If you’re wondering what happened to the iPhone 9, we found it: It’s masquerading as the iPhone XR. A peek under the hood revealed design hallmarks reminiscent of both the iPhone 8 and X. Most notably, the iPhone XR returned to a single-decker logic board—a pre-X-series design—although the board is vaguely rectangular like its recent brethren. And after all the L-shaped battery shenanigans, we’re back to an old-school, bar-shaped, single-cell battery. If it ain’t broke…

But the XR isn’t all throwback—it’s got the latest silicon, and contains features entirely new to iPhones. We found Apple’s first-ever modular SIM reader, possibly there to help with their newfangled multi-SIM plans. Also, it’s blue.

iPhone XR Teardown highlights:

  • The XR’s battery punches above its weight—its single-cell rectangle weighs in at a whopping 11.16 Wh. While it’s not as big as the XS Max (12.08 Wh), it is still very respectable considering it has fewer pixels to push.
  • The new “misaligned” Lightning port looks to be a symptom of the thicker display assembly. The LCD is less pricey, but its need for a backlight makes it bigger—which may have perturbed the port symmetry.
  • All told, the iPhone XR earned a 6/10 on our repairability scale. The display-first opening procedure and easy access to the battery remain design priorities for Apple—making the two most common repairs easier than almost any Android counterpart.

Director of Communications & Advocacy at iFixit. Fluent in Parseltongue. Right to Repair Rebel. Eats everything with a side of rice. Sometimes I tweet here: @kaykayclapp

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