Apple Watch Series 7 teardown reveals bigger batteries, new display tech

By

Apple Watch Series 7 teardown
Very familiar but with some big differences.
Photo: iFixit

Apple Watch Series 7 just got its customary teardown by iFixit, revealing some small but significant changes to its internals — including slightly larger batteries — and a somewhat surprising repairability score.

It looks like Apple’s newest wearable now uses more advanced display technology, which could explain why it faced such a lengthy delay.

Apple Watch Series 7 gets pulled apart

Aside from its larger screen, slightly tougher design, and faster charging, Apple Watch Series 7 is almost identical to its predecessor. It uses the same chipset, and many of the same internal components and sensors.

But there are some subtle changes under the hood, iFixit found when it roped in some former Apple engineers to help tear apart the device — including slightly larger batteries in both the 41mm and 45mm models.

The 1.094Wh battery in the smaller model is 6.8% bigger than that in last year’s 40mm device, while the 1.189Wh battery in the 45mm model is 1.6% bigger than that in the previous 44mm model. Both are slightly wider than before.

Apple Watch Series 7 teardown
Apple Watch now packs bigger batteries.
Photo: iFixit

iFixit believes these battery capacity increases were made to accommodate Apple Watch 7’s brighter display, rather than to give us more usage in between top-ups. But at least the new Apple Watch charges faster than before.

A brand-new screen

As earlier reports revealed, Apple Watch Series 7 has lost the hidden diagnostic port that was found on earlier models, which frees up some space inside the device, iFixit discovered. Apple is instead relying on wireless data transfers.

Removing this port may have helped improve dust-resistance, with Apple Watch 7 now IP6X certified. Other steps have also been taken to bolster ingress protection, including a new mesh that sits behind the speaker grille.

But by far the biggest change this year is a brand-new display. Apple Watch 7 features an “on-cell touch” OLED panel — similar to that in iPhone 13 — which was likely a “huge pain to manufacture at scale,” iFixit said.

This could explain why Apple Watch 7 was delayed and launched a lot later than previous refreshes.

A surprising repairability score

iFixit awarded Apple Watch Series 7 a rather surprising repairability score of 6 out of 10. That’s a lot higher than most modern Apple products get, but the same awarded to Apple Watch Series 6 last year.

Once its display is removed, it’s not too difficult to replace a number of Apple Watch components, thanks to its modular construction. iFixit was able to successfully swap out its battery and Taptic Engine without any issues.