Apple Watch Series 7 teardown reveals big screen changes, minor battery upgrade

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited October 21
Repair specialist iFixit performed its customary teardown of Apple Watch Series 7 this week, revealing unannounced component specifications and highlighting tentpole features like the wearable's larger screen.

Apple Watch Series 7 Teardown


The all-in-one teardown includes both 41mm and 45mm Apple Watch Series 7 variants, exposing component details that have gone unreported by Apple. To offer a more in-depth look at the new wearable, and to compare it against past models, iFixit enlisted the help of three former Apple Watch engineers who work at production defect analysis firm Instrumental.

Looking at power delivery, the 45mm model comes with a 1.189 watt hour battery that is 1.6% more capacious than the 1.17Wh part used in 2020's 44mm Apple Watch Series 6. The 41mm version sports a 1.094Wh battery, a 6.8% increase in capacity over the 1.024Wh cell that powered last year's 40mm Watch.

Though the batteries are physically larger and more energy dense, the changes are unlikely to translate into a substantial increase in operating life in part due to Series 7's larger and brighter displays, iFixit says. The firm also found that Apple adopted a metal pouch battery design for the 41mm model.

Apple Watch Series 7 Teardown Battery Comparison


As expected, Series 7's larger display represents this year's most significant upgrade. Apple appears to be utilizing on-cell touch panels that integrate touch sensor and OLED layers to reduce thickness and manufacturing complexity. In addition to space savings, the technology enables Apple to use a single flex cable for touch and display data duties, a change from the two-cable layout of past Watch designs.

According to the report, the new display design most likely led to production delays. Rumors leading up to Apple's announcement of Series 7 in September suggested that manufacturing partners faced significant issues with the screen, problems that pushed back mass manufacture to mid-September.

Apple Watch Series 7 Teardown Display Comparison


The teardown confirmed the removal of Apple Watch's diagnostic port, which was replaced by a 60.5GHz wireless module that interfaces with a specially designed dock. Transitioning to a wireless solution not only affords more internal space, but also removes a potential ingress point for water and dust. That wireless capability is marked as one of few upgrades to see inclusion in the new S7 system-on-chip, silicon that is largely identical to last year's S6.





Other minor updates include a new speaker grille and a reduction in component brackets.

Overall, iFixit assigned Apple Watch Series 7 a repairability score of six out of ten, citing a modular construction and fairly easy access to the device's screen and battery.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    dk49dk49 Posts: 185member
    Why is the size of the Taptic engine still so big after 7 iterations? The iPhone's Taptic engine is much smaller now. It occupies so much space in the watch which could have been used for bigger battery, something that the watch really needs.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,727member
    VERY interesting! 
    All the focus has been on the lack of CPU upgrades.  Yet, there have been quiet but massive changes & improvements in the other internal parts.  Two things stand out for me:
    1)   They gave it a bigger battery -- but not in response to the clamor of demands for longer battery life but to double down on the main drain on that battery -- which is a GREAT display!
    ...  I guess that answers the question of whether Apple will try to compete with others based on battery life.

    2)  The removal of the diagnostic port does two things:   AppleWatches have never been able to be diagnosed at an Apple Store.  They always had to be sent out for any diagnostic work.  But, with the new techniques, I wonder if that ability could be disseminated out to Apple Stores?

    And too:  I have always wondered if that port could repurposed to act as connector for functional watch bands. 
    I think I got my answer to that too -- NO!

    Apple's vision for the watch has, so far, been impeccable and there's no reason to think that anything has changed there (although a qualifier might be that there have been changes in the leadership).  So, it will be interesting to see where these changes lead in future iterations of the watch.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    dk49 said:
    Why is the size of the Taptic engine still so big after 7 iterations? The iPhone's Taptic engine is much smaller now. It occupies so much space in the watch which could have been used for bigger battery, something that the watch really needs.
    Naggy watch got to nag. You need a huge Taptic plunger to really feel it when Apple tugs on your arm to remind you to stand.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    dk49dk49 Posts: 185member
    dk49 said:
    Why is the size of the Taptic engine still so big after 7 iterations? The iPhone's Taptic engine is much smaller now. It occupies so much space in the watch which could have been used for bigger battery, something that the watch really needs.
    Naggy watch got to nag. You need a huge Taptic plunger to really feel it when Apple tugs on your arm to remind you to stand.
    Yeah but I believe that the ratio of Taptic engine/body size for the iPhone and the watch should be similar to produce a similar strength of tap. So by that logic, the Taptic engine on the watch is too big for its size.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    dk49 said:
    dk49 said:
    Why is the size of the Taptic engine still so big after 7 iterations? The iPhone's Taptic engine is much smaller now. It occupies so much space in the watch which could have been used for bigger battery, something that the watch really needs.
    Naggy watch got to nag. You need a huge Taptic plunger to really feel it when Apple tugs on your arm to remind you to stand.
    Yeah but I believe that the ratio of Taptic engine/body size for the iPhone and the watch should be similar to produce a similar strength of tap. So by that logic, the Taptic engine on the watch is too big for its size.
    You should try a SS or Titanium AppleWatch - the Taptic Engine needs to be BIGGER.  I moved from aluminum -> SS -> titanium.  Taptic feedback on aluminum was AWESOME.  No much at all on the SS.  The titanium seems to be stronger than SS, but no where near aluminum.  
    GeorgeBMac
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