The iPhone 8 should have been called the iPhone 7s. While it gets a whole new number, it looks more like an incremental update over last year’s iPhone 7. The biggest change on the exterior is its glass back. This isn’t just for aesthetics as the glass material for the rear is required to make wireless charging possible.
So what difference does it make when it comes to repairs? How much battery does the new iPhone 8 pack? Those questions aer finally answered through ifixit’s teardown.
Opening the iPhone 8 is quite similar to the iPhone 7. The display comes off first by removing its Pentalobe screws and applying heat. Replacing the display and battery is still pretty straightforward like its previous model.
With the teardown, we now get a peek on what ticks on the inside. Their iPhone 8 unit uses a Qualcomm X16 LTE modem that can do 1Gbps 4G LTE speeds while the battery is confirmed to be 7% smaller in capacity than the iPhone 7 with a 1821mAh unit. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 Plus gets a 2691mAh battery which is also about 7% smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus’ 2900mAh capacity.
While the iPhone 8/8 Plus have similar display size and resolution as the iPhone 7/7Plus, you can’t use the iPhone 7 display on the iPhone 8. ifixit tried to test its compatibility and they found that the screen works but the digitiser does not. It is worth pointing out that the new iPhone 8/8 Plus display has a True Tone feature which will adapt its display to your ambient lighting so that it would display accurate colours.
Compared to the previous iPhone 7/7 Plus the new iPhone 8/8 Plus gets a lower repairability score of 6/10. This is mainly due to its glass back which can be a pain to replace. It took them a lot of heating to get its seven-layer glass removed. Once that is out of the way, you’ll find a charging coil in the middle for Qi wireless charging. On the iPhone 8 Plus, they deliberately break the rear panel to see how it’s like to repair a real broken unit. It turns out to be much more difficult than removing the glass intact.
If you’re planning to get an iPhone 8/8 Plus, you should probably get a good case for added protection. As a comparison, these new iPhone models are much easier to repair compared to the Galaxy Note8 which scored an ifixit repairability score of 4/10. During their Note8 teardown, they revealed that removing the display would require you to remove the rear glass panel first which both are secured well with lots of adhesive. The curved screen and higher IP68 dust and water resistance, might have made it trickier to repair.