Are Apple's New Phones and Watch Worth It?

New processors, new cameras, and a Watch which knows when you've fallen over

Apple launched three new iPhones yesterday: the XS (that's pronounced "ten ess" not "excess", btw), the XS Max and the XR, as well as an updated Apple Watch. The bottom line is that the new iPhones have new processors and cameras, while the fourth-generation Watch has had a more radical overhaul. But is it worth upgrading?

A more affordable iPhone

This is probably the biggest announcement from the launch. The XR is the first lower-cost iPhone launched since the 5C in 2013, swapping the OLED screens of the XS and XS Max for a cheaper LCD one, their stainless steel case for aluminium, their dual cameras for a single one and adding a case in one of six colours. A 64GB XR will go for $749 in America, while the XS is $999 and the XS Max $1099.

AirPods are here to stay

With no Lightning-to-headphone jack adapter included with the new iPhones, it looks like connecting your wired headphones to your iPhone has passed away. RIP u will live on forever. Cant believe it. I wanna run to u. Really cant believe this. @

The two sizes of iPhone have the same features

You won't have to just get used to whipping out a small table if you want improved functionality from a flagship iPhone. There's barely any difference between the XS and XS Max, aside from the Max's bigger screen.

The cameras are even better

The X represented a big leap in the quality of images it was possible to get from your phone, and while the XS and XS Max don't leap quite so far again, the 12 megapixel cameras with 2x optical zoom and image stabilising is better at capturing images in the dark.

The processor is genuinely pretty great

The A12 Bionic processor in all three iPhones is extremely powerful, as displayed in an app demo at the launch: it showed off the iPhone analysing a basketballer's shots in real time and giving feedback on their technique. As Kaian Drance from Apple said on stage: "No other chip in the world would allow us to do this".

The XS might just be the X 2.0

Without its own major leaps forward, it may struggle to impose itself as a worthwhile purchase. That hasn't stopped some extremely touchy XS fans pointing out that actually, mate, the XS fine-tunes the X to the point of perfection. It's got a way better camera, and an hour and a half more battery life, and a 6.5-inch screen, mate, actually. Thinner bezels too. You wouldn't believe how thin these bezels are, mate. Ha! You poor sods with your beefy old bezels. Whether it's worth selling the only kidney you still had left since you flogged the other to get hold of the X is debatable.

Weirdly, the Apple Watch is the most exciting advance

The slightly rejigged body (smaller case, bigger screen) and new watch faces which go all the way to the screen's edge are nice and everything, but the revamped Apple Watch 4 has been recalibrated to become the go-to health monitor for the medical industry. Its electrocardiogram can measure the heart's rate and rhythm, meaning it can help diagnose heart rhythm disorders, and its accelerometer and gyroscope can tell if the wearer has fallen over. If the wearer stays down for more than a minute, the Watch calls an emergency contact. It's been endorsed by the American Heart Association and cleared by the FDA for use in diagnosing illnesses, which is pretty impressive. Arguably not necessary when you're just trying to do your emails in Morrisons, but impressive.


This story originally appeared on edits have been made by the editors.

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