Photography via Apple

Here’s Why We’re Falling Hard For the New iPhone XS and Apple Watch Series 4

Apple’s new launches have achieved the level of frenzy that was once reserved for album releases (pre-Internet of course), limited edition fashion drops and Dominique Ansel cronuts, with crazy line-ups across the globe every time they have a new product rolling out. This year’s offerings are no different—in fact, the hype around the new Apple Watch might have been more than ever before, and we’ve got to say: it lives up to it. Read on for our favourite features of the new iPhone XS and XS Max, and the Apple Watch Series 4, which are available for purchase online and in-store starting today.

Apple Watch Series 4

Bigger Watch Face
The Series 4 comes in two sizes—40mm and 44mm—with displays that are 30% bigger than the Series 3 versions. The bigger watch face is a welcome change—the screen extends all the way to the curved edges of the watch display which means way more surface area to display your notifications, weather updates and more. Despite the bigger size, the watch face is slimmer, which means you get all the advantages of a bigger display without added bulkiness.

Cool New Band Options
The watch comes with dozens of new strap styles, from sport (which includes both its rubber-esque band and nylon weave loop in white, blush, black and silver colourways) to leather (I’m particularly taken by the Hermes navy/ivory colourblocked strap, but there’s also a fuchscia/bordeaux option as well as single-tone brown, black and navy) to stainless steel mesh (the gold, in particular, is stunning but there’s also silver and black).

Photography via Apple

Better Speaker Sound
The speaker is 50% louder than before, and the microphone has been moved to the side opposite the speaker to reduce echo for better sound quality. This is great considering the Watch’s new Walkie Talkie feature available via Watch OS 5, which allows Apple Watch users to exchange brief audio messages over Wifi or cellular, and also considering the fact that you can now listen to Podcasts on your Apple Watch via an OS 5 update.

The Infograph Watch Face
It’s already hard to picture what my Apple Watch looked like before because I’ve already become hopelessly accustomed to the new Infographic watch face. It’s basically an easy way to pack as much info on to your display as possible: you can add up to eight “complications,” which is a horological term for any watch feature that’s not time-related, which’ll appear in each of the four corners of the screen as well as the four circles surrounding the hands of the clock. I picked sunrise and sunset times (something I look up constantly, don’t ask me why), the weather, timer (for workouts as well as recipes), and activity tracker for my four corners, and the calendar, battery, Apple Music, and local time in New Delhi (the time zone where my parents live), for the sub-dials. Basically, program the watch face to include your eight most-used apps and you will save so. much. time.

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New Health and Fitness Capabilities
The various health and fitness updates to the new watch are seriously impressive: a new “fall detection” feature is able to assess when you’ve taken a hard fall, and can alert Emergency Services (as well as your emergency contact) if you’re immobile for a complete minute. This feature is automatically enabled for users over 65, but can be manually enabled by anyone if they so desire. I’d say go ahead and enable it because, come icy season, you never know when you might just need it. Another one of the watch’s most exciting (and groundbreaking) features is unfortunately currently only available in the US: the ability to take an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) with the watch’s heart rate sensor and built-in electrodes. This feature may not be available in Canada yet, but your new watch will have heart rate detection capabilities that will send you an alert if your heart rate is irregular or goes lower or higher than a specified threshold.

iPhone XS and XS Max

Bigger Screens
Featuring the biggest iPhone displays yet, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max feature an all-screen design with 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina displays, and the most durable glass ever in a smartphone.

Improved Water and Splash Resistance
No need to hyperventilate over unfortunate spills anymore: the iPhone XS resists everyday spills including coffee, tea and soda, and the XS and XS Max also now have a splash, water, and dust resistance rating of up to 2 metres for 30 minutes.

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A New and (Highly) Improved Camera
Both the XS and XS Max have the same-quality camera, which is significantly more advanced than any of its previous iterations. Advanced depth segmentation and smart HDR allow you to shoot seriously impressive portraits; play around with, blur and even remove the background in your photographs; and adjust aperture without affecting exposure, which means you have more freedom to work with shifting light and shadows. Also, improved auto-focus and video stabilization features allow you to shoot high-quality videos—even from the back of a moving vehicle—that are far from shaky.

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Longer battery life
A draining battery is what we all dread the most when it comes to a day out and about, but the new iPhone versions offer a bit more juice: the XS will give you 30 minutes more, while the XS Max extends your battery life by 90 minutes.

Smarter Technology
These new iPhones are outfitted with an A12 bionic chip, which is apparently the “smartest and most powerful chip in a smartphone.” Basically, what this means is a phone that’s smarter, more efficient and faster than ever before.