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.
Computers have fans that clog and slow long before the computer fails. A small tear in a jacket is not a problem, until the rip catches on a branch and suddenly you’re standing in a feathery nest of down insulation. A phone battery holds less charge before it holds no charge. To be a conscientious fixer is to recognize that repair is an intervention that must occur between functioning and complete failure.
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!
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.
The new unlocking law in the U.S. only covers cell phones. Other devices—like tablets, consoles, and even cars—remain locked down. What’s more, our world is becoming ever more computerized. Everyday items, like fridges and thermostats, are just as much computer as they are plastic and metal. Shouldn’t consumers be able to unlock them, too? That’s what we think. And so does the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit civil liberties organization.
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.
Delia, along with her team—that she lovingly dubbed her “adopted aunts”—repaired thousands of garments every single year. Delia believed in repair. She saw the value in each piece of clothing that she touched, because it was a part of someone’s life. Delia didn’t just see a jacket. She saw a story. An adventure. A person.
If my phone were a person, it would be the Bionic Woman. Its body has been broken and rebuilt more times than I can count. Its brain has been modified, tinkered with, and improved. It is the phone that will not die—at least not if I have anything to say about it.
Google’s ATAP group brings us yet another window into the virtual world, this time in the form of a super-powerful tablet. Much of the same sweet tech from the Tango phone is here, along with additional connectivity and loads more power in a slimmer tin. Unfortunately, these evolutions dropped Tango’s repairability score from a praiseworthy 9-out-of-10 phone to a lackluster 4-out-of-10 tablet.
If you have a hankering to see the folks from iFixit discuss the merits of repair, reuse, and refurbishment, we’ll be at a couple of conferences in the coming months. We’d love to answer all your questions, live and in person. Get the list of conferences we’ll be participating in on our blog.