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iPhone XS Teardown Exposes Some Not-So-Major Tweaks

by Justin Herrick | September 21, 2018September 21, 2018 8:30 am PST

High-end specifications are living within Apple’s iPhone XS. The Cupertino-based company wasn’t messing around with this year’s flagship; therefore, it took almost everything from the iPhone X and issued upgrades. Yet we do wonder just how different the iPhone XS and the iPhone X really are. Thankfully, teardowns exist.

iFixit literally takes us inside the iPhone XS, and thus we gain an understanding for what Apple did to make this the most advanced iPhone ever created. Is it all much ado about nothing? Did Apple push boundaries for the iPhone XS as it claims? We need answers, and iFixit has them.

The layout between the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS doesn’t have many differences. It’s the components, however, that are swapped from last year to this year.

You already know about the new A12 Bionic chip as well as enhanced cameras and sensors, but Apple also altered the antenna. Now your iPhone might latch onto blazing-fast networks designed for the future. No, it’s not 5G-enabled but still faster than what previous iPhone models could get. Apple also added an extra antenna band that could achieve gigabit LTE.

As for the cameras, the wide-angle lens’ sensor size has grown. Its pixel size, too, has been raised. Together, these things should enable Apple’s Smart HDR feature. Because of the new technologies improving the dual-camera setup, Apple did indeed make the hump slightly larger.

Here are iFixit‘s key takeaways:

– Critical display and battery repairs remain a priority in the iPhone’s design
– A broken display can be replaced without removing the biometric Face ID hardware
– Liberal use of screws is preferable to glue–but you’ll have to bring your Apple-specific dribers (Pentalobe and tri-point) in addition to a standard Phillips
– Waterproofing measures complicate some repairs, but make difficult water damage repairs less likely
– Glass on front and back doubles the likelihood of drop damage–and if the back glass breaks, you’ll be removing every component and replacing the entire chassis

Overall, the iPhone XS earned a 6/10 for its Repairability Score. iFixit says the higher the score, the easier to repair. So the iPhone XS isn’t necessarily too difficult to repair if some accidental damage occurs. Just make sure you have the right equipment or visit a licensed professional.

iFixit

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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