Apple’s September 2017 keynote event has come and gone. In its wake, it has left a legion of Apple fans double checking their bank accounts.
While the anticipation surrounding these events is always a joy, not all keynotes are equal. Some forever change the way we look at consumer technology. Others are immediately forgotten about and live on as a joke.
Which category did this year’s presentation fall into? Well…there was a bit of both. Along with some welcome and exciting reveals, we received some questions regarding Apple’s future that still need to be answered.
For the time being, though, the devices are the star of the show. Here is our breakdown of every major reveal from Apple’s keynote event.
Apple TV 4K
- Release Date: September 22nd
- Price: $179 (32GB) $199 (64 GB)
- 4K Ultra HD Resolution
- A10X Fusion Processor
- 3GB of RAM
This was probably the least exciting reveal of the presentation.
It was inevitable that there was going to be a 4K Apple TV device. 4K support is really the least that Apple TV could strive to achieve. In and of itself, there’s nothing that exciting about a 4K media device as there are already so many on the market. Like those devices, Apple TV 4K will support the 4K media from services like Netflix as well as 4K movies purchased from the Apple store.
The problem is that this new version of Apple TV doesn’t really offer much beyond 4K compatibility. The new interface looks nice, but not essential. Its increased focus on live sports and news is interesting, but a bit gimmicky. Thankfully, the device’s expanded support of live sports and news is a more substantial upgrade.
The good news is that Apple TV is still arguably the best multimedia streaming device on the market, and this new version doesn’t look like it’s going to ruin the device’s status as such. This is an obvious upgrade for Apple TV users with 4K televisions. It’s just a shame that Apple didn’t strive for something a little more ambitious.
Apple Watch Series 3
- Release Date: September 22nd
- Price: $399 (Cellular Support) $329 (Non-Cellular)
- First Apple Watch With Available Cellular Support
- Various Styles of Watch Bands Available
- New Dual-Core Processor and W2 Chip
Apple Watch Series 3 is arguably what Apple Watch should have been from the start.
You really can’t overstate the value of cellular support in terms of the Apple Watch realizing its full potential. Every Apple Watch owner has experienced those moments when they realize their device doesn’t quite function as they might expect it to because it lacks that feature.
It’s clear that Apple is pushing cellular support given how relatively inexpensive the cellular version of Series 3 is compared to the “standard” version. In the short term, that means Series 3 owners will be able to take advantage of watch calls, a better fitness app, and expanded music streaming support. Even better, the Series 3 retains Apple Watch’s thin design thanks to the smart implementation of a SIM card and antenna.
In the long-term, that means that Apple is all but guaranteed to expand Apple Watch’s cellular features until it can replace your iPhone in several key ways. Apple Watch could be much more than a companion device in the very near future.
For the time being, however, the addition of cellular support makes this the version of Apple Watch that we’d advise previously hesitant buyers to keep an eye on.
iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus
- Release Date: September 22nd
- Price: iPhone 8 64GB/256GB ($699/$799), iPhone 8 Plus 64GB/256GB ($799/$899)
- 12MP Camera
- 4K 60fps Video
- A11 Bionic Chip
- More Durable Glass Screen
- 4.7″ Display (iPhone 8) and 5.5″ Display (iPhone 8 Plus)
If the iPhone 8 reveal felt a bit predictable, that’s only because it delivered a few things that iPhone fans have long asked for.
First up is inductive wireless charging. This feature was near the top of our iPhone 8 feature wish list, and we’re thrilled to see it here. Even better, the iPhone 8’s wireless charging will be based on Qi technology, which means that Samsung converts won’t have to adapt to a new service.
While that does mean that Apple will need to rely on Qi’s ability to expand their own wireless charging services, we do have to credit Apple for not trying to push their own product in this instance. Instead, they made the iPhone 8 work as well as it can with the best existing technology available.
This new iPhone will also incorporate the iPad’s True Tone display. That means that the iPhone 8 will adjust to ambient lighting in order to provide the best display possible. True Tone works as well as advertised, so we’re certainly happy to see it transition to the iPhone.
The iPhone 8’s enhanced power is always a plus, but we’re reserving judgment on the extent of this upgrade until we see how it improves performances. For the time being, we’ll say that this particular upgrade is certainly in line with processing upgrades of the past.
As for iPhone 8’s new camera…well, that’s also something of a question mark. On the surface, we’d give the slight not to the Google Pixel in terms of specs. They’re fairly close in that department, but Pixels 12.3 MP resolution may barely beat iPhone 8’s.
The big difference maker may be iPhone 8’s camera features. It’s exciting to see Apple jump into the augmented reality market with the iPhone 8’s camera. One look at the demo of a user graphing the constellations in the night sky using their iPhone reveals this technology’s potential. The new portrait mode – which allows for dynamic lighting adjustments – also figures to become the standard.
Even better, the iPhone 8 will support 4K/60 FPS videos as well as slow motion videos at 1080p resolution and 240 FPS. That’s a fairly significant improvement over the iPhone 7’s video capabilities.
All in all, the iPhone 8 looks like a clear improvement over its predecessor if not necessarily a revolutionary one. There is, however, another iPhone on the horizon…
- Release Date: November 3rd
- Price: $999 (64GB)/$1,199 (256GB)
- 5.8-Inch Screen (On a Phone Smaller than the iPhone 7)
- No Home Button
- 2438×1125 Resolution Display
- A11 bionic chip
- 12 MP Dual cameras
We’ve long wondered what a $1,000 smartphone will look like. Now we wonder, “Does the iPhone X justify that price tag?”
First off, it turns out iPhone X stands for “iPhone 10.” While we expected the iPhone X to leave the iPhone 8 in the dust, we can’t help but feel a little bad for the unreleased iPhone 9.
To be perfectly honest, the iPhone X is defined by some features that we expected to see from the iPhone 8. The most notable of these features is the iPhone X’s expanded screen. Apple noted that they’ve long wanted to create an “all-screen” device, and the iPhone X certainly comes close to honoring that billing.
The iPhone X’s expanded screen is certainly a piece of design beauty. Yes, we’ve seen a similar design on other phones, but Apple’s take on this idea is arguably the cleanest approach yet. We’d expect nothing less. Even better, the expanded screen comes with an improved Retina Display that won’t affect your battery life. Actually, the iPhone X reportedly lasts two hours longer than the iPhone 7.
The other key feature of the X is its facial recognition features. We figured that Apple would experiment with facial recognition unlocks – which the X features – but we didn’t anticipate how far they’d push this technology. Sure, face-controlled “Animojis” are a bit gimmicky, but Face ID Apple Pay and Apple’s Face ID security features showcase the strides Apple has made with this technology.
Face ID technology also means that the iPhone X’s camera will likely be the best on the market simply because it will need to be. For the time being, we’ll attribute the on-stage Face ID unlock failure to the fact that nothing works 100% of the time.
The iPhone X also ships with wireless charging and will be compatible with an Apple made wireless charger shipping next year. Thankfully, the device will remain compatible with third-party charging options as well.
Everything about the iPhone X sounds great, but is this a necessary new product? If all these features were applied to the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8’s price, would you feel as if you are getting a tremendous value? Still, we have no doubt that this device will win over those who can afford them and ultimately prove to be exclusive enough to be desirable.
All told, Apple’s biggest event of the year delivered about what we expected from it. Even still, every product on display was a clear improvement over its predecessor. That’s especially true of the iPhone 8 which was probably the most impressive product of the show from a price-to-feature ratio. Of course, we’d still recommend the iPhone X over it in a heartbeat if the price isn’t an issue.
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