Apple iPhone XS, XR, Watch 4 announced with iOS 12

Apple announces bigger, more expensive iPhone XS Max along with the new range and Watch.

Apple has finally unveiled its highly-anticipated trio of new iPhones. Furthermore, the fruity phone company has added yet another, more expensive, iPhone to its stable – the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max.

The iPhone XS Max (or, 10S Max if we’re pedantic) will start at £1099. Boasting a Super Retina Display, it also now stands as the largest iPhone yet.

Apple revealed the new handset alongside its new £999 iPhone XS – a 5.8-inch device CEO Tim Cook says is “by far the most advanced iPhone we have ever created.” The firm also unveiled a more affordable model in a bid to ensure their devices “reach even more customers,” with the 6.1-inch iPhone XR shipping at £749. Finally, the new Series 4 Watch was also unveiled, featuring an overhauled design and new safety features including fall-detection.

iPhone XR and XS

iPhone XS and XR

There had been concerns that the relatively high £999 entry price of iPhone X would limit its appeal. However, Apple has said that the 10 had been more popular than either of the lower-priced iPhone 8 models. Where the cynical side of me would be prone to shrug and think “well they would, wouldn’t they”, word on the street is that the iPhone X also outsold other flagship phones.

Proof of those sales can be found in Apple becoming the world’s first company with a market capitalisation above $1tn (£768bn).

The XS Max will become the most expensive handset Apple has sold to date, with its price ranging from £1,099 to £1,449 depending on its amount of storage.

The XS will match the original X’s £999-£1,349 cost, while the XR will be £749-£899.

Bigger screen

iphone xr, iphone xs and iphone xs max

Apple highlighted that the iPhone XS Max’s display was significantly larger than the 5.5-inch screen of the old iPhone 8 Plus despite the two handsets being similar in size.

The iPhone XR also has a bigger screen but uses LCD rather than the OLED technology found in the more expensive models. Therefore, blacks won’t be as deep, and colours will have less contrast on the XR.

Additionally, its chassis is made from aluminium rather than steel, which means it is likely to be less damage-resistant. However, unlike the more expensive models, it comes in six different colours.

These options might encourage iPhone owners who did not upgrade last year to do so this generation.

New brain

The latest phones feature a fresh processor – the A12 Bionic. It the firm’s first to feature seven-nanometre transistor technology, which should aid energy efficiency and computation speeds.

Its inclusion means the iPhone XS will last about 30 minutes longer on a battery charge than the X, Apple suggested.

The firm also said that its Face ID system would now work faster than before and it demoed several apps, showing off its augmented reality prowess.

Huawei recently announced it had developed a rival 7nm mobile chip of its own.

Rumours had us expecting at least one of the new iPhones would feature three rear cameras like Huawei’s P20 Pro. However, Apple has stuck with two 12 megapixel lenses for the XS and XS Max. The XR only has one rear camera.

Apple did unveil a new feature that will allow users to alter the depth-of-field of their photos after they have been taken. The new application effectively changes the degree to which the background is blurred. Real-time preview in Depth Control will be available via a free software update later this Autumn.

Dual SIM

The XS and XS Max also introduce support for two mobile contracts. In most countries, this will be via a physical Sim card in addition to an electronic eSim, which can be activated via a QR code among other means. Dual SIM support will be available via a free software update later this Autumn.

The version sold to Chinese consumers, however, will require two physical SIM cards to achieve this.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are splash-, water- and dust-resistant. The devices were tested under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 2 meters up to 30 minutes).

Health Watch

apple watch 4

Earlier at its California event, Apple unveiled a new smartwatch. The Cupertino company has refreshed the timepiece with a display that 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.

This allows more information and shortcuts to be shown at once.

It can also display electrocardiogram heart waveforms for the first time. This works via new sensors in its back and crown to allow owners to check if their heart has an irregular rhythm.

Also, the watch will automatically warn its user if it detects their heart is beating abnormally fast or slow during everyday use.

A new fall-detection facility also debuts thanks to the introduction of “next-generation” gyroscope and accelerometer sensors.

If the associated software believes the user has suffered a hard fall and remained immobile for a minute or more, it will send the emergency services an alert including the user’s location, as well as contacting chosen friends or family if set to do so.

The cellular 40mm version of the Watch Series 4 begins at £499 and the 44mm at £529.

That marks an increase on the 38mm and 42mm Series 3 equivalents, which respectively cost £359 and £429.

Apple also confirmed that the next version of its mobile operating system – iOS 12 – will be released for existing devices on 17 September.