September doesn’t just mean the start of autumn anymore. It has also become the time when Apple unveils its new iPhones. And with its usual glitz and glamour, this year’s Apple event didn’t disappoint fans and many observers.
Apple kick-started the annual event at the Steve Jobs Theater on its new Cupertino Calif., campus. The highlights: The tech giant unveiled its 11th iteration of the iPhones with three new models: iPhone XR, XS, and the XS Max.
Last year’s iPhone X was the first handset from Apple to ditch the company’s traditional form-factor and replacing the Touch ID with a facial-recognition system. The device was a game changer for the company in terms of sales and popularity. This year’s new iPhones are the newest iteration of the existing iPhone X and follow its footprints in terms of design.
iPhone XS — pronounced as “Ten S” — is the direct successor of the iPhone X. iPhone XS is also the company’s most advanced and the costliest iPhone yet. Like most of the previous generation of iPhones, iPhone XS is also released in two variants with different sizes and form-factors. The third in the trio of new iPhones, the iPhone XR, is the most budget-friendly of the devices launched at the event. All these handsets are up for preorder from October 19 and will go on sale starting October 26.
iPhone XS and the XS Max
Both the iPhone XS and the XS Max offer a similar set of specifications. The standard iPhone XS sports a 5.8-inch diagonal OLED display, whereas its larger sibling, the iPhone XS Max, has a 6.5-inch display. Both devices offer Super Retina OLED HDR displays for better viewing angles.
Speaking about the specifications, both these devices have the company’s latest A12 Bionic chipset with the next generation neural engine for better processing and performance. Both devices come in three storage variants of 64/256/512GB. Imaging on these two handsets is managed by a dual 12-megapixels primary camera and a 7-megapixel front-facing secondary camera. The primary camera comes with a duo of 12-megapixels camera lens consisting of a wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture paired with a telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture.
The company says that the dual-camera setup on the iPhone XS and the XS Max is an upgraded version of the existing iPhone X. However, on paper, the newer devices also sport the same features as the iPhone X. Just like the iPhone X, its newer siblings will also feature Face ID facial recognition to unlock the device.
Both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max are rated IP68 for splash, water, and dust resistance. The company says that these new iPhones can survive a maximum depth of 6.5 feet (2 meters) underwater for up to 30 minutes. Both these handsets are capable of fast and wireless charging. The pricing of the device starts at $999 for the base variant of iPhone XS and is $1,099 for the iPhone XS Max.
iPhone XR is the cheapest iPhone launched, which is, however, not so affordable for everyone. The device starts at $749 for the base version of 64GB and goes up to $899 for the higher 256GB variant.
The device comes in fancy color options and will be available in red, yellow, white, coral, black, and blue. With a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display, the iPhone XR comes with a resolution of 1792 x 828 pixels, which results in a pixel density almost similar to that of the 2-year-old iPhone 7. The device also runs on the company’s latest A12 Bionic chipset and features Face ID and Apple Pay.
Unlike most current smartphones, the iPhone XR has a single 12-megapixel camera with f/1.8 aperture. The front-facing camera on the device is a 7-megapixel shooter, which is similar to the one seen on the iPhone XS and the XS Max. The company says that the iPhone XR does offer portrait mode, but it’s an effect created via software.
Do note that Apple has stripped off several features such as the 3D Touch, dual-camera setup, and more from the iPhone XR to meet its pricing.
Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4, which packs in a larger display and few other added features. The watch is going to be launched in two sizes —40mm and 44mm and will have a 30 percent larger display. The watch has been totally redesigned and is provided with a curved display for a more eye-pleasing appearance.
The Apple Watch Series 4 also has an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) sensor to monitor the heart rate of its user. This is a huge add-on to the existing fitness tracking features the device offers. The watch comes with an all-new S4 chipset from Apple in which the entire system is fabricated into a single chipset.
The watch comes with a louder speaker and offers an improved overall voice and audio quality for better interaction with Siri or other purposes. The company during the launch also said that the digital crown in the Series 4 has been totally re-engineered to offers a superior haptic feedback and control.
Apple Watch 4 will be available for preorder from Sept. 14 and users can start buying the device beginning Sept. 21. The device will retail starting at $399 for the series 4 model and $499 for the LTE variant.
Apart from these product launches, there were still a plenty of expected announcements that instead went missing. Apple did not have any announcements about the upcoming MacBooks and AirPods. There was also no word about Apple AirPower, the company’s proprietary wireless charging setup, which was announced a year ago but hasn’t shipped yet.
New iPhones: How new, really?
In terms of the new iPhones, Apple has once again done what it always does best: A glitzy launch of next-generation iPhones with minute upgrades that the company says is a revolution in terms of performance and other aspects.
Image credits: Apple