Cracking Open the iPhone 5S
Cracking Open the iPhone 5S
3:52

Cracking Open the iPhone 5S

Culture
The iPhone 5S has several important hardware upgrades, but Apple didn't change the phone's overall design, and although it isn't the easiest phone to repair, with the right tools and a little patience it is possible. I'm Bill Detwiler and this is Cracking Open. If it wasn't for the redesigned fingerprint scanning home button and larger flash, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the iPhone 5 and the new 5S, unless of course you got one with the new gold finish or the Goldfinger edition as I decided to call it. And like the iPhone 5, cracking open the phone begins by using a special pentalobe screwdriver to remove the screws along the bottom edge. Then using a suction cup lift up on the front panel and display assembly from the bottom. Now you may also need to use a few thin tools to pop loose the panel. I did. Also be extremely careful when removing the panel not to damage the thin ribbon cable that connects the home button to the lower connector assembly. You'll need to disconnect it before detaching the connectors located along the top edge and finally removing the panel. The overall hardware layout is the same as on the iPhone 5. There's a speaker and docking connector assembly at the bottom. Battery along the left side, motherboard along the right, and the rear camera and flash at the top. Now attached to the front panel are the display, the front camera and sensors, earpiece speaker, and the home button. Now despite the new home button being able to scan finger and toe prints, if that's really necessary, it can still be removed and replaced. While I would usually begin our tear-down by removing the battery, I'm going to do something a little different this time. As it's glued to the frame, I'm going to leave it in place as I remove the other components. The first component to come out is the new rear-facing camera which has a new 5-element lens, larger pixels, larger sensor, and an f2.2 aperture. After removing a few screws and standoffs and detaching the remaining connectors, we can lift out the motherboard. Now unfortunately the EMI/RFI shields that cover the iPhone 5S' motherboard are sauntered in place obscuring our view of the new A7 processor and the M7 motion-tracking chip. As I want to put this phone back together in working order, I'm going to leave the shields in place. The last component to come out is the speaker assembly. Turning our attention back to the case we find the battery along the side, the vibration motor at the top, the headphone and lightning connector assembly at the bottom, front panel clips along the sides and connector wires just running all over the place. 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 that difficult, but I don't want to risk damaging them during removal so I'm going to leave them alone. With its new 64-bit processor, improved camera, and fingerprint reading home button, the iPhone 5S is a solid upgrade to the line, and I'm glad Apple didn't make the phone any more difficult to crack open than its predecessor. I only wished they would settle on at least one-size screw inside and stop gluing everything in place. Those 2 simple changes would make repairs much easier. Now for a complete list of specs, pricing, and real-world performance 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. I'm Bill Detwiler. Thanks for watching.

Up Next

Xbox Series S teardown live at CES 2021
xbox-teardown-thumb

Up Next

Xbox Series S teardown live at CES 2021

PS5 Teardown reaction - Everything we learned
detweillerreact

PS5 Teardown reaction - Everything we learned

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus teardown: What's inside?
cracking-eopen-s10plus-2

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus teardown: What's inside?

What's inside Tile Bluetooth trackers
tile-5

What's inside Tile Bluetooth trackers

Dissecting the Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo Show 2
cracking-open-3

Dissecting the Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo Show 2

What's inside the all-weather Nest Hello video doorbell?
nest2

What's inside the all-weather Nest Hello video doorbell?

We cracked open the Galaxy Note 9
galaxy-note-9-10

We cracked open the Galaxy Note 9

Cracking open the Amazon Fire TV Cube
fire-tv-cube-30

Cracking open the Amazon Fire TV Cube

Cracking Open a phone after 2 months in the ocean
cracking-open-submerged-phone-20

Cracking Open a phone after 2 months in the ocean

10 years of Cracking Open the Apple iPhone
crackopenstilliphone

10 years of Cracking Open the Apple iPhone

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

What to Expect at Apple's May 7 iPad Event
240423-yt-apple-ipad-ipad-pro-pencil-v02

What to Expect at Apple's May 7 iPad Event

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?
240419-site-does-having-an-apple-watch-make-me-use-my-iphone-less-4

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones
240417-site-google-pixel-lab-exclusive-1

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus
240419-wtf-atlas-vs-optimus-v04

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus

What is the Fediverse?
240418-fediverse-winged

What is the Fediverse?

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission
240418-site-omt-the-core-problem-of-apples-green-goals-v1.jpg

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro