As expected, September was the month chosen by Apple to release its new products, which have meanwhile arrived in Canadian soil. We bring you a review of the Apple Watch 3 and iPhone 8/8 Plus, two of the most awaited releases of the year, as well as a sneak peek into the forthcoming iPhone X.
iPhone 8/8 Plus
Once again, September was the month of the iPhone, with a new release which broke a tradition: instead of releasing the “S” version of the iPhone 7th generation, Apple jumped straight into the iPhone 8 even though, in practical terms, not that much has changed between releases.
iPhone 8 design and screen: what has changed on the outside?
The design didn’t get the overhaul many were talking about (and expecting), however the glass body is a very interesting addition and gives the iPhone a different look and feel. The screens sizes didn’t change either (4.7” for the iPhone 8 and 5.5” for the 8 Plus), but many argue that the iPhone 8 could do without all that bezel around the screen. The physical home button is still there, with the fingerprint sensor, but the display benefits from True Tone technology to offer sharper colors and contrast when compared to previous generations.
iPhone 8 specs and improvements: what has changed on the inside?
While it might look similar to older versions of the iPhone on the outside, the inside has some welcome upgrades (albeit predictable, in some cases): iOS 11, the A11 chip, along with the Hexa-core CPU were expected to be part of the new release, but Apple made a good move by deciding against a 32GB release, limiting their offer to 64GB or 256GB versions. Those who choose the iPhone 8 Plus will get an extra GB of RAM (3GB on the Plus, 2GB on the “standard” version) and a stronger battery (2691mAh, against 1821mAh on the iPhone 8).
Perhaps the most notable upgrades are the wireless charging, made easier by the glass rear, improved camera quality for recording and taking pictures, with 4K shooting at 60fps and 240fps slow motion recording at 1080p (Full HD) and the Augmented Reality (AR) compatibility (made possible by the combination between the A11 chip and a new GPU), with a growing number of apps available in the App Store.
Are there any bugs or problems I should worry about on the iPhone 8?
Like previous releases, some eventual failures only become apparent after they are tested on real life conditions: some users reported a crackling earpiece problem when making calls, which looks to be related to a software problem. Apple has already acknowledged this problem and has announced a fix to the problem coming soon.
What about the iPhone X?
If you’re looking for a true evolution of the iPhone, you will probably have to wait until November to get your hands on the iPhone X, a special release to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Apple’s smartphone. The iPhone X is closer on the outside to what its main competitors are offering its customers: a 5.8” full screen (much like the Infinity Screen on the Galaxy S8) with Face ID recognition system and a (very) slightly more powerful battery than the iPhone 8 Plus (2716mAh, against the 2691mAh on the Plus). Of course, all this innovation comes with a price tag: the iPhone X will be the first Apple smartphone to cross the thousand dollar mark: $1,319 CAD for the 64GB model and $1,529 CAD for the 256GB version.
Apple Watch Series 3
Apple thinks that its venture into smartwatches has been successful thus far, so the company continues to develop the Apple Watch and its third generation aims to be more independent than ever: it will be the first to support LTE connections. The LTE-enabled Apple Watch is able to connect to Wi-Fi and perform a series of tasks without being connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth: receive calls, send messages and access to apps like WeChat, Maps and Apple Music are some examples of what it can do, although it requires previous connection to your phone’s carrier data plan.
The Apple Watch 3 comes with the same design and size options as the previous generations – 38mm and 42mm – keeps the built-in GPS and waterproof case (up to 150 feet), packs a faster processor and the new WatchOS 4, with strong emphasis on fitness tracking, with a heart rate app showing your heartbeat as well as both rest and recovery heart rates. There’s also an updated Mail app, a built-in Siri speaker and the possibility of sending and receiving payments through Apple Pay.
When and how will Apple watch 3 be available in Canada? And how much will it cost?
The Apple Watch 3 is now available through Apple Canada, BestBuy and Bell, who is providing a $5 smartwatch plan to share data and a phone number. Telus also has plans to make the smartwatch available in a near future, but hasn’t provided a specific date yet. Apple Watch 3 prices start at $429.99 CAD for the non-LTE version ($469.99 CAD for the 42mm version) and $519.99 CAD for the LTE-enabled watch (the 42mm version starts at $569.99 CAD).