iPhone 8 Plus Teardown: Just How Difficult Is That Glass Back Panel?

iPhone 8 Plus Teardown: Just How Difficult Is That Glass Back Panel?

With our iPhone 8 teardown out of the way, we turn our attention to its (larger) brother: The iPhone 8 Plus. As expected, the Plus has roughly the same architecture we found in our iPhone 8 teardown, with just a little more room to stretch your thumbs. For an authentic repair experience, we tried prying out a broken rear panel—nobody will be removing an intact panel. Our results were… not good. Replacing a broken back is going to be a very, very difficult (and expensive) job. But that’s not all we tested! Being the curious cats that we are, we ran a series of compatibility tests across a variety of iPhones. Here’s what we found: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus home buttons are the same Apple part number. An iPhone 7 display assembly will partially work in an iPhone 8 (or 7 Plus in an 8 Plus)—the display works, but the digitizer doesn’t function. Many of the upper components are compatible across generations. Earpiece speakers are cross-compatible 7 to 8 and 7 Plus to 8 Plus. iPhone 8 Plus Teardown Highlights: Replacing the iPhone 8’s back glass is going to cost you a pretty penny, and will probably leave you with some glass shards where you don’t want them. The 8 Plus packs less of a punch (10.28 Wh) than its 7 Plus predecessor, which boasted 11.1 Wh. It’s also a lightweight stacked up against the Galaxy Note8, which sports a 12.71 Wh whopper. Apple’s number one priority for this device—wireless charging—shows all the way down to the battery adhesive. The switch to four tabs from two probably prevents...
Teardown: Apple Says the iPhone 8 Isn’t an iPhone 7s—But Its Internals Say Otherwise

Teardown: Apple Says the iPhone 8 Isn’t an iPhone 7s—But Its Internals Say Otherwise

Every year, Apple releases a new phone like clockwork: tick—a new design, tock—a new feature. Until now. The iPhone 8 skips a tock, and when the clock strikes midnight (iPhone X release), this tick will turn into a pumpkin. Cinderella may have a new glass slipper, but let’s be honest—we like a phone with some personality, and this one is the ugly stepsister. While the rear glass seems to be quite a bit stronger than the glass we saw on the back of the Galaxy S8, we’re really not sure how Apple plans to replace it after the unintended parking lot drop test. Aside from the glass, the iPhone 8 felt a lot more familiar than we expected for a phone that’s supposed to be a generation all in its own. Maybe Apple’s saving their best tricks for the iPhone X? But if a more inventive phone is just around the corner, why do we need this one? iPhone 8 Teardown highlights: Qualcomm MDM9655 Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem: ✓ LTE futureproofing: ✓ The 8 has double the battery pull tabs for double the fun! Apple gave us four shorter adhesive pull strips instead of two full-length ones—we suspect it’s to avoid tugging on that slick, new charging coil. Not everything saw a spec bump this time round—the iPhone 8 battery pumps out an underwhelming 6.96 Wh (1821 mAh at 3.82 V). That’s 7% less than the 7.45 Wh iPhone 7 battery, and a whopping 40% less than the Galaxy S8’s 11.55 Wh battery. That said, Apple claims battery life is comparable to the iPhone 7. Waterproofing and that...
How I Killed a Weekend Fixing Sprinklers, Why I Did It, and 10 Tips I Learned Along the Way

How I Killed a Weekend Fixing Sprinklers, Why I Did It, and 10 Tips I Learned Along the Way

There are some repair projects that you start and you wish you hadn’t. For me, those projects always involve plumbing. Usually, I don’t do any home repair project without at least three visits to the hardware store. But plumbing projects should earn me hardware store frequent flyer miles … and a couple extra bags of the free popcorn. This, by the way, wasn’t my first plumbing rodeo. I’ve done the sink, the toilet, and now—the sprinklers. Sprinklers look so easy—that’s what gets you. PVC is like Tinker Toys and Water Works, all in one. Just cut and glue a few pipes to fix the broken bits. No big deal, right? Wrong. After six sets of soaked clothes and a half-dozen trips to the hardware store, my sprinklers finally work again. Somewhere around replacing the 15th “T”, I thought about ripping up the whole system and starting fresh. No more fighting with 15-year-old pipes. No more digging up knotted roots to find breaks. It was so tempting. PVC is so cheap. But you can’t allow yourself to be beaten by plastic piping. Also, I did some Googling, and looked at how PVC is made. It’s pretty recyclable, but PVC is a petroleum product. Plus, it has chloride right in the name. Neither of these substances make top ten lists for sustainable manufacturing. There aren’t a lot of other environmentally-friendly piping options (at least ones that are within my budget)—so I rolled up my sleeves and fixed the old pipes instead of buying new pipes. I replaced every broken joint and section I could. I retained as much of the original...
Note8 Teardown: Samsung Stays Safe, Streamlined

