Don’t want to spend $1,000 on a smartphone? This year Apple brings top-tier specs to the iPhone XR so you can get all the fancy features you want for less. Did they compromise too much? Not enough? Since when is $750 cheap? There’s only one way to find out—let’s tear it down!

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  1. iPhone XR Teardown, iPhone XR Teardown: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • The iPhone XR may look a little different on the outside, but the specs look pretty familiar:

    • Hexa-core A12 Bionic SoC with a "next-generation" Neural Engine

    • 6.1" Liquid Retina LCD display with 1792 x 828 resolution at 326 ppi, True Tone, and wide color (P3) gamut support

    • 12 MP rear camera at ƒ/1.8 aperture with OIS, and 7 MP selfie cam paired with TrueDepth FaceID hardware

    • 64 GB of onboard storage (128 GB and 256 GB optional configs)

    • Broad cellular band support with eSIM capability and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi w/MIMO + Bluetooth 5.0 + NFC

    • IP67 dust/water ingress rating

    • There were a lot of colors to choose from, but we have an affinity for blue and black.

    • Colors don't matter much when you can see through anything though! Our friends from Creative Electron gave us a sneak peek at the inside of this new iPhone with some XR-ays.

  2. iPhone XR Teardown: step 3, image 1 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 3, image 2 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • Trying to stir up a bit of sibling rivalry, we stack the XR against the XS and see what differences we can spot.

    • We start our search at the bottom edge, where the XR's missing antenna band and nice symmetrical grilles remind us more of last year's X.

    • The XR inherited many of the same traits as its XS siblings, but it did not inherit speedy gigabit-LTE capabilities.

    • Switching on the displays, it's easy to see that the XR's bezels are a bit bigger—and if you get really close, the curves start to get a little rough around the edges.

    • The XR inherited a lot of features from the XS, but only got one camera—the wide-angle, while the telephoto stays with the XS.

    • Similarities to the XS continue with the opening procedure: pentalobe screws surround the not-quite-centered-anymore charging port, and opening takes just a little help from an iOpener.

    • Differences include: surprisingly non-color-matched pentalobe screws, and a SIM slot that slid down toward the bottom of the phone.

    • One difference we can't seem to pin down is where the XS got its extra IP point—opening the XR feels about the same as the XS!

  3. iPhone XR Teardown: step 5, image 1 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 5, image 2 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 5, image 3 of 3
    • The thoughtful, display-first opening procedure is over with just like that—about as painless as it gets on a water-resistant smartphone.

    • Apple perfected this design all the way back on the iPhone 5—and thankfully, they've never changed it.

    • Inside, the XR starts to look more like a fun hybrid between the 8 and the X. We're back to a rectangular battery, but there's also a rectangular logic board.

    • The question is: How many layers does that logic board have?

    • On the way to freeing up the logic board, we're encountering a veritable plethora of standoff screws. We're used to one or two per iPhone, not X ten.

    • Luckily, we're armed and ready.

    • What's this? A modular SIM card reader! That's an iPhone first.

    • Not only does this mean quick swaps of a dead SIM reader, it also reduces the cost of replacing your logic board! Win-win!

    • This is likely a concession to the Chinese market, where eSIM is not supported—so in order to enable dual-sim functionality on Chinese models, Apple installs a dual Nano-SIM reader. The modular approach makes this much easier than it would be if the reader were soldered to the main board, as in past models.

    • The svelt, non-elbowed, single-decker logic board is now free to escape!

  4. iPhone XR Teardown: step 7, image 1 of 2 iPhone XR Teardown: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • With the logic board out, we get our first look at the onboard silicon:

    • Apple APL1W81 A12 Bionic SoC, layered over Micron MT53D384M64D4SB-046 XT:E 3 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM

    • Apple/USI 339S00580 (likely a WiFi/Bluetooth module, similar to what's found in the XS)

    • NXP Semiconductor SN100V NFC controller

    • 3x Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00411 audio amplifiers

    • Skyworks 203-15 G67407 1838 (likely a power amplification module)

    • Infineon (formerly Cypress Semiconductor) CYPD2104 USB type-C port controller

    • Qorvo QM76018 RF Front End Module

  5. iPhone XR Teardown: step 8, image 1 of 2 iPhone XR Teardown: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • More chips on the back side of the logic board. Show us your identification, please...

    • Toshiba TSB3243VC0428CHNA1 64 GB flash storage

    • Intel PMB9955 (likely the XMM7560 LTE Advanced Pro 4G LTE baseband processor), PMB5762 RF transceiver, and PMB5829

    • Apple 338S00383-A0, 338S00375-A1 power management IC's (possibly from Dialog Systems)

    • Texas Instruments SN2600B1 battery charging IC

    • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00248 audio codec

    • Skyworks SKY13768 front end module

    • Broadcom BCM59355A2IUB4G (likely a variation of the BCM59350 wireless power receiver chip)

  6. iPhone XR Teardown: step 9, image 1 of 2 iPhone XR Teardown: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • IC Identification, pt 2.

    • Texas Instruments LM3539 backlight driver

    • NXP Semiconductor CBTL161x display port multiplexer (likely)

    • STMicroelectronics STB601A0 power management

    • Texas Instruments TPS65730 display power management

    • Texas Instruments LED driver (likely)

    • Bosch Sensortec BMP282 pressure sensor

    • Bosch Sensortec accelerometer

  7. iPhone XR Teardown: step 10, image 1 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 10, image 2 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 10, image 3 of 3
    • Moving on from the logic board, here are two more logic boards.

