iFixit Apple Watch Series 6 Teardown Finds Larger Battery and Bigger Taptic Engine in Thinner Casing

iFixit today did one of its traditional teardowns on the new Apple Watch Series 6 with GPS and LTE, which became available for purchase last Friday. While the new Series 6 models look quite similar to the Series 5 models externally, it turns out there are quite a few internal tweaks and modifications to support new features like Blood Oxygen Monitoring.

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The new Apple Watch models open up like a book much like the iPhone rather than from the top down like prior Apple Watch models. Since Force Touch has been removed, there is no Force Touch gasket component, which makes it easier to tear into the new Apple Watch models. iFixit also found fewer cables for a more streamlined design that offers easier repairs.

Apple is using a 1.17Wh battery in the 44mm Apple Watch Series 6, which is just a slight increase (3.5 percent) over the battery used in the prior-generation Apple Watch Series 5. That should come as no surprise as the Series 6 continues to offer the same 18-hour "all-day" battery life as prior models. The 40mm model, which iFixit also took a look at, has a 1.024Wh capacity, an 8.5 percent increase over the 40mm Series 5.

There's a larger Taptic Engine in the Apple Watch Series 6, and the frame has been slightly modified with a narrower lip for adhesive. This tweak, along with the removal of Force Touch, may be why this years's models are just a bit thinner (10.4mm vs 10.74mm).

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The display is fused to the top of the casing and the sensor array, updated with new sensors for Blood Oxygen monitoring, is fused to the bottom.

All in all, iFixit was impressed with Apple's ability to pack new sensors, a larger capacity battery, and a bigger Taptic Engine into a thinner casing.

They just keep polishing this thing to a higher and higher gloss and it's almost sneaky how much of it they don't tell you about, keeping all the focus on the whiz-bang health features.

The 2020 Apple Watch Series 6 ultimately earned a repairability score of 6 out of 10 thanks to the easier screen replacements and battery replacements, but there are still tiny tri-point screws to manage and the flex cables mounted directly to the S6 package require skilled microsoldering if an accidental tear occurs.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

JM Avatar
48 months ago
Can we all take a moment to marvel at this piece of tech. That is gorgeous.



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Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
marklemac Avatar
48 months ago
Does the bigger Taptic Engine, mean a more prominent tap ? I find I don't always feel my watch tapping me.....
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
48 months ago
Still no user replaceable RAM is a deal breaker.. Oh wait!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
48 months ago

18 hour battery life still feels really lame, even if that quoted life is on the pessimistic side.
Charge the battery for 30 minutes during the day, and you got another 4 - 6 hours (or so). The series 6 charges faster.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
48 months ago

18 hour battery life still feels really lame, even if that quoted life is on the pessimistic side.
It’s starting to the point where I think 18 hours should be improved. Apple increasing the size of the Lithium battery isn’t the answer. What we need the migration away from OLED, and transition to micro LED, which will greatly reduce power consumption, thus providing extended battery life. The S7 should offer some physical changes and possibly a micro LED if Apple has the appropriate suppliers aligned. Apple is stretching the 18 hour battery life as far as it will go, since it’s been offered for six years without any type of higher rating, They‘ve proven they’ve been overly conservative with the battery life without making any real improvements, which I suspect those changes are coming in 2021.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
48 months ago

0.34mm is actually a big deal on a device this small.
For context, it's almost the same thickness difference between the iPhone XS and 11 Pro which I found very noticeable for someone that uses their iPhone without a case.
It's not really that big of a deal at all. For real tangible context, a credit card is ~0.76mm thick. 0.34mm is less than half the thickness of a credit card. I'd hardly call that very noticeable.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)