Today was Apple’s big hardware event and the trillion dollar company had quite a lot to share about the future of some of its most profitable product lines.
While Apple boasted how its products had been completely redesigned and re-engineered, in reality, what was most notable about today’s Apple event is how Apple is choosing to design within the bounds of its past releases.
The new class of flagship iPhones, the XS and XS Max made hardware upgrades focused on durability and performance with a new chipset and not too much else. The first hardware design update in years for the Apple Watch update equated to a larger, rounded corner display and updates to the biometric sensors.
There were also a couple surprises though, here’s what we saw today.
iPhone XS and XS Max
Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone didn’t reinvent the wheel after last year’s major refresh, but the flagship iPhone XS now has a plus size, though it’s not called the XS Plus.
The iPhone XS Max sports a 6.5 inch OLED display compared to the XS’s 5.8 display. It’s a massive screen and it’s the biggest that’s ever been on an iPhone. For comparison the iPad Mini’s screen is 7.9 inches so the XS Max is as phablet as phablets come.
The iPhone XS and XS Max are identical specs-wise with both toting Apple’s latest A12 bionic chipset, the only difference is the display and a $100 price bump for the larger phone.
The iPhone XS starts at $999 for a 64GB version, while the 64GB iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099.
While Apple’s iPhone X may have oozed premium luxury when it launched last year, boy, was it pricey. The next best option was the iPhone 8 line which felt like a pretty major step down in terms of design. This year the choice is a lot easier with the “edge-to-edge” iPhone XR which cuts down on priciness (it starts at $749) by using an LCD display as opposed to the more high-end OLED one found in the iPhone XS.
The XR may offer a tad less vibrant of an experience, but the large 6.1 inch LCD phone is sure to be Apple’s best seller thanks to how similar it is to the XS. The main areas where it falls short beyond display types are the single camera module and its lack of 3D Touch. The body of the XR is also made of aluminum as opposed to the stainless steel body on the XS.
Apple Watch Series 4
After three years of under-the-hood upgrades, we finally got some changes to the look of the Apple Watch. The major story here is a new, larger curved edge display on the Watch.
The small version has a 32 percent larger display, while the bigger one has a 35 percent bigger display. While the displays mainly cut into the bezels, the watches are a little larger even if their overall volume has shrunk due to growing a bit thinner on the wrist.
The Series 4 has some crazy health-monitoring features, namely it now has the ability to perform electro-cardiograms in 30 seconds.
The 40mm Apple Watch starts at $399 while the LTE version starts at a pricey $499.
There were still plenty of things that we expected Apple to touch on that we heard diddly squat about. Where’s AirPower? Where are the new AirPods? What’s up with the MacBook Air? Any word on a cheaper HomePod? What about those rumored over-ear headphones? What about that AR headset we’ve been hearing about for years?
In the end, Apple can only share so much at each event, but even through the lens of past announcements this was a pretty quiet keynote.
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