In what can be described as the leakiest run up to a product launch (second behind the Galaxy Note9 though), Apple revealed the latest iPhone family and a new generation Apple Watch. The event at the Steve Jobs Theater kicked off with a fun Mission Impossible-esque introduction (right after Tim Cook’s naughty tweet) and then Apple went straight into business.
Apple Watch Series 4: The #1 smartwatch gets even better
In the smartwatch world, Apple is the undisputed king. It’s a leader by a mile, and it’s not difficult to see why – great design and craftsmanship, solid hardware, a universe of accessories, a slick OS, and surprisingly an attractive price point.
The narrative for the Apple Watch is the “intelligent guardian for your health” and Apple has built some ground-breaking new tech to make its smartwatch ever better.
The UI, with watchOS 5, has also been redesigned. The new Apple Watch introduces eight new complications on its Watch Face which lets you track live scores, flight boarding info, glance nutritional intake, and more.
Electrode, you say? Built into the digital crown and working in tandem with the new heart sensor, the new Apple Watch Series 4 can now take an electrocardiogram or ECG. It’s the first ever over-the-counter ECG device available for consumers.
It also has a new gyro that enables a brand new feature – to detect falls. The watch can detect and recognize a fall and do the necessary, including automatically making an SOS call if it detects non-movement after a fall.
The Apple Watch Series 4 boasts the same all-day, 18-hour battery life as previous, and this with full GPS tracking on.
It will be available starting 21 September 2018. Prices start from USD399 (GPS) and USD499 (Cellular). The Series 3 continues to be sold alongside the new Apple Watch, starting from USD279.
watchOS will be available starting 17 September 2018.
Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated that the iPhone X is the number one smartphone in the world, by sales numbers. Not only that, it’s also the most loved smartphone with 98 percent customer satisfaction.
Cook said the new iPhone is “the most advanced iPhone ever created.” The iPhone XS and XS Max is made of stainless steel with a new gold finish option, and features “the most durable glass on a smartphone.”
The iPhone XS and XS Max are available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray.
On the display front, the iPhone XS features a 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display (2436×1125 @ 458PPI) while the iPhone XS Max gets a whopping 6.5-inch Super Retina OLED display (2688×1242 @ 458PPI). The display on the XS Max is the biggest display ever on an iPhone, and it’s even bigger than the Galaxy Note9’s.
The TrueDepth camera housed in the notch is improved with faster algorithms for Face ID and a faster secure enclave. Apple says it’s the most secure authentication ever in a smartphone.
In the heart of the new iPhone XS is the powerful six-core A12 Bionic SoC. It’s the first 7nm chip with 6.9 billion transistors with a dedicated neural engine. It has a new 4-core GPU that’s 50 percent faster than the A11 Bionic able to crunch 5 trillion operations per second compared to 600 billion on the A11 Bionic.
For the first time ever, Apple is making the iPhone dual-SIM capable. There is a catch. As rumoured, the dual-SIM version with an innovative dual-sided SIM tray is headed only for China at the moment. Apple calls its Dual-SIM, dual-standby technology “DSDS” (what?). The rest of the world will also get dual-SIM but… it’s really a nano-SIM + eSIM solution.
Initially speculated to be called iPhone Xc and even iPhone 9, the iPhone XR is Apple’s entry-level device, at least amongst the new “X” line-up. The design is a cross between the iPhone X and iPhone 8, featuring 7000 grade aluminium and durable glass. With the iPhone XR, Apple has injected some vibrant new colours ala iPhone 5c, including White, Black, Blue, Coral, Yellow and (PRODUCT)RED.
Apple says the iPhone XR lasts 1.5 hours more than the iPhone 8 Plus, which is quite impressive. And it’s cheaper too.
The iPhone XR starts from USD749 with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options. Pre-orders start on 19 October, and the device ships starting 26 October 2018.
The new 2018 iPhones will run iOS 12 out-of-the-box.
iPhone XS pricing and availability
The iPhone XS is available with 64GB, 256GB and 512GB of storage, retailing from USD999. The iPhone XS Max is available with 64GB, 256GB and 512GB of storage, with prices starting from USD1,099.
Pre-orders start 14 September, and will be available starting 21 September in 30 countries including the U.S, U.K, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and roll-out to another 29 countries including India and Russia, starting 28 September 2018.
What do you think of the new iPhones? How about the Apple Watch Series 4?
Missed the Apple Special Event? Watch it here.