What's inside the Apple iPhone 6S?Bill Detwiler cracks open the iPhone 6S to explore the hardware inside and look at the technology behind Apple's Taptic Engine and 3D Touch display.
The iPhone 6s may look identical to last year's iPhone 6, but it's not the same phone. As with previous s models, Apple put most of the changes on the inside, and you know what that means. I'm Bill Detwiler, and this is Cracking Open. [MUSIC] Hold an iPhone 6 next to an iPhone 6S and you'd be hard pressed to tell the two apart. Like the previous model, the 6S measures 5.4 inches tall and 2.64 inches wide It's a few millimeters thicker and about half an ounce heavier but I doubt most people will notice these differences. The 6 and 6s both have 84.7 inch retina HD display but the newer phone features Apple's 3 D Touch technology which can detect how much pressure you apply to the screen. And perhaps this is why Apple covered the 6s's display with a new kind of chemically strengthened glass. In addition to using stronger glass, Apple also used a different aluminum on the 6s. Instead of using a series 6000 alloy as they did on the iPhone 6, Apple built the 6s's body out of a more rigid series 7,000 aluminum alloy. So hopefully we won't see any bendgate stories about the 6s. Now that we've looked at the phones outside, it's time to break out our tools and take a look at the inside. To crack open the iPhone 6s I remove the two pentalobe screws located along the bottom edge and then use our handy opening tool to pop loose the display. Now with the front panel open the first thing we're going to do is remove several metal plates which cover connectors for the battery, front panel and other components. We'll then disconnect the battery and remove the front panel. Now the overall hardware layout is the same as on the iPhone 6. There's a speaker and lightning connector assembly at the bottom. Battery along the left side, motherboard along the right and the camera assembly at the top. One change we can see however is Apple's new tactic engine. Sitting below the battery it replaces the older phones vibration mechanism and is slightly larger which means the speaker next to it needed to be just a bit smaller. Also smaller at least in terms of capacity is the 6S's battery which is rated at 1,715 milliamp hours. Compared to the 6S's 1,810 milli amp hours. Now despite this reduction Apple claims battery life on the 6S will be the same it was on the older phone. Turning our attention to the new front panel assembly we find the new 3D touch display. A 5 megapixel face-time camera is an upgrade over the older phone 1.2 megapixel unit. Sensors and earpiece speaker and the improved home button. While I would usually remove the battery as a part of our teardown, I'm going to leave it in place because I removed the other components. And this will keep me from having to glue it back in later. Now the first component to come out is the new iSight camera, which has been upgraded to 12 megapixels and can now shoot 4K video at 30 frames a second. A small antenna comes out next. And then after removing a few screws, dealing with a new hex head stand off And attaching the remaining connectors, we can lift out the motherboard. How unfortunately, the shields that cover the iPhones six S motherboard are soldered in place, obscuring our view of new A nine processor and motion coprocessor that's built in and most of the other chips As I want to put this phone back together in working order, I'm going to leave the shields in place. The last pieces to come out are the speaker assembly and the taptic engine. Still attached to the case are the headphone and lightening connector assembly, volume buttons, ringer switch, power button, and a slew of connector wires. Now most of these components are held to the case with both screws and adhesive. If any of these components were damaged, removing them and replacing them wouldn't be difficult, but I don't want to risk damaging them during removal. So I'm going to leave them where they are. Except for a small s label on the back of the iPhone 6s, And a newly available rose gold finish. The phone looks identical to last years 6. Looks, however, can be deceiving. Apple packed lots of new tech into the iPhone 6s. And if you're still using a 5 or a 5s, and maybe even a 6, I would definitely think about upgrading. For a complete list of specs, pricing, and real world performance tests check out the full CNET review. To see more tear down photos and read my full hardware analysis go to techrepublic.com/crackingopen. [MUSIC]