Apple’s had us on tenterhooks waiting for today’s big hardware event, and our patience has paid off with a slew of announcements to get everyone excited. We all knew the iPhone 11 was coming, although the version named iPhone 11 Pro Max was a little out of the left field. Plenty more happened that is ripe for discussion and dissection too, which is why you’re here.
If you couldn’t watch livestream, or didn’t have a Twitter feed to follow, we’ve put together this recap to make sure you’re on point with your Apple news and announcements.
Apple introduces a trio of new iPhones
When we got the last iPhone back in 2017, Apple seemed to change their naming convention by bringing out the iPhone X. Skipping iPhone 9, they instead paid homage to the 10th birthday of the iPhone, and now have reverted back to their old naming ways. You’ll now be forever left to wonder what the iPhone 9 could have been.
But all is not quite back to normal, with the iPhone 11 being the standard model with the lowest price, for more features and extras there’s the higher-priced iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. These high-spec handsets are the natural successors to the XS and XS Max whilst iPhone 11 continues on from the iPhone XR.
Each of the new handsets has had a new camera lens added, along with an official portrait mode for pets! Current colors of the Pro and Pro Max are midnight green, space gray, silver, and gold. Plenty more details were finally confirmed and rumors dispelled, so let’s dive right in.
Zooming in on the camera lenses
Three lenses are the new normal for the top-end iPhones, with both Pro models coming triple lensed and the entry-level handset is now dual lensed – an upgrade from the XR’s single-lens offering. All three new models are also equipped with what is being called an ultra-wide-angle lens.
To give that some meaning, the ultra-wide lens takes in light from a broader field of view than before. This makes the lens much better when you want to shoot landscapes or get the whole crew into one big group shot.
To get sharper focus, and an Insta-friendly soft blur in the background, Apple has given the basic iPhone 11 its second lense. The old XR was only equipped with a single lens and only really worked for portraits of humans. Doubling the lenses means portrait shots of food, animals, and plants all become possible, great for food bloggers and nature photographers.
Moving up the scale, a better zoom capability comes along with the three lens array on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. A night mode has been added for lower light settings, and this is going to be auto-detected and used, making scenes look like there is better lighting.
More camera improvements
Even more, improvements have been made to the mechanics of photo-taking with the new iPhones. Along with the new night mode, there’s an improved stabilization when taking videos, along with second-gen smart HDR which will add better lighting too. Added to this, the front-facing, selfie camera on each of the new iPhones have jumped from 7 megapixels right up to 12 megapixels. The ultra-wide capability has also been added, along with a slo-mo function. Who doesn’t need a slo-mo selfie video?
The screens are improving
Screen quality is the stand-out difference between the better iPhones, 11 Pro and Pro Max, and the lower level one. The standard handset has a decent LCD screen, whereas the two Pro versions are kitted out with OLED, giving blacker blacks and brighter whites for all your viewing needs.
You’ll stay charged longer
Charging time life is the bain of all tech users, and the iPhone is hoping to overcome that with a bigger charger, pumping 18 watts compared with the 5-watt chargers that were standard on last year’s version. Once juiced up, the 11 Pro lasts up to four hours longer than the XS of 2018 and Pro Max packs five more hours than the XS Max.
Everything is a bit more robust
The shatter-resistant glass is a feature added to try and combat all the screen and back replacements so regularly needed. It should withstand more kinds of drops, according to Apple. Longer underwater time without breaking is also promised for the new models.
As for the internals, all of the handsets have A13 bionic chip which should see better energy efficiency. Storage comes in at 64gb for the iPhone 11 Pro for $999, 256gb for $1149, and 512gb for $1349, and the Pro Max is $1099, $1249, and $1449 for the respective sizes.
Pre-orders of the new range of iPhones open 5 am Pacific Time and ship on September 20th. If you’re looking for an iPhone on a slightly lower rung of the ladder, the iPhone 8 now costs $450 and the iPhone XR now costs $600.
The new Apple Watch
Along with the excitement of the new phones, Apple gave details of the new Apple Watch Series 5. The biggest change from the last model is the new, always-on display, as compared to the old tilting to light feature.
In the past, the display has gone completely blank to preserve battery life. Taking cues from most other smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 5 will dim the brightness and keep just a few pixels activated to display the time. It’ll still light up fully when you tilt your wrist, too.
Battery life from Series 4 of 18 hours has been preserved, which is a little impressive, considering the display change. A built-in compass and some other minor tweaks have been made too. It will be available to buy from September 20th and comes in at £400, keeping the same price as the Series 4.
There’s a new iPad coming
A new, entry-level iPad was announced at today’s event, with a price of $330. For the money, consumers will get a 10.2-inch screen, an improvement from the old 9.7-inch model. Compatibility with Apple’s Smart Keyboard has been added, whereas older models would only work with third-party add-ons.
When compared with the top-end iPad Pros, this new piece of kit isn’t much to get excited about. Pro models have better screens, face recognition, and work with the advanced Apple stylus. The entry-level tablet is a best-seller for Apple, though. By investing some time and tech into this new model it shows the company is still committed to simple tablet tech.