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Phones

3 things we just learned from the iPhone X teardown

iFixit ripped apart Apple's latest flagship -- and found two batteries inside.

iFixit

The iPhone X is here. We braved the lines. Our verdict? It's the best iPhone ever made -- even if it takes getting used to. 

But until this morning, there were a few intriguing things we didn't know about Apple's new flagship. For instance, how did Apple cram even more tech than the iPhone 8 Plus into a handset the size of a regular iPhone?

Thankfully, our friends at tech repair site iFixit posted their extensive iPhone X teardown this morning, as they do for many a new gadget upon release. Here's what we just learned from Apple's flagship laid bare.

1. The iPhone X has two batteries

You read that right. The iPhone X has *two* batteries, joined at the hip, with a total rated capacity of 2,716mAh (milliamp-hours).

ifixit-iphone-x-dual-battery-two-batteries
iFixit

That's quite a bit bigger than the iPhone 8's battery (roughly 1,822mAh) and offers a bit more capacity than the iPhone 8 Plus (2,691mAh) as well. Mind you, the iPhone X isn't a battery champ in our tests so far -- it's on par with other iPhones -- and some Android handsets have 4,000mAh batteries now or larger.

iFixit believes the new dual-battery design isn't necessarily about capacity, though: it's about making the most efficient use of space.

2. The motherboard is literally stacked

Speaking of using space wisely: Apparently, the reason Apple could cram so many chips into such a tiny space was by literally stacking two circuit boards together. 

ifixit-stacked-iphone-x-motherboard

Check out iFixit's full teardown for more gorgeous guts, including a look inside the Face ID sensor.

iFixit

You can see some pretty sweet X-ray images at iFixit's site, too. Point is, by making all the chips fit into the notch in that L-shaped battery pack, Apple played a pretty mean game of Tetris with this particular iPhone.

3. Breaking the glass could break your wallet

The iPhone X, by itself, costs $999 and up. But as we learned last week, a broken glass back could cost you a staggering $550, £556 or AU$819.

Those aren't typos. Those are literally Apple's fees for any "additional damage that's not limited to the screen." 

(Apple's also charging way more for iPhone X screen repairs, BTW: $279, £286 or AU$419 for the iPhone X, compared to $149, £156 or AU$229 for a normal iPhone or $169, £176 or AU$269 for a Plus-sized model. More than ever, it might make sense to purchase AppleCare+ for $199, £199 or AU$299, which brings the cost of the first two incidents down to $29, £25 or AU$45 for a screen, or $99, £79 or AU$149 for "other damage.")

ifixit-iphone-x-1

Expect to pay big bucks if you break this glass back.

iFixit

And iFixit's teardown brings us some more bad news: replacing the glass back yourself could be nearly impossible.  

According to the repair firm, the iPhone X's camera bump on top of the glass is welded to the metal frame underneath the glass, too. That means you can't remove the glass unless you slice off the bump... and you can't add a new glass back unless you find a way to attach the camera bump, too.

iFixit speculates that you'll need to replace the entire chassis and reinstall every component -- which is probably why Apple charges $550 for that repair. 

There's no getting around it: This is one expensive phone. 

ifixit-iphone-x-tetris-teardown

What's inside your iPhone X.

iFixit

Our iPhone X review: The best iPhone ever... pending a few last tests.

iPhone X or iPhone : Should you upgrade? Our best advice.