It lives in your home. It’s always listening. It’s the Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled smart speaker, and it’s the closest device yet to the computer in Star Trek. The Echo’s auditory assistant, called Alexa, seems more responsive than Siri—and it’s about on par with recent Apple fare on the repair front, too. But the Echo’s tricky construction makes disassembly a tad difficult without a manual, so the Amazon Echo earned itself a reasonable 7 out of 10 for repair.
The phablet war rages on. Close on the heels of Apple’s 5.5″ iPhone 6 Plus, Google brings us the 5.96″ Nexus 6. With the similar shape and size, we’re calling it the 6 Plus’ brother from an Android mother. The Nexus 6 is a solidly built phone, with high-end specs but not a lot of flashy new tech. It looks like repair was a consideration in the design, but not the top priority. As a result, the Nexus 6 matched the iPhone 6 Plus’ respectable 7-out-of-10 repairability score.
The Kindle Voyage is a dream come true for the avid Kindle user. But we are more interested in the construction and repairability of the Voyage, than the cool new features. Advancements like pressure-sensing buttons and ambient light sensors didn’t do much to hamper repair, but the new front panel glass and its fused display weren’t a fun find. That said, the Voyage is a solid device that doesn’t try too hard to keep fixers out. It earned a decent 7 out of 10 on the repairability scale.
Technology marches onward. Apple is refreshing huge swaths of its product line, with faster processors, more RAM, better cameras, and sleeker enclosures. Of course, one would expect the iPad Mini 3 to receive similar treatment. It’s now equipped with the A7 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 5 MP iSight camera. A year ago, your new iPad Mini with Retina Display only came with an A7 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 5 MP iSight camera… Oh well, but hey! It’s gold now.
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.
Another year, another iMac refresh. For what? A pitiful processor bump? An even thinner display on a device that you’ll never see from the side? Not this time. Today, Apple brings the high-density Retina display to its largest form factor yet: the 27″ iMac. With such an enticement for consumers to upgrade, we took extra care to find out what changes Apple made under the iMac’s hood. What new hardware supports this behemoth of a display? And what do the new changes mean for repairs and upgrades?
Now that iFixit’s industrious teardown team is home and recovered from that nasty Australian jet lag, we’ve been cracking on repair guides for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. And with the devices open on our photo table, it was (of course) time to take our yearly iPhone internals wallpaper pics. Show off the guts and glory that make your iPhone tick. It’s basically like having X-ray vision, except without all the privacy violations. Get them on our blog.
It’s that time of year again. Fall is here: leaves are turning, Ugg sales are on the upslope, and your local Starbucks is busily brewing up Pumpkin Spice Lattes. All of this can mean only one thing—Amazon has refreshed its Kindle line, and is ready to begin sharing the new goodies. We took it upon ourselves to grab both the new base Kindle e-reader—the $79 Kindle 7th Generation—and a new face in the crowd, the Fire HD 6, a $99 Android-based tablet.
In our recent iPhone 6 Plus teardown, we dove deep into the new iSight camera, to get a look at what makes it so special. We found a complex array of electromechanical actuators that trigger the optical image stabilization, and got a peek at the sensor. But that’s about as far as our technology took us. Enter our buddies at Chipworks, and their super-scopes. They’ve recently published some awesome images and expert analysis that should satisfy even the most ravenous technophile appetites.
Looking to refine the plastic-bodied Galaxy S5 and better combat the iPhone, Samsung presents to the world the sleek new Galaxy Alpha. To us, it looks like they blended an iPhone 5s with a Galaxy S5 and poured the ensuing smartphone smoothie into an iPhone 6 sized package. The result—confusing. Lacking both the waterproof certification found in the S5 and the adhesive-free opening of the iPhone 6, the Alpha seems to be a double-whammy of disappointing resilience and lackluster repairability.
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!