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Repair website iFixit added some twist in this year’s teardown video of the vanilla iPhone 15 using a microscope. The instrument allowed the team to add more details to its review in its latest video by applying high magnification power on certain components, including the OIS and the 48MP image sensor.

The video is just 5 minutes long, but it shows how repairable the standard iPhone 15 model is. The team started by comparing the newly opened backs of the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 15, which it noted looked exactly the same, adding that the placeholder is still present on the American version of the iPhone 14 and 15. This is where the SIM tray is located on international versions.

As the test progressed, the team employed the DSX1000 microscope, letting it take a closer look at the components of the vanilla iPhone 15. First of the things iFixit explored using the instrument was the battery press connector, which revealed pins of gold-plated copper contacts. The video also applied it to the taptic engine, showing how it works inside the smartphone using an electromagnet.

In a more interesting part of the teardown, the video shows the iPhone 15’s optical image stabilization component and how it works to reduce the effects of camera shake and other types of motion blur in photos and videos. The review showcases the sensor stabilizer activity in a magnified shot, constantly moving to achieve stability.

Focusing more on the camera section of the iPhone 15, iFixit also magnified the 48MP image sensor up to 1640x, revealing its extremely tiny quad-pixel or photosite clusters. While discussing this section, iFixit confirmed that although both the vanilla iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max indeed have a 48MP main camera in them, there is a difference in their components. As explained, the quad-pixel buckets in the standard iPhone 15 are around 22% smaller, making its camera less efficient in low-light conditions.

In the end, while the review praised Apple for increasing the modular components in the iPhone 15 (including the rumored now-repairable lower microphone component), iFixit still gave the model a provisional score of 4/10. Just like what it stressed in its previous review of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple’s part pairing system is still a huge hindrance for independent repair shops.

“Apple’s push for modularity, highlighted by the dual-entry design, is a positive step forward on an already good foundation,” wrote iFixit lead teardown technician Shahram Mokhtari in a recent blog. “However, the challenge of parts pairing, the completely artificial barrier that hurts refurbishers and recyclers as well as everyday fixers, still looms large.”


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