit’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus pages.

Alexander Wong