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Review of Today’s Apple iPhone and Watch Announcements

Apple’s two-hour event didn’t disappoint, though there was little surprise when it came to the design. Here’s some of the most important points to take away from today’s event.

 

Apple Watch

  • The Series 4 will come in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. This measures the case size, which lines up with Apple’s explanation that the screen is 32% and 35% larger, respectively, while also being a bit thinner.
  • Battery life appears to be roughly the same as the previous generation.
  • Series 3 will fall into the slot of the low-end Watch offering.
  • All existing watch bands will fit the Series 4.
  • Watch faces will be more highly customizable with complications from both Apple and 3rd-party developers. Some faces will feature more extensive complication arrangements, too.
  • The Watch will be able to more closely track heart behaviors and optionally notify emergency services if a fall event occurs where medical attention is required.
  • Pricing will break down as follows (all US dollars; 40mm/44mm; sport bands):
    • Aluminum GPS: $399 / $429; GPS + Cellular: $499 / $529
    • Stainless Steel GPS + Cellular: $699 / $749 (no GPS-only option available)
  • Availability: pre-order starting September 14th, Available starting September 21st.

Apple iPhone

Three iPhones were discussed during today’s Apple event: the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and the iPhone Xr.

 

iPhone Xs

The replacement for Apple’s prior flagship phone, the iPhone Xs will ship with the same dimensions and a whole host of improvements:

  • Face ID will be quicker to respond and unlock, though they did not explain how much faster.
  • A third color option, gold, will join the white and space grey options being carried forward.
  • 5.8″ Super Retina screen at 2436×1125 pixels and 458 pixels per inch (ppi), the highest density of any smartphone currently on the market; wide color gamut (P3).
  • Weight: 6.24 ounces (177 grams)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 5.65 in (143.6mm) x 2.79 in (70.9mm) x 0.30 in (7.7mm)
  • New A12 bionic chip with:
    • 6-core processor with
      • 4 high-efficiency cores that are up to 50% more energy efficient
      • 2 high-performance cores that are up to 15% faster than the A11 Bionic)
    • 4-core GPU that’s up to 50% faster than the A11 Bionic
    • 8-core 5 Trillion ops/second Neural Engine that performs up to 9x faster than the A11 Bionic
  • Updated camera with better edge detection and image capture for Smart HDR and after-the-fact adjustable depth-of-field, as well as stereo audio capture for video recordings.
  • IP68-rated splash, dust, water resistance (up to 2 meters for up to 30 minutes)
  • 12MP wide-angle f/1.8 aperture and telephoto f/2.4 aperture cameras
  • 7MP front-facing f/2.2 aperture camera
  • Support for FDD-LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 66, 71, and TD-LTE bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46
  • Gigabit-class LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA
  • 802.11ac WiFi with 2×2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC with reader mode
  • Battery life extension of up to 30 minutes over the iPhone X which amounts to:
    • 20 hours talk time
    • 12 hours Internet use
    • 14 hours video (wireless)
    • 60 hours audio (wireless)
  • Dual SIM support (1 physical sim, 1 e-SIM; dual physical SIM for the Chinese market only)
  • Pricing:
    • 64GB: $999
    • 256GB: $1,149
    • 512GB: $1,349
  • Availability: pre-order starting September 14th, available starting September 21st.

 

iPhone Xs Max

A new, larger variant of the iPhone Xs, it’ll ship with everything the iPhone Xs does along with:

  • 6.5″ Super Retina Screen at 2688×1242 pixels and the same 458 pixels-per-inch (ppt) depth.
  • Weight: 7.34 ounces (208 grams)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 6.20 in (157.5mm) x 3.05 in (77.4mm) x 0.30 in (7.7mm)
  • Battery life extension of up to 1.5 hours compared to the iPhone X (not the iPhone 8 Plus) which amounts to:
    • 25 hours talk time
    • 13 hours Internet use
    • 15 hours video (wireless)
    • 65 hours audio (wireless)
  • Pricing:
    • 64GB: $1,099
    • 256GB: $1,249
    • 512GB: $1,449
  • Availability: same as iPhone Xs

 

iPhone Xr

The new entry in the iPhone X lineup. Some features will be the same as the iPhone Xs/Xs Max. Here’s what’s different or new:

  • 6.1″ Liquid Retina display with a wide color gamut (P3) and true-tone support, 1792×828 pixel resolution at 326 pixels-per-inch (ppi; Retina)
  • Six colors:
    • (PRODUCT)RED
    • Yellow
    • White
    • Coral
    • Black
    • Blue
  • Weight: 6.84 ounces (194 grams)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 5.94in (150.9mm) x 2.98 in (75.7mm) x 0.33 in (8.3mm)
  • IP67-rated splash, dust, water resistance (up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes)
  • 12MP wide-angle f/1.8 aperture rear camera
  • 7MP front-facing f/2.2 aperture  front camera
  • Support for FDD-LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 66, 71, and TD-LTE bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41
  • LTE Advanced support
  • Battery life extension of up to 1.5 hours more than the iPhone 8 Plus
    • 25 hours talk time
    • 15 hours Internet
    • 16 hours video (wireless)
    • 65 hours audio (wireless)
  • Wireless charging (Qi)
  • Single SIM
  • Pricing:
    • 64GB: $749
    • 128GB: $799
    • 256GB: $899
  • Availability: pre-order October 19th, available starting October 26th

Other things

  • The iPhone 6s/SE have been discontinued. The new previous-generation low-end phone is now the iPhone 7. The iPhones 7 and 8 received price reductions to starting points of $499 and $599, respectively.

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Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography