Revealed: How Apple managed to squeeze all that tech inside the iPhone X

Apple has managed to fit an incredible amount of kit into its iPhone X, despite it being a similar size to the iPhone 8, and now we know how. 

Thanks to iFixit’s teardown, we can finally see what goes into the £1,000 handset.

 The most obvious design choice is the splitting of the phone’s battery cells. The iPhone X’s battery has been built as a single two-piece L-shape. You may think this is a decision made by Apple in order to extend the phone’s battery life but this isn’t entirely true. While the combined capacity of the split battery is 2,716mAh, slightly more than the iPhone 8 Plus’ 2,691 mAh, it seems to be performing roughly the same as other iPhone batteries, which is a shame. iFixit suggest the L-shaped battery design isn’t about increasing the battery’s capacity, instead it’s about making the most of the space available on the inside.

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The battery isn’t the only thing which looks different in the iPhone X. In fact, Apple has decided to move all of the internal furniture around in a very clever way. The phone’s motherboard has been literally folded in half and soldered together, making it 30% smaller than the size of the iPhone 8 Plus’ motherboard.

With some seemingly ingenious engineering, Apple has achieved something pretty remarkable. As iFixit remarks, the “density of connectors and components is unprecedented,” so much so that even the “Apple Watch has more bare board” than the iPhone X. This has allowed Apple to fit in 35% more components than usual, as well as giving them the room to reinforce the lightning port.

iFixit’s teardown has also given us some insight into to the iPhone X’s new TrueDepth camera which powers Face ID. It works by shooting roughly 30,000 infrared rays at the user to enable the front-facing camera to confirm the presence of a face. The dot projector then creates a 3D map of the user’s face before the infrared sensor reads the face.

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And while the iPhone X’s wirelessly-charged glass back appears to have brought the iPhone up to par with the charging capabilities of other flagship phones, it might be to the iPhone X’s detriment. The glass back is super fragile.

In CNET’s drop test, the iPhone X glass back cracked after one pocket-height drop. The hardest thing to stomach however, is that if you do ever crack it, Apple will charge you £556 to repair it. At which point you might as well buy a new iPhone.

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iFixit suggests that replacing the glass back yourself will be practically impossible. If you don’t want an unsightly cracked back, you will need to replace the whole chassis and reinstall every single component. This is because the camera bump is welded to the glass back and the metal frame. So you can’t take off the glass back unless you cut off the camera bump too. Now with the glass back being so prone to cracking, you’re going to want to protect it. Otherwise you’ll be shelling out a lot of money for just one accidental drop.

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Image: iFixit

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