It’s become an annual September tradition in Cupertino, as tech giants Apple unveiled their newest version of their iconic iPhone this week. This year was one of Apple’s “off” years, as instead of announcing a brand new device, they mostly offered slight upgrades to their existing flagship phone and gave it the “S” nickname — longtime Apple users will remember this process began with the iPhone 3GS and continued up to the iPhone 7S.
However, Apple still had a few tricks up their sleeves. There’s a new, larger version of the iPhone X, a cheaper version called the iPhone XR, and a substantial upgrade to the Apple Watch. There were also some hotly anticipated items that Apple did NOT announce, and we’ll touch on those too.
But let’s start the important things that actually were announced, kicking off with the new mobile device that is sure to be a hot seller when it hits the market in a matter of weeks.
The iPhone Xs is an upgraded version of the iPhone X that Apple revealed a year ago. Like its predecessor, the Xs forgoes the home button in favor of a fill screen with minimal bezels. And before you ask, yes, the notch at the top still exists. It’s the same size as the iPhone X, but includes some beefier hardware inside. Apple claims that Face ID is now faster and more reliable and the OLED screen should be crisper, especially when viewing HDR photos.
The real crown jewel in the Xs is the new A12 Bionic processor. It’s a six-core fusion architecture chip, which Apple claims will make the Xs 15 percent faster than previous phones. We’re getting into some techno babble here, but a four-core graphics processing unit is also included (allegedly 50 percent faster) and an eight-core Neural Engine that can compute five trillion operations per second. The A11 chip, in comparison, could handle 600 billion operations per second. So what’s this all mean? The Xs is fast as hell.
The camera — already arguably the best mobile camera ever made — also received some upgrades, includng two new 12-megapixel sensors and a True Tone flash module. The average user might not notice the difference, but the Xs camera is now marginally better than it was before — and it was already excellent.
The Xs comes in three colors — space grey, silver, and gold — and is available in 64GB, 256GB, and a new 512GB model. Prices start at $1,000.00 USD (and go up from there). Pre-orders start on September 21 and Apple promises devices will start shipping a week later.