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TEARDOWN AN… Apple Watch Series 2

October 2016


TEARDOWN AN… Apple Watch Series 2

The Apple Watch Series 2 looks all but identical to the newly rechristened “Series 1”- but is it the same on the inside? With added features such as built-in GPS, waterproofing, and a variety of new bands and cases, Apple’s new wearable was destined for the teardown table. It’s time to see if this “ultimate device for a healthy life” has what it takes to go the distance in terms of reparability.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 1
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 1
With the release of the Apple Watch Series 2, the original  Apple Watch has been replaced with the “Series 1”—a new model with a snappy dual-core processor. Both series offer the same set of interchangeable bands for customisation.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 2
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 2
We notice that the adhesive is much stronger than what we found in the 2015 model. We assume this change is for the purpose of added water resistance. A knife, a pick, and a spoon full of gumption later and we’re in!

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 3
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 3
Once inside, we find a set of ZIF connectors in place of the awkward press connectors of yesteryear. Great news for repair: easily opened and secured connectors increase the likelihood of a successful fix.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 4
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 4
We start digging for the battery. Just like the battery bracket in the iPhone 7 Plus, this piece is held in by a less-than-friendly tri-point screw. Thankfully, our 64 Bit Driver Kit is up to the task!

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 5
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 5
The underside of the battery reveals enough adhesive to hold an iPad screen in place. We pick and prod, peel and pull the adhesive off the little power pack—with enough coaxing, it will come clean and reveal its secrets.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 6
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 6
We get a closer look at the battery. This cell is rated at 3.77 V and 273 mAh to yield a whopping 1.03 Whr of power. This battery offers a 32% increase in power over the previous generation—most likely to compensate for the addition of GPS capability.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 7
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 7
Taking a plastic opening tool to the rim of the watch reveals a Force Touch sensor and gasket similar to the one found in the original model. The Series 2 uses Force Touch to sense downward pressure on the screen.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 8
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 8
Next on our disassembly line is the noticeably larger Taptic Engine. It creates motion in a straight line, which in turn provides haptic feedback.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 9
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 9
We inspect the antenna module found tucked away at the top of the watch. We suspect that its more complicated look is due to the addition of a GPS antenna. Only one step away from being an independent instrument of Pokemon Go...

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 10
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 10
Hiding out on the outer rim, we find a complex cable assembly—home to the microphone and speaker.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 11
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 11
Unlike the original Apple Watch’s speaker—which would simply flood when underwater—this module is designed to fill with water, then vibrate to pump excess water from the body of the speaker.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 12
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 12
There’s one last piece barring us from reaching the belly of the beast: this ribbon cable assembly, where the Home Button and Digital Crown encoder reside. We make use of our Apple Watch Opening Pick to lift the System in Package (SiP) out of the rear enclosure.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 13
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 13
And we finally reach the much awaited Apple S2 SiP. On top of it, we spot a Bosch Sensortec BMP280 Barometric Pressure Sensor, and likely an iteration of the STMicroelectronics C451 gyroscope + accelerometer found in the original Apple Watch.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 14
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 14
All that’s left between us and complete teardown glory is the sensor array, housed in the watch’s back cover. The four-sensor array includes infrared sensors, visible- light LEDS, and photosensors to track your heart rate throughout the day.

Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 15 - finish
Teardown an… Apple Watch Series 2: STEP 15 - finish
And that’s a wrap! With our Apple Watch torn asunder on the teardown table we step back to pick up the pieces - and hope it’s still waterproof when we put it all back together.

Source: Europa Star TIME.BUSINESS/TIME.KEEPER Dec. 2016 - Jan. 2017

Interested to a teardown of the Swatch sistem51? Read Europa Star 2014 feature: SWATCH GROUP - Stripping down the SISTEM51