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An Apple Watch Series 7 teardown reveals what lies behind its screen's updated design

iFixit images the Apple Watch again. (Source: iFixit)
iFixit images the Apple Watch again. (Source: iFixit)
The popular teardown site iFixit has now released its disassembly walk-through for Apple's latest Watch, comparing it to the preceding series 6 as it went. The process revealed the design changes that contribute to the wearable's new super-slim bezels, as well as its ingress-protection ratings. Whether they add to its repairability is another matter, however.

iFixit has now completed its teardown of the Apple Watch Series 7, with a former engineer for the Cupertino giant, Tobias Harrison-Noonan, as a special guest. The YouTube channel started by prying the wearable's newly enlarged screen up and to the side, as it did last time. However, the team decided to apply heat beforehand this time, which apparently makes this first step easier.

Once that was done, the dissembly revealed that Apple had re-arranged the Watch Series 7's touch and OLED flex cables to be confluent, whereas the former had curved up and around the top edge in its predecessor. This internal re-design may have helped make the display larger with smaller bezels in the latest generation - although it may also explain the production (and perhaps release) delays it experienced in 2021.

iFixit and Harrison-Noonan also noted that a wired diagnostic port present in the Series 6 has now gone missing in its successor. It is said to have been replaced by a wireless counterpart, found somewhere in the S7 processor's package, and may or may not be an ominous foreshadowing of a future with portless iPhones.

However, despite these internal layout changes, the Apple Watch Series 7 was ultimately awarded the same iFixit repairability score as its predecessor: 6. Therefore, a user might have a decent chance of restoring their slightly older smartwatch rather than pay for an upgrade in 2021.

Alternatively, buy one renewed on Amazon.

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 5109 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 10 > An Apple Watch Series 7 teardown reveals what lies behind its screen's updated design
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-10-23 (Update: 2021-10-23)