iPhone 6s Plus teardown reveals a 165 mAh battery downgrade versus last year’s iPhone 6 Plus

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After taking apart the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s, repair wizards over at iFixit have now disassembled its bigger brethren, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus (model A1687/A1634) After popping the handset open, the iFixit team immediately discovered a largely unchanged layout from the iPhone 6 and a slightly smaller battery versus last year’s iPhone 6 Plus.

In line with the rumors, the battery inside the iPhone 6s Plus is of a 2,750 mAh variety, representing a modest 165 mAh downgrade versus the iPhone 6 Plus battery rated at 3.82 V and 11.1 Wh of energy, for a total of 2915 mAh.

Despite the downgrade, Apple claims battery life will be comparable to that of the iPhone 6 Plus: 14 hours of 3G talk time, approximately 10 hours of internet use and up to ten days on standby.

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Heavy display assembly

The iPhone 6s Plus weighs in at 192 grams (6.77 ounces), a twenty-gram difference versus last year’s iPhone 6 Plus at 172 grams (6.07 ounces) and a 63-gram difference compared to its smaller brother, the iPhone 6s which weighs 129 grams (4.55 ounces).

As is the case with the iPhone 6s, the increase in iPhone 6s Plus weight is mostly due to a substantially heavier display assembly which now uses an additional layer with 96 sensors that measure force exerted on the screen.

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The display assembly itself on the iPhone 6s Plus weighs in at about 80 grams versus 60 grams on last year’s iPhone 6 Plus model. “This astonishing 33 percent increase in weight is all because of Apple’s new 3D Touch technology,” iFixit notes.

Higher tolerance to water damage

iFixit noted in a separate post that both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are dramatically less prone to liquid damage than their predecessors.

Apple’s achieved higher tolerances to water damage through the use of a 0.3 mm wider lip running along the perimeter of the phone’s frame, making it just wide enough for that little gasket to land on but tight enough to keep water out.

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In addition, logic board cable connectors from the battery and the display, along with the Lightning port and the actual buttons, utilize a tiny silicon seal to prevent water damage.

Other tidbits

Apple’s Taptic Engine in the iPhone 6s Plus is a lot smaller than the one found inside its smaller brother, the iPhone 6s. Specially, the iPhone 6s Plus’s Taptic Engine measures 15mm wide, 8 mm tall and 4.9 mm deep compared to the 35 mm x 6 mm x 3.2 mm one found in the iPhone 6s.

“Our guess as to the reason for the substantially smaller footprint: Apple didn’t want to shave off too much from the already-scaled-down battery,” explains iFixit.

And while the new twelve-megapixel iSight shooters in the new phones are fairly similar, the additional heft of the optical image stabilization hardware in the iPhone 6s Plus camera is “readily apparent.”

iPhone 6s Plus chips

iFixit has identified the following chips inside the 5.5-inch handset:

  • Apple A9 APL1022 SoC + SK Hynix LPDDR4 RAM
  • Qualcomm MDM9635M LTE Cat. 6 Modem
  • TriQuint TQF6405 Power Amplifier Module
  • Skyworks SKY77812 Power Amplifer Module
  • TriQuint TQF6405 Power Amplifier Module
  • Skyworks SKY77812 Power Amplifer Module
  • Avago AFEM-8030 Power Amplifier Module
  • Qualcomm QFE1000 Envelope Tracking IC
  • SK Hynix H230DG8UD1ACS 16 GB NAND Flash
  • Universal Scientific Industrial 339S00043 Wi-Fi Module
  • NXP 66V10 NFC Controller
  • Apple/Dialog 338S00122 Power Management IC
  • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00105 Audio IC
  • Qualcomm PMD9635 Power Management IC
  • Skyworks SKY77357 Power Amplifier Module
  • Murata 240 Front-End Module
  • RF Micro Devices RF5150 Antenna Switch
  • NXP 1610A3
  • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S1285 Audio IC
  • Texas Instruments 65730AOP Power Management IC
  • Qualcomm WTR3925 Radio Frequency Transceiver
  • Skyworks SKY13701 WLAN Front-End Module
  • Texas Instruments TI 57A5KXI

Repair guides

iFixit’s iPhone 6s repair guides are now live, use the following links to read them.

You’ll also need iFixit’s tools for your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus repairs. Replacement parts will be added to the iFixit webstore as soon as they become available.

Recent iFixit teardowns

Fans of iFixit should check out their teardowns of the following Apple gadgets:

iPhone 6s Plus repairability

Repair of this device is similar to previous generations, requiring screwdrivers and prying tools. Both the display assembly and the battery are easy to replace and removing them requires a proprietary Pentalobe screwdriver and knowledge of the adhesive removal technique.

Thankfully, all of the internal screws in the new iPhones are Phillips screws.

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Here’s what’s complicating repairs:

  • The Touch ID cable is still tucked out of the way, but is paired to the logic board.
  • The handset still uses proprietary Pentalobe screws on the exterior, requiring a specialty screwdriver to remove.
  • The Lightning connector assembly (pictured above) now comes with the addition of a second microphone, meaning repairing a single damaged Lightning port or headphone jack requires replacing the entire assembly.

Both new iPhones earned a 7 out of 10 on iFixit’s Repairability scale.

Source: iFixit