Apple Watch Series 6 teardown reveals bigger battery and Taptic Engine, slimmer design

The Apple Watch Series 6 packs several notable changes to its internal design, as detailed in a new teardown from iFixit. The teardown highlights the removal of Force Touch, as well as a slightly larger battery, thinner design, and more.

With the first beta of watchOS 7 back in June, Apple dropped support for the pressure-sensitive Force Touch feature, all but confirming that the hardware for the feature would be removed with the Apple Watch Series 6. Today’s teardown from iFixit points out that the removal of the Force Touch hardware actually simplifies the teardown process:

The procedure is also slightly simplified due to the absence of a Force Touch gasket—a feature now defunct as of watchOS 7. We’re happy to see a fragile, damage-prone part retired, but sad to see the final nail in the coffin for Apple’s nifty pressure-sensitive display technology. We’re torn, but we’ll call this a win.

The battery inside the Apple Watch Series 6 is actually slightly larger than the Series 5, despite Apple claiming the same 18-hour run time. According to the iFixit teardown, the 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 battery is rated at 1.17 Wh, up 3.5% compared to the Series 5. The 40mm Apple Watch Series 6 features an 8.5% larger battery.

It’s notable that the battery is larger this year, yet Apple is still claiming 18 hours of runtime across the board for the Apple Watch Series 6. This could mean that components such as the new S6 processor are more power-hungry, or that the Apple Watch Series 6 might actually offer more impressive battery life than expected.

Other tidbits in the Apple Watch Series 6 teardown:

  • The Taptic Engine in the Series 6 is larger than in the Series 5
  • The Series 6 is slightly thinner at 10.4 mm (down from 10.74 mm for the Series 5)
  • The blood oxygen sensor is nearly impossible to teardown: “Fused display on top, fused sensor array on the bottom. We’re not gonna find anything but broken pieces if we bust this apart.”

The full teardown imagery can be found over at iFixit and it’s well worth a read. It’s impressive that Apple packed a larger battery and a larger Taptic Engine into this year’s Apple Watch Series 6, while also reducing the overall thickness. Was it worth the Force Touch trade-off? Let us know down in the comments.

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