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iPhone 7 Plus teardown explains headphone jack, RAM, battery capacity and waterproofing

Published Sep 16th, 2016 7:45AM EDT
iPhone 7 Plus iFixit Teardown
Image: Apple Inc.

It’s iPhone 7 day today, which means that hordes of consumers are taking by storm Apple stores around the world, while millions of buyers who preordered the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus wait for it to be delivered to their doors. The folks at iFixit, known for their incredibly detailed teardowns, traveled to Japan to be among the first people to buy Apple’s new toys — the Apple Watch 2 also launches in stores today. As expected, they already have an iPhone 7 Plus teardown in the works, which reveals various details about Apple’s new phablet.

DON’T MISS: 10 best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus cases we’ve found so far

The headphone jack

We looked at a crude teardown a few days ago, and we concluded that the new Taptic Engine is using some of the space that’s freed by the headphone jack. This particular detail, combined with the fact that the Taptic Engine sits right under the battery, explains why there aren’t two speakers at the bottom. There would not be any room for a secondary one.

iphone-7-plus-ifixit-teardown-headphone-jackImage source: iFixit

“For starters, we can see that the headphone jack got kicked out to make space for more Taptic Engine,” iFixit writes. That second lower speaker grille leads to nowhere. Instead, there’s a component “that seems to channel sound from outside the phone into the microphone… or from the Taptic Engine out.”

How much RAM?

We answered this question a few days ago, as soon as the first Geekbench benchmarks for the iPhone 7 Plus hit the web. The iPhone 7 Plus is going to be the first iPhone to have 3GB of RAM under the hood. iFixit confirms it, adding that we’re looking at speed 3GB LPDDR4 RAM made by Samsung (the A10 Fusion chip and Samsung RAM are in red below).

iphone-7-plus-ifixit-teardown-a10-fusion-chip-3gb-samsung-ramImage source: iFixit

How big is the battery?

What’s amazing about the battery is that it’s almost the same size as the iPhone 6’s battery, but bigger than the battery on the iPhone 6s Plus. “The battery is rated at 3.82 V and 11.1 Wh of energy, for a total of 2900 mAh, a slight upgrade over the 2750 mAh (3.8 V, 10.45 Wh) of the 6s Plus, but still a step down from 11.1 Wh, 2915 mAh cell found in the 6 Plus,” iFixit notes.

Is the removal of the headphone jack responsible for the battery increase?

Show me the dual camera

iFixit also looked at the dual-lens camera assembly on the back of the phone, noting that just the 12-megapixel wide-angle camera has optical image stabilization (OIS). As explained in camera reviews, the telephoto lens doesn’t have OIS.

iphone-7-plus-ifixit-teardown-dual-lens-camera-oisImage source: iFixit

Let’s not call it waterproof yet

The iPhone 7 isn’t exactly waterproof. It’s water and dust resistant. To achieve that, Apple used several tricks, including an adhesive strip that’s “considerably stronger” holding the screen in place.

The bigger camera bump that’s built into the chassis is “another suspected waterproofing/dust-fighting tactic.”

Furthermore, the SIM tray has a rubber gasket supposed to keep water away, and the SIM eject plug also has a rubber gasket.

iphone-7-plus-ifixit-teardown-sim-tray-waterproofImage source: iFixit

Similarly, the mute switch has a gasket of its own, and the volume and power buttons are “nested snugly in the case, defying conventional removal, likely more waterproofing.”

Oh, and that component that replaces the headphone jack? It also packs waterproofing features.

The waterproofing features of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will keep water away, but may make repairs more difficult. These tiny gaskets and the glue need to be in their proper place.

The full iFixit teardown, complete with even more imagery is available at this link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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