Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Apple unveils its priciest iPhone, new smartwatch

The gold space gray and silver finishes on iPhone Xs Apple launches the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
Celia Hoffman | 14 September, 2018, 19:37

I do miss narrower phones a bit.

Okay, so wait, you say.

Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in regular and Plus sizes. It's a very good, very saturated, very deep LCD.

The latest iPhone models are just getting more expensive. Apple's Watch Series 4 built-in speaker is now 50 per cent louder, optimized for phone calls, Siri and Walkie-Talkie, and the microphone has been relocated, to reduce echo for better sound quality. But that's about R4,000 less than the starting price for the XS, and XR comes with a bigger screen.

iPhone XR comes in five colour options of white, black, blue, yellow and coral. With no Home Button, the XR supports tap to wake, swipe up to the home screen, swipe down to access notifications and the Control Centre. The back of the phone is also glass, which allows for wireless charging. It's a lot like an X that way. Apple's iPhone XR has a 12-megapixel camera with f/1.8 aperture. What it lacks in dual-camera-ness it makes up for with computational photography: the iPhone XR can - like the Google Pixel line - do Portrait Mode using its single camera thanks to improvements to the image signal processor, neural engine, and algorithms.

The XR has dual speakers, one on the bottom and one at the top of the phone.

"We are going to take iPhone X to the next level", chief executive Tim Cook said at a media event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

More news: UNC Storm Surge Expert Warns Of Potentially 'Catastrophic' Florence

The iPhone XS Max is the biggest iPhone ever. There are new software camera tricks, too, such as the ability to adjust the blur in bokeh shots after the shot has been captured, and "smart HDR" that uses the A12 chipset to identify shadows during photography in real time to enhance dynamic range.

There's still some mystery around the XR's modem. While last year's premium priced iPhone X helped boost the company's smartphone revenue, the stagnating unit sales are holding back the company's overall growth, and have led to declining market share.

The XR's most compelling feature, though, is likely to be its price.

There's also Dual-SIM support but for those outside of China would need to use an e-SIM for the secondary connection.

The XR is coming a little later than the XS is, with a sale date of October 19 and an arrival date of October 26.

All the upgrades to this year's iPhones are internal.

The iPhone XS comes with a 5.8-inch screen, as the iPhone X did. However, the XR loses out on 3D Touch and relies on Taptic Feedback for launching the camera or the flashlight.

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