Every year I tell myself, "I'm fine with the smartphone and smartwatch I have now. I am not going to upgrade."
Then Apple rolls out its new devices in September. At its event Wednesday in Cupertino, California, Apple rolled out 3 new phones and a new Apple Watch that has me (and millions others) who are no longer satisfied with what I have.
Apple introduced two new iPhone Xs (called the 10-s) that are similar to last year's iPhone X. Apple doesn't seem to be targeting iPhone X owners, this is an "S" year which means the phones often have small upgrades. The difference this time though is the larger iPhone Xs Max. It's what Apple has called the "Plus" models in years past with a larger body style and screen. But while the phone itself is about the size of the iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone Xs Max has a much larger screen. An entire inch larger in fact. This is possible because, as expected, Apple eliminated the home button and turned the entire phone to a display.
A key feature, and one that might save people from heartache, is the ability to withstand drops. Apple says the new devices use the strongest glass ever, and they can be dropped in water up to 2 meters deep for 30 minutes without zapping it dead.
It goes without saying now that the newest iPhones are faster, have longer battery life and better cameras.
For fans of the "plus" sized iPhones, they'll be impressed with the Max. If you do any photo or video editing, play games or watch movies on your phone, the iPhone Xs Max might be worth the extra $100. The iPhone Xs will start at $999 while the Max starts at $1,099.
For anyone who is ready to upgrade but isn't ready to fork out a grand or more, Apple introduced the iPhone Xr. This is sort of like the iPhone SE from a few years ago. Rather than an OLED display, the Xr is LCD. Granted, it's a beautiful LCD screen (Apple says it's the most advanced LCD screen ever) but it isn't for the die-hard Apple and iPhone fans who want the best and brightest. Literally.
But the iPhone Xr starts at $749. It's a fine upgrade for anyone who wants or needs a new phone but doesn't necessarily care if they're watching movies on a slightly lower quality screen. In fact, I might argue than many iPhone users who only check social media, send email and watch the occasional YouTube video will be able to tell a difference.
If you're satisfied with the phone you have now, you might want to consider spending your money on a smartwatch. Apple says its Apple Watch is not only the most popular smartwatch but the most popular watch in the world. The Series 4 watch has been completely redesigned.
There's hardly any bezel so the display is 30% larger than the Series 3.
The Series 4 also has additional health features to monitor heart health. Approved by the FDA, the new watch can record an ECG, and save the data in a PDF to share with a doctor. It also has improved speakers and Apple moved the microphone to the other side of the watch to lessen interference and feedback. The Apple Watch Series 4 can be pre-ordered starting Friday and will be shipped next week.