Tech giant, Apple, today, Wednesday officially announced its 2018 iPhone line-up at a press event in Cupertino, Calif.
The company is replacing last year’s iPhone X with a new model dubbed the iPhone Xs, which comes with a bigger-sized Xs Max variant. In addition, Apple also unveiled a more affordable iPhone Xr, which effectively replaces last year’s iPhone 8, and comes in a range of new colors.
The iPhone Xs looks very similar to last year’s iPhone X, and features a 5.8 inch edge-to-edge OLED screen with a resolution of 2436 by 1125 pixels. The display consists of a total of 2.7 million pixels, features a pixel density of 458 pixels per inch, and has a notch cut-out for the front-facing camera. The phone will be available in three color options: silver, gold and space gray. Storage options for the phone include 64 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB.
Just as last year’s model, the iPhone Xs once again makes use of Face ID for unlock and authentication, which is why there isn’t any fingerprint reader included on the device. Also once again missing, just like on many other phones these days: a headphone jack.
The phone includes a dual camera with a 12 megapixel wide-angle lens as well as a 12 megapixel telephoto lens. On the front side, it features a 7 megapixel RGB camera as a well as an infrared camera used for Face ID.
The cameras are being powered by lots of smart algorithms working under the hood, which also enable a new smart HDR feature as well as the ability to adjust the depth-of-field of a photo after the fact. Essentially, all that computational power makes it possible to blur the background of a portrait photo, HDR-style, with a simple slider.
The iPhone Xs Max is virtually identical with the iPhone Xs, safe for the screen size: The super-sized premium iPhone features a OLED screen with a vertical screen size of 6.5 inches with a resolution of 2688 by 1242 pixels, and a pixel density of 458 ppi. Color and other features are otherwise the same as those available with the iPhone Xs, safe for one key detail: Apple promised that the iPhone Xs Max will offer up to 90 minutes of additional battery life when compared to the iPhone X. The iPhone Xs will only offer up to 30 minutes of additional battery life.
Apple’s new iPhones Xs are being powered by a new chip dubbed the A12 Bionic, which includes a 6-core CPU, a 4-core GPU and a dedicated neural engine. The latter is essentially chip hardware optimized for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, as well as augmented reality (AR). Apple first added dedicated on-device machine learning to last year’s chipsets, but this new generation is supposed to be around 9 times faster that last year’s model while using less energy.
The iPhone Xr is perhaps the biggest change in the company’s line-up: The device is meant to replace the iPhone 8 as an option for more budget-conscious buyers, but borrows its looks from the iPhone X. It features a 6.1 inch edge-to-edge LED screen with a resolution of 1792 by 828 pixels and a pixel density of 326 ppi.
There is a notch for the front-facing camera, and just like the iPhone Xs, and the X before it, the Xr also uses Face ID for unlock and authentication. The phone has a 12 megapixel camera and offers much of the same photo features as the Xs, including smart HDR. The iPhone Xr will be available in white, black, blue, coral, yellow and red, and come with 64GB, 128 GB or 256GB of storage, with pricing starting at $749.
Speaking of which: The iPhone Xs will be priced $999 and up, and the Xs Max will sell for $1099 and up. Consumers will be able to pre-order the new devices starting this Friday, and shipping will start on September 21.
iPhone XS – $999 (21 Sept)
iPhone XS Max – $1099 (21 Sept)
iPhone XR – $749 (26 Oct)
— Safwan Ahmedmia (@SuperSaf) September 12, 2018
Earlier at its California event, Apple unveiled a new smartwatch whose display extends further towards its edges than earlier models.
The firm said the Watch Series 4’s usable screen was more than 30% larger despite the device itself having similar dimensions to its predecessor.
It also gains the ability to detect if its wearer has fallen and to take electrocardiogram heartbeat readings.
Apple overtook Xiaomi and Fitbit to become the world’s bestselling wearable tech company in the second half of 2017 thanks to strong demand for the last generation of its smartwatch. It has held on to the top spot ever since, according to IDC .
“The reason it performed so well is that many network operators are only willing to focus on smartwatches with their own [built-in cellular] connectivity,” said Mr Jeronimo.
“That’s why they are shipping about as many watches as the whole Swiss watch-making industry.”
Several insurance firms and employers already offer the Apple Watch because of its health-tracking features and its new facilities should add to its appeal.
Apple said that the Watch would warn users if it detected abnormally fast and slow heart rhythms, and added that it had already been given “clearance” by the US Food and Drug Administration.
“Getting FDA approval for health features on the new Watch underlines Apple’s leadership in wrist-worn tech,” commented Mr Wood.
“It’s an arduous process that no other consumer wearable company has successfully navigated.”
Apple added that a fall-detection facility had been made possible because of the introduction of “next-generation” gyroscope and accelerometer sensors that sampled data eight times faster than before.
If it believes the user has fallen and remained immobile for a minute or more, it will call the emergency services for help, if set to do so.