Apple’s September 12 event has come and gone, leaving an array of new tech advances to get excited about. Among the new additions to the Apple family are three iPhones—all following the brands’ flagship iPhone X—and a new watch. Fully entering a new era of iPhones sans home button, it’s only a matter of time before people start queueing to get their hands on Apples’ latest. Here we’ve gathered a basic run-through of everything we know about the new hardware, so you can make informed decisions on your next tech splurge.
Pronounced “ten es”, the XS is based on the original X mold, made from glass and surgical-quality stainless steel. There’s a special gold finish on the metal and glass—which, according to Apple, is the strongest glass ever used on a smartphone. Dust and water resistance got an upgrade, and the model can now technically last up to an hour underwater. The Super Retina OLED display is back, with 5.8 inches at a satisfyingly high-res of 458 pixels per inch.
What we’re all really here for though is the new A12 Bionic chip—Apple’s next-gen baby and the first 7 nanometer processor in the world. It’s 40% faster than the iPhone X, with faster app launch times and the ability to process 5 trillion operations per second. Fans of the animoji can rejoice as the new GPU offers much better augmented reality, meaning they’ll look better and run more smoothly.
Though video capabilities remain similar to the iPhone X, new sensors and the A12 Bionic chip means users can achieve better video quality and performance in low-light conditions. The trusty HDR mode becomes Smart HDR, and you can now alter the intensity of the blur in Portrait Mode shots. Selfie gurus will be happy to know that the new models’ front-facing camera will now have a 7 megapixel TrueDepth, meaning Portrait Mode works for selfies too.
iPhone XS Max
True to Apple, there’s a plus-size included in the new line of releases. While previously referred to as the Plus, Apple has chosen to play it up a bit by picking a synonymous name—the iPhone XS Max. With a 6.5 inch display, the big brother in the X line boasts the largest iPhone screen ever made, a feature bound to excite fans of the Plus models.
Screen size aside, not much else is different between the iPhone XS and its larger counterpart. Both share near-identical specs, with the exception of a power boost on the iPhone XS Max, which runs one and a half hours longer than the original iPhone X. The new home button-free design also means the XS Max offers a whole inch of extra screen. The now-tacky bevels on previous designs have also been removed, offering an aesthetically pleasing unobstructed screen. All this extra screen space isn’t just for show, either—the iPhone XS Max will be the first Apple smartphone to offer split screen view—previously only anAndroid function.
Otherwise known as the budget-friendly option (that isn’t actually that budget friendly), the iPhone XR swaps out the stainless steel frame for aluminium and replaces the Super Retina OLED display with Liquid LCD. There’s only a single camera lens on this phone and though this may seem like a slight downgrade, quality is still ensured. The single camera lens does not prove that much of a hindrance due to the advantages of Apples’ 12 megapixel wide-angle lens technology, meaning users can still enjoy the smooth background blur Apples’ latest cameras are best known for.
More impressive is the fact that power doesn’t get a downgrade—the A12 Bionic chip stays, along with impressive dust and water resistance and storage options ranging from 64GB to 256GB. Battery-wise, expect the XR to last you over an hour longer than the iPhone X, putting it on par with the XS Max. It might not be as exciting as the iPhone XR and iPhone XR Max, but it’s a good alternative for your kids who want to stay trendy but don’t need to be heavily spoilt just yet. Also, the cute colours including coral and yellow are very enticing.
Apple Watch Series 4
Surprise, surprise, the new iPhone wasn’t actually the highlight of the show. With the release of the Apple Watch Series 4, smartwatch fans have a lot to be excited about as Apple secures its position of best watch in the world. The trend for this years’ releases seems to be larger screens, and the Apple Watch Series 4 didn’t miss the memo. Form-wise, while the new model is mostly unchanged from the Series 3, the new design has a 30% larger screen and slimmer bodice.
Speakers and mic also got a boost, and with the new S4 processor, the watch performs twice as fast as its predecessor. The S4 can now even detect when the wearer falls down as well as detect when the heart rate is too slow or irregular. The Apple Watch Series 4 will be the first ever device that can offer a simple ECG heart test—approved by the American Heart Association—which will truly revolutionise healthcare systems and technology.
In A Nutshell:
What we loved:
- The sustainability streak. Apple has announced that it will now be running fully on renewable energy and is expanding its efforts on reusing old materials. New iPhone models are now made from recycled tin and a lot of the plastics used have been replaced with bio-based, recycled plastics. The brand has also launched Apple GiveBack, where users can sell their old devices back to Apple to be recycled into new phones.
- The extra battery life and storage. Gone are the days of carrying around a powerbank everywhere and having your phone constantly set on low battery mode. The fact that iPhone XS Max comes with a storage option of 512GB is also incredibly thrilling—no more desperately removing apps or old photos!
- The colours. It was a little disappointing when the gold finish on the iPhone 8 didn’t make it to the iPhone X, so we’re glad it got a comeback. The new iPhone XR also comes in six fun hues: black, white, yellow, coral, blue and of course, the red addition!
- The split-view screen on iPhone XS Max. Netflix on one side, work on the other. How much better could life be?
What we didn’t like as much:
- The top notch of the iPhone is still around and is a bummer considering the screen would be so satisfyingly flawless if it wasn’t. Oppo has gotten around it with the Oppo Find X, so Apple needs to rack its brains a little harder.
- The back camera still sticks out.
- No dongle. But why? We bid goodbye to the headphone jack last year to say hello to the new adapting dongle, which is no longer included with the phone. If you buy the new iPhone, you'll have to go Bluetooth or buy a dongle which you will later lose and buy again.
For more information, visit apple.com