Apple Watch (2015)The Apple Watch may not be fine jewelry, but it's definitely a fine piece of tech. Bill Detwiler cracks open the 2015 Apple Watch and shows you the tech inside the case.
The Apple Watch may be beautiful on the outside, but how about on the inside? Let's find out. I'm Bill Detwiler, and this is Cracking Open. [MUSIC] The Apple Watch comes in three different models, two different sizes, and six different finishes. There are more than a dozen different bands. And prices range from $349 all the way up to the ridiculous $17,000 for the gold versions. Our test unit was a 42 millimeter stainless steel model with a black sport band. It measured 42 millimeters high Just under 36 millimeters wide and 10 and a half millimeters thick. It weighs a very light 50 grams. Now, the front panel on this model is made from sapphire crystal, compared to Ion-X glass on the aluminum-bodied sports model. Now, along the right edge, there's a digital crown and side button. On the back are the lenses for the heart rate sensor. Along the edge here we find the speaker and microphone. There are also release buttons for the band and a diagnostic port is hidden behind a small metal panel which is visible only when you remove the band. Now that we've looked at the outside of the Apple Watch, let's get to fun part and crack it open. To get inside the Apple Watch we need to remove the display. So using a microwaveable heating pad or other heat source, we'll warm the panel just enough to loose the adhesive between it and the watch body. Then using a thin tool, we'll gently pry up on the display working our way along the edges. We'll be very careful here not to insert the tool too far And damage the thin cables that connect the display to the watch. Now, to completely separate the display from the watch, we'll need to remove a metal clip that covers the display cable connectors and then detach the cables. We now have our first real look inside the Apple watch. Now right along the top of the watch, next to the digital crown. Is Apple's taptic engine, which provides the haptic feedback you feel on your wrist. Hidden under the display contacts is the speaker, and along the bottom of the watch is a lithium ion battery. Underneath all of these components is the Apple S1 package and the sensors for the heart rate monitor. Once it's disconnected, we can remove the battery, which is held in place with a tiny bit of adhesive. At this point, I'm going to stop our teardown. Unfortunately, many of the remaining components are both very fragile and glued to the watch body. The risk of damaging them during removal is very high, and I want to put this watch back together in working order. And even if I were to remove the side button contact digital crown encoder or the diagnostic port of contacts, we couldn't really see the brains of the watch. The motherboard, Apple's new S1, system in package or SIP, and most of the other ICs are encapsulated in a packaging compound Which we really can't remove. Likewise, sensors for the heart rate monitor are mounted under the S1 package and there's not a way to get to them without destroying the watch. So what does our tear down tell us about Apple's new wearable? Well for starters, it's a very well-made device. Parts are machined well, joints are tied and it just feels very solid. Now second, it's difficult but not impossible to get inside the case and some of the components such as the battery may be removed and replaced. And I suspect before cracked screen can be replaced at the store Now on the flip side like most Apple products these days, the watch wasn't made to be DYI serviceable, and there's really no way to upgrade it. When the new models come out next year, if they do, this one is just going to be out dated. Lastly Apple used a lot of cool tech inside the watch. Thanks to the analysis of companies such as Chipworks, we know that there's a brand new ST Microelectronics six-axis gyroscope in it. There are also at least 30 components mounted to the S1 sip, which measures a mere 26 millimeters by 28 millimeters. And the entire S1 package is encapsulated. Which is also unique. Now, I'm not sure I would consider this watch fine jewelry, but it's definitely a fine piece of tech. For more information on the 2015 Apple Watch and including real world tests, Check out Scott Stein's full cnet review. To see more tear down photos and read my full hardware analysis, go to techrepublic.com\crackingopen. [MUSIC]