When Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 6 recently, the Cupertino-based company revealed new health and fitness features for their flagship wearable, along with new watch band options that didn’t require clasps or buckles. They also made quite a bit of noise about the new Blood Oxygen sensor, along with the new WatchOS 7.
However, we now know that there were a couple of previously-unknown changes on the Apple Watch Series 6 from its predecessor thanks to the folks over at iFixit. For one, both variants—40mm and the 44mm models—now have larger batteries compared to their predecessors. On the smaller smartwatch, you’re getting a capacity that is 8.5 percent higher, while the larger 44mm model has battery that is 3.5 percent bigger.
This is a rather strange revelation. When announcing the Watch Series 6, Apple promised up to 18 hours of use on a single charge—the identical figure given for the Apple Watch Series 5, 4, and even 3. Perhaps this is due to the new blood oxygen sensor, or the brighter screen, or perhaps the new WatchOS 7 version requires more power, but for now, this is unexplained.
Additionally, the teardown reveals that Force Touch—once a vaunted feature on the original Apple Watch—has been removed. The removal is permanent, with the actual physical components for the feature having been removed in the latest Apple Watch. Support for Force Touch was already dropped with the latest version of WatchOS, so perhaps this is a natural move from Apple.
The Taptic Engine in the Watch Series 6 has also been enlarged. iFixit says that the new Taptic Engine is made with 100 percent recycled rare earth metals and tungsten. Apple also made the same move to use recycled materials for the iPhone’s Taptic Engine back in 2019, so again, this isn’t the most surprising of discoveries.
Finally, iFixit also warns that screen replacements will be difficult—but not impossible. Battery replacements, on the other hand, are “reasonably straightforward”, although it must be noted that this will probably void your warranty with Apple. A repairability score of 6/10 is given for the Apple Watch Series 6, with major points deducted for the difficulty level in removing component flex cables.
Unfortunataely, iFixit experts weren’t able to detach or take apart the new blood sensor:
“Fused display on top, fused sensor array on the bottom. We’re not gonna find anything but broken pieces if we bust this apart.”
If that teardown wasn’t scintillating enough, iFixit also promises to take apart the similarly-new Apple Watch SE soon, so stay tuned for that.
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