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iPhone XS, XS Max iFixit teardown reveals an unusual battery setup

Vishal Kawadkar

Apple recently took the wraps off its much anticipated iPhone XS and XS Max, and it's about time we see the teardown of the devices. At first glance, the new iPhones seem reminiscent to the last year's flagship. But, it's the inside where the new phones diverge with an unusual design.

iFixit tore down both the phones giving us a sneak peek into the new flagship. Last year's iPhone sure did bring a radical design to Apple's portfolio, but let's see what this year's flagship had to offer. Most of the components in both phones are the same, or very close, to what we saw in the iPhone X.

Small changes include an added antenna band placed at the bottom on both devices near the lightning port. Both devices have a 32 percent larger wide angle sensor and increased pixel size for the rear camera. They now have an extended logic board and a larger taptic engine.

The most noticeable change is in the iPhone XS' battery. Both devices still have an L-shaped recess to accommodate their batteries. But whereas the iPhone X has a double-battery configuration - one placed vertically, while the other horizontally- the new iPhone XS has one L-shaped battery. However, the bigger variant still has the double-battery setup.

Here's what iFixit had to say about the unusual battery shape:

"The challenge with any lithium-polymer battery cell is that each corner needs to be sealed to prevent undue stress from thermal expansion-and since the battery of the XS has 6 sides vs. the traditional 4, those extra corners can be tricky. To reduce the stress on the corners, Apple notched the internal corner of the battery."

The iPhone XS' battery capacity has also been slightly reduced to 2659mAh, compared to iPhone X's 2716mAh. The iPhone XS Max however has a huge 3179mAh battery. Apple claims slightly improved battery life in both phones over what we saw last year.

iFixit rated both devices a six out of 10, noting that critical display and battery repairs are still a priority in the design, and the screen can be taken out without having to remove the TrueDepth array. However, making the device IP68 waterproof makes repair more difficult.

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