There might not be lineups at Apple Stores across the world today, but at least one part of the company’s launch tradition has remained intact. Yes, the staff at iFixit got their hands on an Apple Watch and, like any group of self-respecting DIYers, they decided to teardown the device to get at its innards.
In this case, the website was able to obtain an Apple Watch Sport, which is to say that their discoveries only pertain to the least expensive model of the wearable.
For other people of the DIY persuasion, the most relevant information here is that certain parts of the device can be repaired with relative ease. In fact, despite its complicated construction, iFixit gave the Apple Watch Sport a 5 out of 10 in terms of repairability. The website says that the Apple Watch’s screen and battery, the components that will most likely need to be replaced in the future, are not that difficult to get at.
That said, other components, like the device’s S1 chip, are not as easy to replace.
Prior to launch, it had been rumoured that it may be possible to upgrade the device’s S1 chip. However, at least in the case in the case of Apple Watch Sport, that does not appear to be the case. The website says removing the S1 chip requires the damaging of fragile soldering.
Another interesting revelation is that the Apple Watch’s heart-rate monitor can act as a pulse oximeter. This is to say, the Apple Watch can measure a person’s blood oxygen level by passing an infrared light through the skin. This capability isn’t active on the smartwatch yet. As the site notes, this could be for several reasons, one of which is that Apple could be waiting for FDA approval to activate the feature.
The website’s teardown is still ongoing — the staff at iFixit are waiting to get their hands on the more expensive models of the Apple Watch—so make to sure to revisit the site later in the day to see what else they’ve discovered.
It’s also worth mentioning that iFixit isn’t the only website putting the Apple Watch through its paces. Australian website FoneFox got their own Apple Watch Sport. Rather than opening up their new wearable for science, they decided to test Apple’s water ingress claims by swimming in a pool of water with one on. According to the site, no issues with the device should crop up from wearing it to the shower.
If anything else interesting comes out the iFixit teardown, or some other corner of the Internet, we’ll make sure to update this post.