You’ve probably heard by now that Samsung’s Note7 has been recalled because it has a startling propensity to burst into flames. The Korean company quickly started exchanging the recalled phones for “safe” phones. Except the replacement phones started exploding, too. Yesterday, the electronics giant told owners of both recalled and replacement units to power off their phones and stop using them. Check out our CEO Kyle Wiens’s editorial on the fiasco on Wired.
Good news for chronic phone fumblers: Apple’s newest iPhones are water resistant. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have an IP67 rating, which means they theoretically should survive at one meter underwater for up to half an hour. That’s good—because (as we often hear from community members) phones tumble into toilets water all the time. So, in the name of durability testing, we decided to test the limits of the iPhone 7’s water resistance. Time for an experiment.
Hot (pun intended) on the heels of the iPhone Touch Disease, Apple rival Samsung is experiencing a press blowup of their own. In case you hadn’t heard, at least 35 Samsung Galaxy Note7 batteries have spontaneously combusted. The most likely culprit is a bad batch of batteries that would only affect a small portion of the Note7 population, but Samsung has reacted with a global recall. Samsung’s willingness to recall rather than sweep the issue under the rug is refreshing—especially as counterpoint to Apple’s still unaddressed Touch Disease design flaw.
Microsolderer Jessa Jones can fix practically anything. But these days, she spends most of her time fixing just one thing. Because every single month, more and more iPhone 6 and (especially) 6 Plus devices show up at her shop with the same problem: a gray, flickering bar at the top of the display and an unresponsive touchscreen. And she’s not the only one. Repair pros all over the country are noticing the same trend. Here’s what we think is killing all those iPhones.
Samsung just launched their latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note7—skipping a generation to align the name with the rest of the Galaxy series. Rumor has it the Note7 is packed with cooler, newer features than its galactic cousins. And from the looks of the hardware, Samsung has been taking some impressive notes on smartphone trends.
As a teardown engineer at iFixit, it’s my job to be prepared for whatever Apple’s cooking up in Cupertino. So I’ve kept an eye on all those headphone jack rumors. Of course, we’ll know for sure if the headphone jack is gone when we get our hands on the iPhone 7 this fall. But for right now, everybody has an opinion. So here’s mine: Removing the headphone jack and consolidating its function into the Lightning port will lead to more broken Lightning ports.
This week, we got a little treat from HP—a tablet that they actually want you to fix yourself. HP is billing the Elite x2 1012 G1 as a tablet designed for serviceability—complete with online repair documentation and readily available parts. Naturally, our interest was piqued. So, we did a quick teardown in the name of repairability. Spoiler alert: we were impressed.
Last week, we told you about how we found Apple’s nasty tamper-resistant screw—better known as the pentalobe—somewhere we never expected: on the Huawei P9. Before the P9, we’d never seen a pentalobe outside of Apple’s ecosystem. But, apparently, when it rains pentalobes, it pours pentalobes. Because we’ve just had another reported pentalobe sighting in the wild—this time on the new Meizu Pro 6.
We tinker with computers for a living—which means, we’ve seen more circuit boards and electronics kits than you can shake a spudger at. But we’ve never seen a printed circuit board quite like this before. Delightfully old school by design, Circuit Classics was engineered by Star Simpson and inspired by the work of tinkering legend and author Forrest M. Mims, III. Circuit Classics brings Mims’ beginning electronics projects off the page and into a real-life electronics kit.