New Apple Products Finally Unveiled: Impressive or Disappointing?
Finally, Apple unveiled its latest range of products along with some surprise album drop by legendary rock band U2. The latest product unveiling of new Apple products spells the company’s surrender to the trend of bigger phones, something the Cupertino based company had always been reluctant to do. So what do you think about the new i-products? Impressed or disappointed?
Review the specs of these new devices below and decide whether or not Apple did enough to re-establish dominance in the smart device market.
The latest iteration of the iconic iPhone, as announced, now comes with a bigger 4.7” IPS display. However, unlike Android devices, Apple chose to keep the pixel density at the “Retina” level (320+ppi) by coming up with the odd resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels. The rear camera continues to sport the reasonable 8MP maximum resolution but is now featuring phase detection autofocus, bigger pixels at 1.5µm, a faster burst mode, picture snapping while recording a video, and a slower slow motion mode at 240 fps.
iPhone 6 is equipped with the usual set of iPhone sensors, including the fingerprint reader, but now has a barometer added. In terms of processor and memory specs, it has the 64-bit dual-core Apple A8 clocked at 1.4 GHz and, still, 1GB of RAM. Connectivity, on the other hand, is comprehensively covered. It is reported to have a record number of LTE bands.
While Apple refused to follow Sony’s lead in making their flagship devices waterproof, Apple added noise cancellation and NFC or Near Field Communication. NFC facilitates the Apple Pay electronic payment capability along with the device’s fingerprint reading sensor. The battery, unfortunately, is not that much bigger compared to the one found in the previous version. This is mostly on account of the new thinner design. As Apple’s Phil Schiller said, the battery on the iPhone 6 will be as good if not better than the one on the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5S battery life is anything but great.
iPhone 6 Plus
At the risk of getting taunted for recognizing that buyers really buy big phones, contrary to Steve Jobs’ statement, Apple decided to move into the phablet race by introducing the bigger iPhone 6 Plus. This bigger new iPhone sports a 5.5” display and a significantly bigger battery at 2915 mAh. Of course, the display’s resolution is also higher. With the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple kept things “normal” by adopting a full HD resolution or 1080 x 1920 pixels, making for a pixel density of approximately 401 ppi.
The iPhone 6 Plus is pretty much like an upsized iPhone 6. Its internals are almost entirely similar to the smaller version. The parts that were made bigger are only those that are deemed necessary to supporting usability of the bigger device. The resolution, obviously, needed to be raised to meet the minimum for a Retina display. The battery, likewise, had to become bigger to support the bigger display.
Apple also finally debuted the iWatch along with the new iPhones. We’ll save the more in-depth look into this device for another post. For now, we’ll focus on the highlight specs.
The Apple smart watch comes with a “Retina” (over 320 ppi) rectangular display that comes in two sizes. It is powered by the proprietary Apple S processor. It can be wirelessly charged. It is equipped with sensors for health tracking. The back part of the watch, in particular, has a set of IR and visible light LEDs that perform health monitoring functions.
Unfortunately, Apple has not released the full details of their smartwatch specifications. The battery capacity, in particular, is not yet disclosed. There are reports that claim that the Apple smartwatch battery will be poor, requiring daily charging. The storage capacity is likewise yet to be disclosed. Nevertheless, most of the rumored specs and features we wrote about the iWatch before turned out to be true.
We feel compelled to write about Apple’s latest product launch because, like it or not, Apple still matters. The company that made the smartphone popular may have been left behind in terms of technical specs but it’s admirable how they put more value on the user experience instead of impressing and attracting buyers because of the cutting edge technology they put in their devices. This is not to discredit the efforts of Android manufacturers. Improving technology and finding ways to integrate these new, more advanced technologies in small devices is doubtlessly admirable. However, when technology is used in ways that are mostly about marketing rather than actual usability, perhaps there is some need to hold back a bit.
There certainly is nothing wrong with putting bigger batteries, brighter displays, and new connectivity options. If technological advancements like higher display resolutions, however, are forced into a device and causes battery life to suffer, maybe some rethinking is in order. LG, for instance, wanted to bring a 2K display on its flagship LG G3, which led to poor display contrast ratio, lower brightness, and lower battery performance. Sony took its flagship smartphone’s camera resolution to the 20MP+ level but is unable to produce photos that are better than what is produced by devices with lower resolution cameras like the Galaxy S5. New technologies should improve the user experience and not lead to compromises. Apple seems to be close to observing this principle.
Apple’s products may be disappointing when compared to the technical specs of Android devices but the emphasis they put on the end user experience is rather admirable. It’s good enough that Apple tried to stick to the user-experience-over-impressive-specs argument but it’s impressive that they learned to acknowledge that smartphone users see the sense in having bigger displays. At the very least, Apple did not disappoint its loyal fans.