Teardown shows new features packed into slimmer Apple Watch Series 6

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Apple Watch Series 6 teardown
An Apple Watch Series 6 teardown gets down to the tiniest screw and clip.
Photo: iFixIt

Apple Watch Series 6 adds a sensor for blood-oxygen levels, but that doesn’t make it thicker. A teardown of this new wearable shows how Apple actually managed to make it a bit slimmer than its predecessors.

Plus, it turns out the device is relatively repairable. More so than an iPhone.

Apple Watch Series 6 teardown

iFixit cracked open this device to see what’s changed internally. And it didn’t take long to explain how Apple managed to slim it down: Force Touch is gone. This feature let users change some settings by pressing firmly on the screen. But Apple nixed it from the new Watch.

That made room for a larger Taptic Engine. And a slightly bigger battery, too. The 44mm version is rated at 1.17 Wh. Its predecessor came with a 1.129 Wh battery. The 40mm version of the new Series 6 bumps up to a 1.024 Wh battery, an 8% increase over last year’s model.

A focus on the pulse oximeter

One of the major changes in Apple Watch Series 6 is visible from the outside. The pulse oximeter shines red, green and infrared lights on the wearer’s skin, and uses the information to see how much oxygen is in their blood.

“As you breathe, your heart and lungs work together to deliver oxygen throughout your body, but oxygen saturation is an indication of how well the system is functioning and of your overall respiratory and cardiac health,” said Dr. Sumbul Ahmad Desai, Apple’s VP of health, during the release event for this wearable.

iFixit gives this device a 6 out of 10 for repairability. “Screen replacements are difficult but possible,” it notes. “Battery replacements are reasonably straightforward.” This is the same score the Apple Watch Series 5 received, and for the same reasons.