Apple announced the ‘most powerful iPhones ever’ on September 12 at the Steve Jobs amphitheatre, building up on the success of the older iPhone X. The Cupertino-based tech giant released three new handsets – the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR alongside the Apple Watch series 4, iOS 12 and A12 Bionic chipset.
There are a lot of small upgrades in the new phones, but if you look at big, incremental upgrades, here are some things we’ve listed down that you may want to know…
1. Apple’s New Retina OLED and Liquid Retina LCD Display
The 5.8-inch iPhone XS and the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max get an upgraded panel that not only looks good but is packed with the cutting edge of display technology. The new iPhones sport OLED panels like the 2017 launch – iPhone X. They are manufactured by Samsung and based on what the presentation showed, they look awesome! Both the new iPhones also have the notch on top of the display — A cutout that houses the TrueDepth camera, the earpiece and the proximity sensor. Yes, the notch isn’t something new, but Apple claims the camera underneath is much more advanced.
The smaller iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch OLED panel with a 2436 x 1125 resolution and 458 ppi pixel density, while the Max variant has a 6.5-inch OLED screen with a 2688 x 1242 resolution and pixel density of 458 ppi. That’s definitely more than the iPhone X and even the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which was so far the best display in the market. The Super Retina display is HDR capable and offers a 60% improvement in dynamic range compared to the iPhone X. The new displays can offer a million-to-one contrast ratio (1,000,000:1) with greater brightness and deeper blacks.
New iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will support Dolby Vision alongside traditional HDR10 – two types of HDR formats that will make binge-watching your favourite shows even better. The touch is also super smooth with 120Hz touch sensing. Plus, you can tap to wake the phone. They have the True Tone colour management and supports 128 percent of the sRGB spectrum. It’s also the most colour accurate display on a smartphone. iPhone XR, on the other hand, gets a 6.1-inch LCD panel that Apple calls Liquid Retina. It’s apparently the most advanced LCD display with 326 pixels per inch and 1.4 million in total. It also has the True Tone display and supports a wide colour gamut. This one isn’t HDR certified though.
2. End Of Fingerprint Sensors And Headphone Jacks
With the new iPhone XR, iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max, the fingerprint sensor and the physical home button is now gone forever. It’s all screen now with the new iPhones having minimal bezels around the body. Instead, there is Face ID housed inside the notch. Apple claims it’s even more secure and faster than the iPhone X, which was already pretty fast. Thanks to a secure enclave in the A12 Bionic chipset, it’s far more secure and you cannot fool the phone with a simple photograph. It’s also much more faster, something that Apple demonstrated live on stage at the event.
Also, gone are the 3.5mm headphone jacks. They are now completely extinct from the iPhone lineup as announced at the 2018 iPhone launch. Also, the end of the iPhone 6S and iPhone SE was announced. The phones are also removed from Apple’s website. They were the last remaining handsets to offer the popular port.
3. Finally Dual-SIM Support From Apple
This is the first time, Apple has incorporated the most-asked feature in the iPhones. The iPhone XS and XS Max get dual-SIM support, allowing users to have nano-SIM and a digital eSIM that comes pre-embedded in the handsets. But the dual SIM support will be available to users via an OTA update in the coming months. You will need two separate wireless service plans to take advantage of the feature.
Some of the carriers in countries like US and UK already have support for eSIM, countries like India might need to wait until a major telco rolls out the service in partnership with Apple. However, in India, Airtel and Reliance Jio already support eSIM for the Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular. When dual SIM is activated, iPhone users can avail the power of using two wireless connections simultaneously. It’s called Dual SIM Dual Standby, and even if you’re on a call on the first SIM, you can use data on the second SIM.
4. New iPhones With A Colourful Identity
Apple has introduced plenty of variety that offers a lot more choice. The expensive XS and XS Max are housed in a surgical grade stainless steel case with toughened glass on both sides, which Apple claims is tougher than the previous iPhone X. The phones are offered in silver, space grey, and a new polished rich gold colour. On the other hand, things are even funkier with a myriad of new colours on the iPhone XR with white, black, blue, coral, yellow and red.
5. Next-Generation, A-Series Processor And A12 Bionic Chip
Under the hood there is new A12 Bionic Chip, which works 15 percent faster and there’s 40 percent less power consumption in comparison to the previous generation. It’s the first 7nm chipset to fall in the hands of consumers. Thanks to the small size, Apple now packs 6.9 billion transistors in the chipset and they consume even less power. The A12 Bionic chipset has a six-core CPU that is 15 percent faster and 40 percent more power efficient than the iPhone X. Along with that, there is a four-core GPU with 50 percent better graphics.
It’s an Apple-designed GPU that can do tessellation and multi-layer rendering up to 50 percent faster and provide lossless memory compression. Apple called upon the stage the Chief Game Designer of Bethesda to show off the GPU’s capabilities in Elder Scrolls: Blade, a first-person shooter RPG game that’ll hit the App Stores later this year (pre-orders have already started). The game-play showed incredibly rich graphics, almost comparable to a high-end gaming console, with 40 percent faster post-processing and rendering. The additional GPU cores come into play to render more effects.
6. Does iPhone Have The Best Smartphone Cameras Around?
All three iPhones have 12-megapixel rear-facing wide-angle camera lens. Apple claims its new cameras are unlike any smartphone snapper you’ve seen before. The new 12MP wide-angle and telephoto sensors have an all new sensor with large 1.4um pixels with particular focus pixels and f/1.8 aperture. They come together with an all new image signal processor in the A12 Bionic and the upgraded neural engine that offers smart HDR and depth control. The iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max can adjust the exposure and the metering based on the light available.
The feature is called smart HDR. More than that, the camera can now adjust the level of bokeh you want in your portrait shots. The implementation definitely looks better than what other Android phones can do. The iPhone XR doesn’t have optical zoom and can go all the way to 5X digitally and still retain a lot of details. It does have the portrait mode though, implemented using complex neural network algorithms. The new depth control feature works here as well. All the new iPhones now have the 7MP TrueDepth camera up front, that is combined with an IR light sensor and an IR dot projector to facially unlock the phone and also apply portrait lighting effects.
7. Battery Enhancements
One of the most subtle and significant enhancements includes improved battery performance. While the iPhone XS offers 30 minutes of extra charge than the iPhone X, the XS Max offers 90 minutes longer battery than the iPhone 8 Plus. Apple also claims that the new iPhone will now charge faster, although the company isn’t providing a fast charger in the box. You need to pay $70 extra to buy a fast charger separately.
8. Enjoy More Storage
More is better and it’s not just the size of the new iPhones that have increased. The internal storage too has doubled. The new iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max are offered in 512GB on board storage. They are automatically the most expensive of the lot but at least you won’t run out of space storing photos. The iPhone XR is offered only till 256GB though.
– Contributed by Sudhanshu Singh