The iPhone X contains a strange dual-cell battery

Doubling the number of cells allowed Apple to get creative in how it laid out the interior of the iPhone X.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

A teardown of the iPhone X shows just how creative Apple had to get to squeeze all that new technology into such a small form factor.

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The teardown of the iPhone X carried out by the awesome folks at iFixit shows how Apple broke new ground with the iPhone X, going so far as to fit it out with a dual-cell battery in order to better make use of the internal space.

The dual-cell battery is a 10.35Wh (2716mAh at the rated 3.81V) unit, bigger than the 10.28Wh in the iPhone 8 Plus, but still markedly smaller than the 12.71Wh found inside the Galaxy Note 8.

The L-shape allowed Apple to sculpt the battery around the mainboard, making best use of the space available.

This is not the first time Apple has resorted to a custom battery design. Back in 2015 it equipped the MacBook with a terraced battery, allowing it to get 35 percent more battery into the laptop.

The iPhone X dual-cell battery

But the innovations don't end there.

To free up more space inside the iPhone X for the battery, Apple did something that it hasn't done since the very first iPhone and used a double-stacked mainboard, sandwiching two logic boards, and soldering them together at the edges. This is a great way to save on internal space, but a move that makes any board-level repair almost impossible.

In total. the two boards combined are 35 percent bigger than those found in the iPhone 8 Plus, but fit into only 70 percent of the space.

The iPhone X mainboard is two boards sandwiched together

Then there's the TrueDepth camera system that handles the Face ID facial recognition. The front-facing camera, IR dot projector, and IR camera are combined into a single module, with the loudspeaker, microphone, ambient light sensor, flood illuminator, and proximity sensor contained in another module.

The iPhone X TrueDepth camera system

Overall, repairability is a mixed bag. The battery and display are reasonably easy to access, but the waterproofing and complex ribbon cable routing make repairs more troublesome. Also, glass on the front and back means twice as much to break, and given how expensive the OLED display is, and how if you break the back glass you end up having to remove every component and replacing the entire chassis, the iPhone X is a handset you might want to keep in a case.

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