The Apple Watch Series 6 may look the same as the Apple Watch Series 5 on the outside, but that’s where the similarities end. On the inside, Apple has made significant changes in its latest Apple Watch model.
A handful of changes were discovered and detailed by iFixit during one of its now expected teardowns that follow almost all new Apple product launches.
iFixit’s latest teardown confirmed the removal of Force Touch from the Apple Watch platform and much more.
Earlier this year, Force Touch was removed from the first beta of watchOS 7, suggesting it would eventually be removed from the Apple Watch platform.
iFixit not only confirmed the removal of the hardware from the Apple Watch Series 6, but also commented that the missing Force Touch hardware makes it easier to tear down the device.
The procedure is also slightly simplified due to the absence of a Force Touch gasket—a feature now defunct as of watchOS 7. We’re happy to see a fragile, damage-prone part retired, but sad to see the final nail in the coffin for Apple’s nifty pressure-sensitive display technology. We’re torn, but we’ll call this a win.
Force Touch debuted in the first Apple Watch and has been present on every Apple Watch except the current Apple Watch Series 6 and SE. The touch-sensitive display technology could distinguish between a light tap and a hard press on the display. It was used extensively in iOS and by third-party apps before Apple instructed developers to plan for the eventual removal of the display technology.
Other changes detected in the Apple Watch Series 6 include a slightly larger battery than the one in the Watch Series 5.
One would expect the battery life to be improved due to the larger battery, but this is not the case. Though larger, the Apple Watch Series 6 has the same 18 hours of runtime as the Watch Series 5.
It’s possible the new S5 chipset is not as efficient as first expected, or the blood oxygen sensor in the new Apple Watch may be a battery hog. It’s also possible that Apple is underestimating the official battery life and we may actually see improved performance in real-life tests.
It’s not just the battery that is lager. The Apple Watch Series 6 also has a bigger Taptic Engine than the Watch Series 5.
Even though the Series 6 has a large battery and bigger Taptic Engine, Apple incredibly still managed to shrink the Apple Watch Series 6. The latest model measures a mere 10.4 mm as compared to the 10.74 mm for the Series 5.
One other interesting tidbit is the blood oxygen sensor. According to iFixit, the sensor is next to impossible to tear down. iFixit confirmed the sensor has a “fused display on top, fused sensor array on the bottom” and noted that “We’re not gonna find anything but broken pieces if we bust this apart.”