As it is the case with Samsung’s S products every year, Apple looks to make their products an evolving process as well. The new iPhone XS, when compared to the iPhone X which was launched just last year, is clearly an incremental spec-bump update. That’s because it comes with faster wireless connectivity and processors, more waterproof quality, dual SIM, a higher memory capacity and video stabilization as well.
However, despite the many innovations that were included into its design, the fact is that the iPhone XS comes with the same back glass construction which was featured with the iPhone X and even with the iPhone 8. This translates into fragility because even on tiny crack on its surface will cost you approximately $550 to repair it, that’s if you aren’t covered with the AppleCare Plus.
If the rear design remained unchanged for at least two generations, then the rest of the device it is another story, as even the battery got a redesign. Apple chose to completely change the looks of the iPhone XS battery, introducing a unique single-cell battery that is L-shaped as well. It chose to replace the previous one, which was a 2-cell battery, featured in the previous model – the iPhone X.
After we came across some documentation, it became apparent that Apple worked with a Chinese regulator and as a result, the iPhone XS packs a battery with lower power than what it could have had if it stuck with one similar with the iPhone X’s.
iPhone XS Single-cell Battery
Surprisingly, Apple chose to decrease the capacity, the single-cell battery packing less power than the previous one (10.13 Wh vs. 10.35 Wh). Also, the recent battery could have been also more sensitive to stress, if Apple wasn’t capable of innovating yet again, this time choosing to include a notch inside the battery.
Kay-Kay Clapp, the director of communications down at iFixit was responsible for performing the teardown which provided us with all these details. He said that “The challenge with any lithium-polymer battery cell is that each corner needs to be sealed to prevent undue stress from thermal expansion – and since the battery of the XS has 6 sides vs. the traditional 4, those extra corners can be tricky”.
In order to reduce the stress which might have accumulated on the battery’s corners, Apple chose to notch the internal corner of the battery, as it was previously described in a 2016 patent. This notch design may have been the cause for the capacity drop in this new single-cell battery. Really, it is just a bummer that this is the case, because you usually expect more battery life from a next-gen device, not less.
On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max comes with two battery cells, which makes it pretty similar to last year’s iPhone X. There are various sites that presented side-by-side comparisons between the models launched by Apple not too long ago, the iPhone XS and XS Max, and the flagship phone that took us all by surprise last year, the iPhone X. When you stop and look upon closely, the images showcasing these three models show that there is a weird little notch hidden in the battery of the iPhone XS, while the other two are pretty similar.
This is what we spoke about earlier, the notch innovation that allows the iPhone XS to possess this single-cell battery. Clapp concluded in its iFixit teardown that “only time will tell how this new cell performs with age – both of these batteries are still limited to 500 charge cycles”.