There’s a new iPhone out in the wild, which means there’s a new teardown from iFixit showing everything that’s going on inside Apple’s latest handset.
The popular repair site wrapped up its breakdown of the iPhone 8 on Friday, finding that the 8’s internals, unsurprisingly, look a good deal like those of last year’s iPhone 7. There are some small changes—more adhesive strips surrounding the battery, a slightly redesigned Lightning connector, the use of standard Phillips screws in some spots instead of obtuse tri-point screws—but most of the more immediately apparent changes, like the new Qi wireless charging coil, were announced by Apple when it revealed the new phone earlier this month.
The teardown does confirm a few things that Apple hasn’t publicized, though. For one, iFixit says the iPhone 8’s battery checks in at 1,821mAh and can deliver up to 6.96Wh of power. Technically, that’s a step down from the iPhone 7’s 1,960mAh, 7.45Wh battery, though iPhones are generally known for making the most of lesser capacity. There’s unlikely to be any major drop-off in real-world use—we’ll know more once Ars completes its full review—but the ceiling for battery life may be a bit lower than it could have been. Beyond the battery, the iPhone 8’s insides include 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM, Toshiba NAND flash storage, and Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip.
iFixit says it tore down the “A1863” model of the iPhone 8, which it found to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 LTE modem. That suggests the device could support the faster gigabit LTE speeds that mobile carriers are starting to rollout in the US and that various Android phones now support. But that doesn’t look to be the case here. The fact that Apple is selling two different models for each new iPhone—one with this Qualcomm modem that supports the CDMA network systems used by Sprint and Verizon and one with a modem that doesn’t—suggests that the company has split modem duties between Qualcomm and Intel, just like it did with the iPhone 7.
A Bloomberg report from June said we’d see a situation similar to last year when Apple capped the modem speeds of its Qualcomm model to keep a uniform experience with the slower Intel model. (This didn’t go over well with Qualcomm.) Intel does have a gigabit LTE modem in the works, but Bloomberg said it wouldn’t be ready in time for the iPhone 8’s launch. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Either way, because gigabit LTE is still a ways from widespread availability in the US, any lack of support is unlikely to be a massive burden for most iPhone buyers right now.
All in all, iFixit gives the iPhone 8 a six out of 10 in terms of overall repairability. That’s not the worst score by any means, but it is down a point from the iPhone 7, largely because of Apple’s decision to use a glass back on this year’s device. iFixit says it wound up denting the case of the phone trying to remove the glue-covered material and cautions that replacing a damaged back is “likely to be very difficult.”
Though that doesn’t mean that nobody will be able to remove the iPhone 8’s back cleanly, Apple seems to be banking on the hope that people won’t damage that glass in the first place. The company has advertised the new iPhones as having “the most durable glass ever in a smartphone,” but that isn’t the highest bar to clear.
You can take a look at iFixit’s full teardown here.