Another year, another iPhone/watch combination hits the markets, but for the second year in a row, the latest models – once again, launched as three variations – have increasingly confusing names, making them a little difficult to tell apart and even compare against each other. Here, we try and sort through the latest releases – including the new Apple watch – and help you make an informed choice when picking a new iPhone. So, if you are looking for a new iPhone, what can you expect out of the XR, XS and XS Max?
First off, screen size is telling. The XS max comes with a whopping 6.5” screen, while the RX is only 6.1” and the XS is a little smaller at 5.8”. The next thing to understand is that the three latest releases share a number of hardware features, and a huge array of common software. While they may be different in size, they all effectively pack the same power and have the same capabilities to the greater extent. Dealing with the hardware first, the three phones share;
A new processor. All released with Apple’s latest A12 Bionic processor, which is reckoned to make them up to 15% faster and able to handle a range of tasks than last year’s iPhone X and effectively future-proofing the designs for a few years to come.
New Cameras. Here’s the major area where the XR – the ‘standard’ device – differs slightly from its XS and XS Max partners. The XR has the exact same 12-megapixel f/1.8 primary camera as the other two but lacks the telephoto and zoom lens function, for some reason. The front camera system used for selfies, Face ID, Animoji, and Memoji is the same across all three new iPhones, comprising a 7-megapixel f/2.2 sensor device, sharper selfies should be the order of the day.
Dual-SIM support. The phones are all capable of supporting two phone lines by including both an eSIM and a physical nanoSIM card in the phone. This will make international travel or juggling two work and personal lines much easier.
So, your new iPhone should be faster and take better photos, but what of the other changes that have been incorporated into the system and software?
No Home button and a new Face ID system. Finally, after years of promising so, the home button is gone for good from Apple’s 2018 iPhones, but the company claims to have sped up Face ID by adding a faster secure enclave and smarter face-scanning algorithms, so you shouldn’t miss it too much.
True Tone, wide-colour displays. The iPhone XS’s and XR each include Apple’s True Tone tech, which adjusts the display’s temperature to match the ambient lighting around you for a better contrast as well as being able to show a wide P3 colour gamut for more true-life images.
Faster wireless charging. The company says that all new models support faster Qi charging than the iPhone X was capable of, but it’s not providing any clear numbers on what the difference is, so your guess is as good as ours.
So, what about the Apple Watch? Well, it has always been an excellent smartwatch series, as long as you’re expecting an iPhone-tied convenience gadget, not a life-changing piece of technology. The latest version connects with even more apps and because of that has a fairly long learning curve that may not appeal to many new users. It does have a number of good tie-ins with your iPhone, but isn’t the best fitness tracker around. Many screens seem cluttered as Apple try to fit as much information as possible on, which can be confusing. If you have always had a Apple watch, get a new one; if not and are also not 15, probably don’t bother.
Taken from the October 2018 issue of Geek Parenting, out now!