It’s Time to Upgrade from Your X
Master Techie

Have you started saving up to buy the new iPhone yet?

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 It’s that time of the year again. Apple hosted a special event where it unveiled the highly anticipated range of iPhones. In true Apple fashion, the night was full of surprises, with Apple launching the new iWatch, the new iOS 12, and, 3 brand new iPhones.

  

Apple debuted the new iPhone XS, a direct successor to the bestselling phone in its history, the iPhone X. It features upgrades across the spec chart. A more affordable version of the iPhone X dubbed the iPhone XR was also launched, expected to replace the existing SE series. The star of the show however, was the new iPhone XS Max, sporting a gigantic 6.5 inch super retina display, the largest display on an iPhone ever. The XS Max features all of the spec upgrades on the XS with a bigger battery owing to the larger display.

 

Let’s take an in depth look at the upgrades on these iPhones.

At first glance, the most noticeable change is the new super retina display. The OLED displays on these phones are truly beautiful. Apple reports the displays on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will deliver 60 percent greater dynamic range on HDR content, and that the screens are more touch sensitive. Further, the durability and scratch resistance of these screens have been significantly improved upon. All in all, Apple managed a successful upgrade to what was widely considered one of the best screens on the market.

 

Under the hood lies what could be the biggest upgrade. The iPhone XS models pack Apple's signature A12 Bionic CPU, the first commercially available 7nm chip. The new processor comprises of a four-core CPU coupled with a six-core GPU and a next-gen eight-core neural engine. It promises to deliver a performance boost of 15% compared to last year's A11 chip, still consuming 40% lower power and providing support for real-time machine learning.

 

Augmented-reality experiences might see the biggest leap on these phones in terms of speed, quality and performance. Apple attributes that to the improved Neural Engine chip for computer vision and machine learning. In short, the A12 chip is the thing that makes your AR and AI apps work, your photos look better and your phone run faster.

 

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These iPhones follow the iPhone X’s revolutionary design, featuring a notch on the front of the phone to house a host of sensors and a front camera. The improved glass has led to the phones being awarded the higher IP68 rating, ensuring protection against water till up to 2 meters of immersion for up to 30 minutes. These phones also have improved tolerance to chlorinated water, salt water and liquid spills. As always, the iPhone isn't expected to be an underwater camera, or a scuba companion, but this should improve its resistance to those dreaded accidental drops.

 

Coming to the camera, the iPhone XS and XS Max pack a dual 12MP camera setup boasting of a larger sensor than the iPhone X and a better TrueTone flash. The improved sensor and the new image processor on the A12 Bionic chip combine to enable what Apple calls "Smart HDR". Practically, this means that photos look smoother in low light conditions as well as in extreme contrast situations, making for better memories whether at a vacation on the beach, or on a romantic candlelit dinner. Around the front, you'll find the same 7MP TrueDepth camera as on the last year's model, equipped with a new sensor, Apple says, is 2x faster than before.

 

The iPhone XS and XS Max have drastically improved on battery life, giving them a runtime boost of 30 minutes on the iPhone XS and up to 90 minutes on the XS Max. To appeal to customers who prefer dual-SIM phones, Apple now offers an eSIM alongside the physical SIM tray. This is a new technology for the iPhone, but eSIMs have been in the Apple Watch and the iPad for some time. 

 

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The iOS software has always edged out Android when it comes to security, optimisation and user interface. With the controversial air surrounding technology and privacy, Apple has doubled down on efforts to better protect user data and prevent security concerns across popular social networks. With their new phones, adding more layers to its stellar security suite has made it more secure than ever before.

 

  

Apple’s iOS 12, rather than a host of new features, instead focuses on a lot of polish, some really thoughtful additions and improved overall functionality. It may not sound like the most exciting software update, but the numerous benefits ranging from better notifications, a more proactive Siri, faster Face ID, and tools to help you understand your phone usage better, make it a must-have. And the best part? Older Apple devices should see a boost in performance after the upgrade as well. The debut of the new Series 4 iWatch showcased Apple’s seamless integration of technology across their ecosystem of devices, from the iMac to the iPad.

 

 

The iPhone XS and XS Max will be available in storage options of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. The iPhone X shipped in only two colours: A stainless steel and white-backed silver model and a nearly black space grey version. The XS models add a new gold version, where the stainless steel rim is gold coloured, but the back glass looks a subtle beige. The iPhone XS price starts at Rs.99000 while the larger XS Max retails from Rs.109000.

  

There are obvious differences between last year’s iPhones compared to this year’s devices, like the first of its kind processor and the giant display on the Max. But there are subtle differences too and in this case, the subtle increments are impressive. Whether these upgrades are worth the price tag though, should have a lot of people scratching their heads.

 

With the onset of heavy competition from rumoured devices like the One Plus 6T, Google Pixel 3 and Samsung Galaxy S10, Apple has nudged innovation in smartphones forward yet again to stay a strong contender in the Game of Phones. Now, only one question remains.

 

Have you started saving up to buy the new iPhone yet?