The iPad Air 2 contains a fitting 2 GB of RAM, and has received a fitting 2 out of 10 repairability score—the same as last year’s Air. Yes, the Air 2’s fused glass/LCD should keep the broken glass shards more intact if the iPad takes a tumble. But it comes at a price, literally: Repairers now have to replace the entire display, hiking up the cost of repair. The Air 2 also has a slightly smaller battery and speakers than the Air 1, and a (physically) smaller rear camera than the iPhone 6 Plus.
Sometimes we just don’t understand what goes on in hardware designers’ heads. Apple took one of their most-fixable, most-upgradable products and broke it. Apple decided to throw us a repair curveball by preventing access to internals via T6 Torx Security screws. The second detriment is the now-soldered-on RAM. So whatever RAM your Mini came with, that’s the amount it’ll take to its grave. The 2014 Mini lost two repairability points, getting a 6 out of 10 on our scale.
Double the iPhone, double the teardown! With the iPhone 6 Plus laid out for inspection, we turn our attention to the smaller iPhone 6—though at 4.7″, it’s still a giant among iPhones. What was so big that Apple couldn’t fit it into the familiar form factor? Let’s shake it out onto the teardown table and find out!
Over the years, we’ve seen the iPhone evolve—and grow. It began as just the iPhone. Soon it learned how to 3G, it gained an S (it would lose and gain this every other year), and it even learned to read fingerprints. Years of hard work and dedication have made the iPhone into what it is today, the iPhone 6 Plus. Join us live as we explore this gargantuan iPhone 6 Plus to see just how repairable it is.
Dumpster diving confirmed. It looks like Ars Technica nailed it — the Moto 360 features a four-year-old TI OMAP3630. That’s the same processor we found in the Motorola Droid 2 four years ago, as well the big cheese that powered their MOTOACTV smartwatch back in 2011. Oh, and we also found a battery that fell a little short of its advertised spec. Even though Ars didn’t take the watch apart, they were spot-on with their “ugly on the inside” assessment.
When a device like the Oculus Rift DK2 comes through our doors, the folks at iFixit dance around like giddy schoolgirls and schoolboys. We literally have to fight them—sometimes to the death—to keep their grubby hands off it long enough to complete the teardown. The DK2’s excellent 9 out of 10 repairability score meant we didn’t break the device and incite a riot. But truly, we’re more excited about all the fun stuff we found inside, including the 40 infrared LEDs.
It’s like the Galaxy S5, but mini. Quick subtraction shows that the Galaxy S5 Mini shaved off 10.9 mm in height and 7.2 mm in width, but added 1.2 mm in thickness when compared to its larger brother. The Mini wasn’t just scaled down on the outside; the screen resolution, processor, RAM, and battery capacity all take a hit. But the question remains: does this minor change in size make a major difference in repairability?
We had high hopes that Amazon built a solid, repairable Fire Phone. It began with a similar opening procedure to the current crop of iPhones, but with welcome Torx T3 screws instead of Pentalobes. However, all of the fancy tech we found inside made for a veritable mess of cables, connectors, and glue. The tech-laden phone ended up scoring a less-than-stellar 3 out of 10 on our repairability scale, with the only real positive being the opening procedure.
Today we had the newiest of the new Android Wear smartwatches grace our teardown table—the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch! Interestingly enough, both watches took a page out of the Samsung Gear 2’s book with regard to external and internal design. We’re not saying that LG cloned Samsung’s creation, but there are marked similarities between the two. Yet despite the similarities, we found a few important tidbits supporting a higher repairability score for the LG G Watch
On the teardown table today is the $350, top-of-the line, 64 GB One-chilada. The OnePlus One scored a mid-pack 5 out of 10 on repairability. There’s definitely some finagling that has to occur in order to get the repair must-haves—the battery and the display—out of the phone. Thankfully the battery isn’t terribly difficult to remove (although harder than necessary), and if the display glass ever meets its concrete-laden demise, the repair is still not insurmountable.
Hey, so guess what? We took apart the new-for-2014, $100-cheaper MacBook Airs, and found almost nothing new inside. Our spudgers get misty anytime a new device ends up on the teardown table, but this Air iteration was too uninteresting to warrant a full-blown (or even a half-blown) teardown. The sole change between last year’s and this year’s models: the 100MHz-faster processors—lovely Haswell units labeled SRT16T. We wrote a full set of repair guides for both new models anyway.