Like smartphones, connected watches are sometimes entitled to a proper dismantling at iFixit. The latest from Apple, the Watch Ultra has just passed into the hands of our colleagues. Bad luck, if the back of the watch can be disassembled quite easily, its removal alone does not allow access to the battery.
It seemed to be off to a good start for the Apple Watch Ultra, however, since this new model is the first to use screws on its back. Indeed, the latter is simply stuck on the classic Apple Watch, making the task more complicated. Bad luck, the cord ensuring the sealing of the Ultra also takes the form of a glue and cannot be reused after dismantling.
An essential, but delicate dismantling of the screen
Removing the back of the Apple Watch Ultra is unfortunately not enough to access its battery, and there is no other solution than to peel off the screen. An operation could not be more delicate, proof of which is the breakage of the screen by the dismantling of iFixit. The edges of the bezel attached to the case protruding slightly from the screen certainly do not make things easy, and their protective role is also called into question by iFixit. The sapphire crystal nevertheless seems rather resistant, as evidenced by the recent video of a youtubeur who did not hesitate to test its sturdiness with a hammer…
Once the screen is removed, reaching the battery only requires unscrewing a few screws. Access to the main circuit requires a little more time, because it is then necessary to overcome 32 screws. However, it is unlikely to be changed one day, unlike the battery. For a question of repairability, we can only regret that the latter is not directly accessible from the back, contrary to what Apple has managed to do on its iPhone 14 which, admittedly, is still complex to disassemble, but the is less than its predecessor.
Still, the complexity of dismantling the Apple Watch Ultra, in particular its screen, earned it the title of watch “almost fixable”, if we refer to the title of the video from iFixit. In the sense that the operation is certainly not within the reach of the first comer. With a battery replacement cost of $99 listed on Apple’s official website, it might be safer to have the operation done by a professional.
This disassembly video of the Apple Watch Ultra tells us in passing that Apple uses a 2.1 Wh (542 mAh) battery in its new tocante. Compare to the Watch Series 8’s 1.19 Wh (308 mAh) battery, which is almost twice the capacity. Sufficient for Apple to announce doubled autonomy to 36 hours, which we will of course verify in a future test.