Apple’s 12th September ‘Special’ Event brought us three new iPhones and an Apple Watch. But with minimal updates that won’t be noticed by the average user, extortionate price tags and a products that seem to have fallen off the radar; was it really so special?
CEO Tim Cook unveiled three new iPhone iterations to the lineup on Wednesday – the ’S’ & ‘R’ line.
First of all the iPhone Xs and Xs Max. If you currently have an iPhone 8 or earlier, there is no doubt whatsoever that either of these two devices will be a major upgrade to your current device. With the OLED, edge to edge display, dual lens camera and AI functionality, these devices are a major step up. However, if you are a current iPhone X user, you have already experienced a lot of these features for almost a year! Yes, these devices have the new A12 Bionic chip which allows apps to load up to 30% faster and have extended AI capabilities. But will the average user even notice this? Even the most rudimentary feature, battery life, has only been extended by 30 minutes on the Xs and 90 minutes on the Max (which has a substantially larger battery).
Next, the size. The iPhone Xs has the same form factor as the X, nothing much to say there. However, the Xs Max has the same 6.5 inch form factor as the iPhone 8 Plus, but it is all screen! I don’t know if you’ve ever used a X one handed, but I think it is difficult enough to reach the full length of the 5.8 inch screen. A large super retina display would be nice, but is it just too big?
For the entry level Xs you are looking at £999 and the equivalent Xs Max is £1099. We’ve officially gone over the grand mark for a phone.
The iPhone XR actually looks the most appealing if you are looking to upgrade this year. It is significantly more affordable at £749, is the same size as the Xs and has all the main features such as portrait mode, Face ID and the A12 Bionic chip. It comes in 7 different colours as opposed to the three options you have with the the higher end devices. What makes this device cheaper is that it uses and LCD screen rather than OLED. But as far as I can tell from various hands on reviews, the scree is still beautiful on this device.
And the little dongle you use to plug your favourite headphones into the lighting port? You have to buy that separately now!
The Apple Watch Series 4 was also announced and I was more impressed with this. With larger screen size options and a thinner device over all, this does look like a more significant upgrade. It now has the gimmick of ‘fall detection’ where it can sense if you have fallen over and call emergency services if you don’t tell it not to within one minute. By far the most impressive feature the S4 watch offers is the ECG feature. I do believe that these new heart features will save lives.
A few announcements that lots of people were looking forward to like new AirPods or the ever absent AirPower pad were no where to be seen making this one of Apple’s most disappointing announcements that I can remember.
As an iPhone X user, I am not so eager to upgrade and I think I will wait to get hands on with the Xs Max to feel it in my hand before deciding to upgrade. If you have an earlier iPhone, I really think you should look at the XR. It is much cheaper, has all the functionality you would need and may be the most different device that Apple announced on the day.
We’ll hope for more next year!