iPhone 7 Plus Teardown Reveals Larger Battery, Serious Waterproofing And Solid Repairability

Apple iPhone 7 Plus Pry Open

Apple didn't exactly reinvent the smartphone with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but what it did do was implement several noteworthy upgrades, including a more capacious battery and a new water resistant design. And of course there's lots of adhesive, a staple of Apple gadgets, which along with the aforementioned bits are on full display in a teardown that has a twist.

With the iPhone 7 fresh off the assembly line, the folks at iFixIt wasted not a single solitary moment getting their mitts on the larger Plus model and taking it apart. As always, the process began with the removable of Pentalobe screws, a favorite of Apple's since tools to remove them aren't exactly common. That's easy enough these days, though once you get past the screws, note that the adhesive strip sealing the iPhone 7 Plus is "considerably stronger" than the one holding together its predecessor. This is likely to make the device better at resisting water damage and not an added measure to thwart at-home repairs.

Apple iPhone 7 Open

Ready for the twist? The iPhone 7 Plus is completely modular! Just kidding—what's different about the iPhone 7 Plus compared to previous models is that the chassis opens to the side even though it still uses clips at the top to help align the display. There's a bit of slack on the top cable, but you'll need to be mindful of the subtle design change so you don't rip the display cables that run down the side.

Getting to the battery requires removing tri-point screws that hold a cable bracket covering the battery connector and two of the display cables in place. You'll then find a second series of tri-point screws. These aren't real common and iFixIt surmises they're included here "to simply hinder the two most common user repairs: battery and screen replacements."

Once you dig deep enough, you'll be rewarded with three pull tabs that make removing the battery a little easier. The battery pack in the iPhone 7 Plus is rated at 3.82V and 11.1Wh, or 2,900 mAh, up from the 2,750 mAh (3.8V, 10.45Wh) battery unit in the iPhone 6 Plus. That additional capacity gives the iPhone 7 Plus an extra hour of run time.

iPhone 7 Plus Parts

When the dust settled, the iPhone 7 Plus stood tall with a 7 out of 10 Repairability score. It earned kudos for offering straightforward access to the battery, and the solid state home button eliminates a common point of failure. The use of tri-point screws hurt the device's score, while the improved water and dust protection is noted as both a blessing (reduces need for repairs due to environmental damage) and a curse (makes repairs more difficult, particularly with all the adhesive).