Note8 Teardown: Samsung Stays Safe, Streamlined

The Galaxy Note7 went out with a bang, but Samsung is back in the ballgame with its newest offering: the Note8. Samsung is differentiating itself in the fragmented Android market by doing some serious streamlining. Gone are the screen-destroying soft button cables we saw in the Note7 and the (by now, ancient) S7. Instead, the Note8 sports an S8-style display and back-panel fingerprint sensor. They’ve moved the furniture around, but now all of Samsung’s houses are using the same floor plan. And what about that infamous battery? Samsung must be confident, because it’s still glued down—and this time it’s located right in the middle of the phone. This Samsung SDI-made Note8 battery dishes out 12.71 Wh (3300 mAh at 3.85 V). That’s 6% less than the Note7’s 13.48 Wh—but hey, better safe than engulfed in flames. Samsung Galaxy Note8 Teardown Highlights: If we were impressed with the number of cameras last time, the new Note ups the ante with four cameras. (Do you think the other phones make fun of it at school?) And speaking of cameras, our X-ray wizard friends at Creative Electron were able to confirm OIS. This magic image reveals a squad of dense, dark shapes—those’d be the magnets—surrounding both main cameras to keep them stable. Neat! Like the previous model, the Note8 is no fun to open. The front screen and back glass are solidly adhered. Once inside, though, most of the components are fairly modular—earning the same 4 out of 10 on our repairability scale as the Note7 and the Note Fan Edition. These are just our teardown highlights. Be sure to check the...
iFixit Canada Store is here!

iFixit Canada Store is here!

O Canada, we heard your cries and now, we’re delivering. Literally. Why is the iFixit Canada store so great? We can ship locally! Now you’ll get your orders faster and with a lot less hassle. No more foreign transaction fees. No more dealing with Customs. Just the iFixit parts and tools you want, at prices more attractive than the prime minister. We’ve been stocking the iFixit Canada Store with all the iFixit essentials, so stop by the store and check it out. We’ll be adding more products every month. For those of you keeping score, iFixit now has online stores in the EU, Canada, and the US! And you never know where we might pop up next, do ya mate? Happy Fixing! Read more here:: iFixit Canada Store is here!...
Teardown: The Essential Phone Is Essentially a Mess

Teardown: The Essential Phone Is Essentially a Mess

The Essential Phone is essentially a hot mess. With its pick-and-choose, randomly layered components, overuse of adhesive, and miserable modularity, it’s like a city with no zoning board. But hey, most manufacturers make the same mistakes in their first flagship. While we wanna go easy on baby’s first phone, we must admit they seemed a little distracted by the outsides, and forgot to strip the insides to the essentials. In the end, the Essential Phone turned out exactly as we thought it would with a rush-to-the-finish-line design that’ll make it difficult to fix when it breaks. Teardown Highlights: Due to nearly invisible seams and copious adhesive, any attempt at repair is likely to inflict as much damage as it fixes. Sadly, we had to pull an Elsa and blast the Essential with icy winds to get inside. Essential puts its mouth where its eye is with an 8 MP front-facing camera cohabitating in a module with the earpiece speaker. The single USB-C port is soldered straight to the motherboard. With no headphone jack, this port is going to get a whole lotta use, accelerating its inevitable wearing out. When the day comes, it’ll take a microsoldering job or full board replacement to get it working again. That soldered charging port, excessive adhesive, and tough opening earned the Essential a 1 out of 10 on our repairability scale. Be sure to check out the full Essential Phone teardown on iFixit.com Read more here:: Teardown: The Essential Phone Is Essentially a Mess...