Apple has updated its iPhone X handset with three more powerful models, two of which are larger than before. The software giant has also unveiled a new smartwatch that can send for help if the wearer falls over and remains immobile for more than a minute.
The new devices were unveiled at Apple’s annual iPhone event at the company’s Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, California. The new iPhone XS Max (pronounced 10-S Max) has a 6.5in display, the iPhone XS has the same 5.8in format as the original and the iPhone XR’s screen is 6.1in but is lower quality.
After concerns last year that the high £999 entry-level price of the iPhone X would limit its appeal, Apple confirmed it had actually proven more popular than either of the lower-priced iPhone 8 models.
Now the XS Max will become the costliest Apple handset to hit the market yet, with its price tag ranging from £1,099 to £1,449 depending on storage capacity. Meanwhile, the XS will match the original X’s £999-£1,349 cost, while the XR will sell for between £749 and 899.
This time around, however, Apple has not included a headphone dongle, so owners of wired headphones will need to invest an additional £9 to add one.
Feature-wise, the two larger phones are almost identical, except for the screen size. The huge iPhone XS Max comes with a larger battery to match, which will clock in at half an hour longer than last year’s iPhone X, according to Apple.
The iPhone XR uses LCD (liquid crystal display) as opposed to the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology found in the more expensive models. This brings the cost of the device down but means that black appears less deep and colours have less contrast.
Apple Watch focused on health and personal safety
The new Watch Series 4 unveiled at this month’s event, has a display that extends further towards the edges than previous models, offering a useable screen which is 30% larger. But it was the health and safety features of this device that grabbed the headlines.
For the first time, the timepiece can display electrocardiogram heart waveforms, allowing the wearer to monitor their heart for irregular rhythms.
Furthermore, a new fall-detection facility uses updated gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, which can tell if the user has fallen to the ground. If the watch software suspects that the wearer has remained immobile for a minute or longer, it will alert the emergency services – as well as friends and family – providing an update on the user’s location.