    • The new XR board + SIM reader (center) looks a bit like an unfolded iPhone X board (right). The sprawling iPhone 8 Plus board is shown at left for comparison.

    • This new form factor pretty much perfectly fills the gap in the evolution of iPhone logic boards.

    • A closeup via X-rays reminds us that this "simplified" iPhone logic board is still enormously complex.

    • Even more silicon hides beneath other components, like the TrueDepth camera system.

  8. iPhone XR Teardown: step 11, image 1 of 2 iPhone XR Teardown: step 11, image 2 of 2
    • With the logic board out of the way, we fish out the famous Taptic Engine!

    • Though the XR does not support 3D Touch, it does get Haptic Touch, which is basically a long touch rather than a strong touch. Looks like the haptics are driven by a familiar linear-oscillating vibration motor.

    • Next out is that rectangle battery! We're more than happy to encounter four whole adhesive pull tabs that make removal quite breezy.

  9. iPhone XR Teardown: step 12, image 1 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 12, image 2 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 12, image 3 of 3
    • All four tabs perform admirably, and the 11.16 Wh battery is removed goo-free!

    • We've already heard that the XR has the best iPhone battery life yet, but just how does it stack up? Time for a battery parade!

    • Left to right, we have: iPhone 8 (6.96 Wh), iPhone XR (who is #winning), iPhone 8 Plus (10.28 Wh), and iPhone XS (10.13 Wh).

    • The XR battery looks a bit smallish compared with that of the 8 Plus—but these looks are deceiving. The XR battery is thicker, and packs more juice, not less.

    • If you're looking for an Apples-to-oranges comparison, Android is still winning the pure capacity game. The Galaxy S9+ remains champion at 13.48 Wh, and the Pixel 3 XL follows closely at 13.2 Wh.

    • While we're stacking, let's take the opportunity to X-amine some X-series X-rays. Left to right, we have the iPhone X, the XR (with its less-dense aluminum frame), and the XS Max!

  10. iPhone XR Teardown: step 13, image 1 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 13, image 2 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 13, image 3 of 3
    • Here’s the single rear camera—the same newly-updated wide-angle module from the XS and XS Max.

    • The single-sensor XR seems like a logical competitor for Google’s similarly-equipped Pixel 3—but Google’s phone somehow manages to blow even the dual-camera XS Max out of the water beer. Solution? More cameras, maybe.

    • We line the camera up alongside the TrueDepth system powering FaceID—which, as far as we can tell, looks pretty much unchanged from when we first saw it in the iPhone X.

    • Not to be left behind, the lower speaker is next—it's still pretty easy to remove, which is good, because you’ll probably want it out of the way for a battery replacement.

  11. iPhone XR Teardown: step 14, image 1 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 14, image 2 of 3 iPhone XR Teardown: step 14, image 3 of 3
    • Next we turn our attention to Apple’s much-discussed Liquid Retina display.

    • The XR’s LCD is 0.3” larger across than the XS’s AMOLED, but it’s also thicker and heavier—as is expected from an LCD.

    • The need for a backlight means an LCD display assembly will always necessitate a slightly larger form factor than an equivalent AMOLED assembly.

    • As far as we can tell, this thicker display assembly is what has pushed the Lightning connector off-axis.

    • Getting back into the case, we dig out the wireless charging coil for a closer look.

    • We’ve struck copper! Copper’s lower resistance (compared to FPC in the X) should mean faster charging with less heat.

  12. iPhone XR Teardown: step 15, image 1 of 1
    • With the XR fully excavated, we display the tidbits from our dig:

    • A peek under the hood revealed design hallmarks reminiscent of both the iPhone 8 (rectangular battery, single layer board) and X (square-ish logic board, Face ID), making this the spiritual "iPhone 9."

    • But the XR isn’t all throwback—it’s got the latest silicon, and contains features entirely new to iPhones. We found Apple’s first-ever modular SIM reader, possibly there to help with their newfangled multi-SIM plans.

    • Thanks again to our good friends at Creative Electron. Now we'll leave you with a really good joke:

    • What's a pirate's favorite iPhone?

    • The X-ARRRrrrrr

  13. crwdns2878481:0crwdne2878481:0
    • The display-first opening procedure and easy access to the battery remain design priorities.
    • A broken display can be replaced with minimal hardware removal, and with a little care you can preserve Face ID.
    • Apple again uses tiny uncommon Pentalobe and tri-point screws to stymie repair, but these fasteners are preferred over tough glue.
    • Waterproofing measures complicate some repairs, but make difficult water damage repairs less likely.
    • Glass on front and back doubles the crackability—and broken back glass requires an entire chassis replacement.

Taylor Dixon


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Teardown Team crwdns2886886:0Teardown Teamcrwdne2886886:0





It’s here! Can’t wait to see what magic they did on the display.

Sandy34 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Next year: iPhone XR GTS SS Z11 LX

Juan Martinez - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

iPhone XR GTS SS Z11 LX Turbo Limited Luxury 2.0 Edge

Robert G -

where is the repairability score?

Ali Dhia - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Battery size is smaller than in 8plus but capacity is bigger.. hmmm

dozerator - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0



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