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 at iFixit. Sometimes I tweet here: @kaykayclapp

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