Apple Watch Series 4 Teardown Reveals Larger Battery, Jam-Packed Tech Goodies
The folks at iFixit have put the Apple Watch Series 4 under the knife -- in this case, the larger 44mm version. While the Series 4 looks similar to the outgoing Series 3, it features a larger display with much smaller bezels resulting in over 30 percent more screen real estate. There's also a 64-bit, dual-core S4 processor inside the machine, which is up to twice as fast compared to the previous S3.
After heating up the display, a knife was used to pry off the display (which now measures 977mm2 versus 740mm2 for the old 42mm Series 3. Removing the display gives easy access to both the Taptic Engine and the battery. The tiny battery has 1.12 WHr of capacity, giving it about 4 percent greater capacity than the Series 3 (1.07 WHr).
Despite efficiencies with the new S4 chip and the slightly larger battery, runtimes remain exactly the same as the Series 3, which was largely the same as the Series 2: 18 hours. While Apple seems content in holding the line on Apple Watch battery life, Samsung is heavily touting the 4-day battery life on its competing Galaxy Watch (we saw 5 days our own testing). iFixit seems to reckon that Apple if could manage to shrink down the massive Taptic Engine, it could squeeze in a larger battery.
Other items of note include the S4 chip being secured with screws instead of being glued into place like its predecessors, a more streamlined antenna system, and a repositioned speaker that has been made larger and is 50 percent louder.
In the end, accessing the components within the Apple Watch Series 4 is relatively straightforward, and the device earned a respectable 6 out of 10 score for repairability.