On the outside, the iPhone 6 Plus looks like just a scaled up iPhone 6, but the internal hardware tells a different story. The phones are very similar but far from identical.

For more teardown images of the iPhone 6 Plus, check out the full Cracking Open gallery on TechRepublic.

Cracking Open observations

  • Relocated Home button cable makes repairs easier: Luckily, cracking open the iPhone 6 Plus is identical to cracking open the regular iPhone 6, which means it’s easier to open than previous iPhones. You still need to remove the two Pentalobe screws along the bottom edge with a special screwdriver, but Apple relocated the ribbon cable on the Home button, which means you no longer have to worry about tearing it when popping open the front panel.
  • Very similar, but not identical to iPhone 6: The overall, internal hardware layout is the same as on the iPhone 6. There’s a speaker and Lightning connector assembly at the bottom, battery along the left side, motherboard along the right, and the camera assembly at the top. Attached to the front panel are the display, front camera and sensors, earpiece speaker and the Home button. There’s also a new metal plate that sits behind the screen.
  • Different system boards: Not only is the iPhone 6 Plus’ system board different from older iPhones, it’s also different from the board in the regular iPhone 6. Unfortunately the two boards do have one thing in common, the metal shields that cover most of the phone’s chips are soldered in place.
  • Different vibration mechanisms: The vibration mechanisms on the iPhone 6 Plus and regular iPhone 6 are different and located in different spots.
  • Different external speakers: The external speakers are also different.
  • Much bigger battery: The Plus’ 11.1 Watt/hour battery is significantly larger than the regular iPhone 6’s 6.91 Watt/hour unit.

Don’t judge a book by its cover

As with the regular iPhone 6, if you only looked at the 6 Plus on the outside, you’d miss some really interesting and important design changes that lurk inside the phone.

For more information on the iPhone 6 Plus, including performance and battery life benchmark tests, check out Tim Stevens’ full CNET review.