It’s that time of the year again. That one day in September when everyone stops watching Netflix, puts down their almond-milk-extra-hot-flat-whites, and fires up their iPhones and Macbooks to catch the latest product drops unveiled at the Apple Keynote. And this year, Esquire Singapore is reporting live from the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, Cupertino—bringing you up-to-the-minute updates on the most talked about devices that will, once again, revolutionalise your life. As Tim Cook says, it’s “magical”.
With over 500 million visitors to Apple stores a year, and almost two billion iOS devices sold internationally, the Apple Keynote is undeniably a global event. Here’s what went down.
Apple Watch Series 4
Apple Watch is not only the number one smart watch in the world, it is the number one watch. Period.
- The screen is 30% larger than Series 3 with a 44mm watch face
- New watch face animations including hypnotic iterations of the Breathe App, fire face, water face and vapour face
- Stereo speaker that is 50% louder than Series 3
- Digital crown now has haptic feedback
- Radio waves can now pass through the front and back of the Apple Watch, due to an extended black ceramic case back, improving connectivity
- New S4 processor for up to two times faster performance compared to Apple Watch Series 3
- New accelerometer and gyroscope can now detect when the user falls; and if the user is inactive for one minute after the fall, Apple Watch Series 4 will automatically place a call to pre-set loved ones or an emergency contact
- New heart rate feature to notify the user when their heart rate is too low, too high or irregular
- Series 4, despite advancement and new features, still has 18 hour battery life (same as with Series 3)
Favourite feature: New electrical heart monitor in the back of the watch allows users to take an electrocardiogram (ECG). It is the first publicly available product with an ECG feature—normally an ECG can only be taken by a cardiologist in a clinic—and has been approved by the FDA. Rest assured, all your health and fitness data is encrypted on your device and on iCloud.
Price and availability: Apple Watch Series 4 is available 40mm and 44mm sizes and comes in silver, space grey, and a new gold stainless finish. Apple Watch Series 4 starts at SGD599 with GPS, and SGD749 with cellular. You can order the Apple Watch Series 4 on 14 September and it ships on 21 September.
iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
The iPhone X is now the number one smartphone in the world and has a 98% customer satisfaction. The iPhone X has been taken to the next level with the iPhone XS (5.8 inch screen) and iPhone XS Max (6.5 inch screen).
- New stainless gold finish to go with silver and space grey models
- IP68 rating means that the iPhone XS is now waterproof for a depth of two metres for up to 3o minutes
- New 5.8 inch (iPhone XS) and 6.5 inch (iPhone XS Max) Super Retina OLED displays
- Improvements to Face ID to increase efficiency and security; providing iPhone XS with the most secure facial authentication ever in a smartphone
- Powered by the A12 Bionic chip (the industry’s first 7 nanometer chip) with a 4-Core GPU, 6-Core CPU and Neural Engine that has an 8-core design, the A12 can now power five trillion operations per second
- New Neural Engine unlocks the ability of the iPhone XS to enable real-time machine learning to power Face ID apps and augmented reality apps
- New dual camera system on the back of the iPhone XS with a 12MP wide-angle camera, 12MP telephoto camera, and improved True Tone flash
- On the front of the iPhone XS, there is a 7MP RGB TrueDepth camera, IR camera and dot projector
- Improved battery life so that iPhone XS gives you 30 minutes more in your day, and iPhone XS Max gives you an extra one-and-a-half hours in a day, compared to iPhone X
- DSMS (Dual Sim Dual Standard) allows for dual SIM in your iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max so you can now have two phone numbers, two different plans, and travel with a local plan
Favourite feature: The next-generation augmented reality apps made possible by the new Core ML framework in iPhone XS are sick. Seen Ready Player One by Steven Spielberg? Yup, we are one step closer. But our hat goes off to the brand new Smart HDR (high dynamic range) feature to improve picture quality, plus the ability now to adjust your depth of field after the photo is taken in Portrait mode. That’s right, you can now tweak how much bokeh—that cool blur you see in professional photos—after you’ve taken the photo. Shut up.
Price and availability: Available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB models, the iPhone XS starts at SGD1649 while the iPhone XS Max starts at SGD1799. Orders can be placed on 14 September and it ships on 21 September.
iPhone XR is the colourful cousin to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with six different finishes. It has the iPhone XS experience but with an aluminium body and edge-to-edge 6.1 inch LCD screen.
- Made from aluminium as opposed to stainless steel in iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
- IP67 rating means the iPhone XR is waterproof to a depth of one metre for up to 3o minutes
- New 6.1 inch Liquid Retina display that is an edge-to-edge screen and the most advanced LCD display ever in a smartphone
- Same experience as iPhone XS including Face ID with a 7MP TrueDepth camera
- Also powered by the A12 Bionic chip that’s in iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
- Single 12MP wide-angle camera on the back (same 12MP wide-angle camera in the iPhone XS and XS Max)
- Single camera system still allows for Portrait Mode (with adjustable depth of field) in the iPhone XS models
- Battery life allows you to use the iPhone XR for an hour-and-a-half longer than the iPhone 8 Plus
Favourite feature: All those colour variations. Available in six finishes—including blue, white, black, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT) RED—the iPhone XR gives you more options to show off your personality.
Price and availability: Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models, the iPhone XR starts at SGD1229. Orders can be placed on 19 October and it ships on 26 October.