iPhone 7 Plus teardown: 3GB of RAM, faux speaker grille, bigger battery & more

By , Sep 16, 2016


Repair wizards over at iFixit flew out to Japan to obtain their iPhone 7 Plus (in Rose Gold), performing their ritual teardown dance which has helped confirm what we’ve been suspecting all along: that a second grille at the bottom doesn’t house a second speaker.

Other interesting observations gleaned from peeking under the hood of the iPhone 7 Plus include a replaceable Home button, a lot bigger Taptic Engine than in the iPhone 6s, a bigger 2,900 mAh battery, dust and water-proofing measures and other tidbits.

The dimensions of the new handsets are unchanged from their predecessor, but the iPhone 7 Plus is slightly lighter at 6.63 ounces (188 grams) versus the iPhone 6s Plus at 6.77 ounces (192 grams).

The iPhone 7 Plus also has a new model number “A1785”.

Looking at the phone with X-ray vision (bottom image) shows that the removed 3.5mm headphone jack has created more space for a bigger Taptic Engine versus the iPhone 6s (image top of post). The Taptic Engine, of course, is Apple’s marketing name for zig-zag springs that shake a weight.


The two microphones at the bottom are firmly adhered to the speaker grilles but that faux speaker port in lieu of the headphone jack is simply there for visual symmetry (the 2x louder earpiece at the top + the bottom speaker = stereo sound). “In place of the headphone jack, we find a component that seems to channel sound from outside the phone into the microphone, or from the Taptic Engine out,” notes iFixit.


Interestingly enough, the display of this year’s iPhone opens to the side like a book versus prior iPhones that flipped up like steno pad. Luckily, there’s no adhesive on the LCD shield plate. You’ll still find the familiar clips at the top of the device that help align the display as in previous models.


In terms of creating the first dust and water-resistance iPhone, Apple has had to change the internal layout, move around cabling and other connectors and use a lot stronger adhesive tape and copious amounts of white gooey adhesives running along the perimeter of the phone and in other places.

The speaker grilles have ingress protection to keep the internals nice and dry, as does the SIM tray, the side buttons and so forth. The Lightning connector assembly “is huge” and features the most substantial gasketing iFixit has seen on a Lightning connector.

“While last year’s models used foam adhesive to keep out water and dust, this one features a full-on rubber gasket, capable of holding back a 50 meter column of water.”


As for the iPhone 7’s non-moving Home button, it’s fully replaceable and works in conjunction with the Taptic Engine which interprets the strength of the contact made on the Home button and translates it into spring oscillation, producing a clicking sensation.

“The precisely controlled oscillation of the springs is designed to give many types of tactile feedback, including creating the feeling of pressing a mechanical button.”

Because it’s got no mechanical parts, the Home button should be far less prone to failure and it certainly helps with water resistance.


Apple claims the battery in the iPhone 7 Plus lasts one hour longer than that in the iPhone 6s Plus. iFixit has confirmed that the iPhone 7 Plus’s battery is rated at 3.82 V and 11.1 Wh of energy, for a total of 2,900 mAh. That’s a slight but notable upgrade over the 2,750 mAh (3.8 V, 10.45 Wh) package inside the iPhone 6s Plus, but still a step down from a 2,915 mAh (11.1 Wh) cell found in the iPhone 6 Plus.

“We’re glad to see Apple sticking with the tradition of including pull tabs for the battery adhesive,“ reads the iFixit analysis of the iPhone 7 Plus.


The backside camera system is comprised of a pair of separate 12MP sensors and two lenses, all housed inside the bigger camera bump. One of the lenses is a telephoto lens without optical image stabilization that enables 2x optical zoom, up to 10x sharper-than-usual digital zoom and bokeh effects in a new Portrait shooting mode (coming soon via a software update).


Apple claims a new image sensor found in bot cameras is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient than previous iPhones. Plucking the logic board from the iPhone 7 Plus is much easier than with its predecessor as there’s no need to flip over the logic board to remove the final connections.

The logic board itself contains fewer chips than the previous models, including Apple’s in-house designed A10 Fusion chip with Samsung-built 3 GB of LPDDR4 RAM (the iPhone 7 has 2 GB of RAM), Qualcomm’s MDM9645M LTE Cat. 12 modem (AT&T and T-Mobile swaps Qualcomm model for an Intel), Toshiba-built NAND flash, Murata’s 339S00199 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Module, Apple/Cirrus Logic audio codec and more.


The new iPhones are powered by Apple’s A10 Fusion chip with an embedded M10 motion coprocessor, have a seven-megapixel shooter out the front and a completely new 12-megapixel sensor out the back with optical image stabilization on both models and a second telephoto lens without optical image stabilization in the Plus model.


Wrapping up and signing off, both phones still use the same old TFT LCD IPS Retina screens with resolutions unchanged from the iPhone 6/6s series.

All told, iFixit gave the iPhone 7 Plus a repairability score of 7 out of 10 due to the all-digital Home button eliminating a common point of failure, the battery which is is straightforward to access and improved water and dust protection reducing the need for repairs associated with environmental damage and accidental spills.

Source: iFixIt

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  • Endriu Andrei

    I am the first to comment !

    • Jerry

      And to swallow!

  • malhal

    Every phone since the original has had a mic grill! (except the 6 when it was changed to a hole).

  • TornBodies

    I’d prefer a smaller taptic engine and a 3200 mah battery but thats not gonna happen for another 2-3 years knowing apple

    • Merman123

      ^ perfect example of how you can’t please everyone. SMH -_-

      • TornBodies

        it has nothing to do with pleasing the new taptic engine is cool for geeks like you and me but the vast majority of people that dont even know about how much ram is in the phone the difference in micron pixels etc don’t care & want there phone to last longer

      • user02310

        You will definetely be pleased with a Nokia 3310. It runs for a week..

      • TornBodies

        lol i have 10 of them i made them into a bullproof vest

      • Mister Miss

        what a great phone!! I miss the early 2000s!

  • 9C1

    Dem Geekbench scores doe….

    7 Plus 128gb

    • Golicza Alpár

      It’s faster then my laptops i3 ivy bridge u series. Amazing.

  • Chris Martin Moon

    What I want to know is, Does the iPhone 7 have the new Bluetooth 5?

    • George


  • Chris Martin Moon

    Does the iPhone 7 have Bluetooth 5?

  • Loke

    Soooo they nix the headphone jack and put a speaker grill with no speaker behind it?? Am I the only one that finds this ridiculous? I feel so lucky my buddy has to have the new matt black and is selling me his 6S for $200. Its gonna take a lot for me to upgrade again from there with moves like this. I could care less about how the phone shakes.

  • anonymous

    is just me or ios 10 drains the shit out of my battery when using phone for 2-3 hours lol is that normal ???