For the most part, though, it’s the same old Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 6 isn’t a radical leap forward from its predecessor. It adds a few new features, like blood-oxygen monitoring, but at its heart, it’s the same Apple Watch people have been buying and wearing for a bit now. That said, repairability advocates (and repair-tool vendors) iFixit did a teardown of the Watch to find out just how different or similar it is inside.
The verdict is that the Series 6 is indeed mostly the same Watch, with a few key differences. First, it opens a little differently—it “opens to the side like a book.” This is a slightly different approach to getting inside the Watch. iFixit posits that this change may be possible in part because the hardware for Force Touch has been removed from the Watch, just as it was in recent iPhones. As with the iPhones, Apple has replaced Force Touch with long-presses.
The battery is notably bigger, at 1.17Wh for the 44-millimeter model and 1.024Wh for the 40mm. That’s a modest, single-point increase for both. There are fewer display cables to disconnect when disassembling the device, and there’s a larger Taptic Engine in the Watch, too. And of course, iFixit found the pulse oximeter sensor inside.
The site gave the Series 6 kudos for a replaceable screen although said replacement is “difficult.” iFixit also noted that battery replacements aren’t too tough. Unfortunately, the Watch gets knocked for relying on numerous tiny, difficult-to-use, and easy-to-lose screws. And the worst news, according to iFixit, is that “several component flex cables are mounted directly to the S6 package, requiring skilled microsoldering to replace if they are torn.”
All in all, iFixit gave the Watch a 6 out of 10 repairability score, roughly in line with recent iPhones.
Listing image by iFixit