I’m going to talk about the past apple keynote where, once again, the company announces its new generation of iPhones, the familiar iPhone 15, which consists of no less than two ranges, and a total of four models.
At this Wonderlust event they have also announced watches and in general it has been one of the weakest iPhone presentation keynotes in recent years. Not because I say so, but because it is a general feeling in the sector, even after speaking with colleagues who certainly have fanboy overtones.
Apple is not known for launching very innovative or groundbreaking new models, but rather it adapts technologies and integrates them so that it is very easy to use for anyone. An example of this are AirTags and their UWB integration with iPhones that allow you to find it by simply following the direction and tell you the distance you are.
To the king what belongs to the king, but please, there are some points of the presentation that need a certain marketing adjustment, or what has been removing the little bows and colors with which Apple sells us some functions.
I am going to break down certain information that Manzana stood out in the presentation and put them in a real technological context. Because yes, as much as they are new to Apple, perhaps they are not so new to the market.
Marketing VS reality at the Wonderlust event
Let it be noted that this article is from Apple because it is the most recent keynote, but it covers most brands in equal parts, I simply use the Wonderlust event to illustrate.
Tim Cook passed the hot potato during the event to announce the new Apple Watch, and they presented a new Series 9 and a new Ultra 2.
As a characteristic that they placed a lot of emphasis on, there is what they have called Double Tap or the double gesture of touching the index finger with the thumb. Something that seems new and that we had already seen in the presentation of the Apple Vision Pro as a control system.
However, we are not talking about a novelty as such, but rather the introduction of one of the functionalities that Apple has been testing for years from the Accessibility section of the watch. It is a functionality that allows you to accept the default menu option without having to use your other hand to touch the screen or dial.
Something that never goes unnoticed is the message of autonomy in your watches All-day battery that Apple takes advantage of with its Apple Watch and yes, it is certainly All-day, but not All-night.
The autonomy that it officially announces is 18 hours in normal mode, and that for me is not All-day, since you will have to charge it daily no matter what. Also, if you do it at night, you lose the sleep tracking features.
We continue with the Watch Ultra 2 model and although we are looking at externally the same watch as the previous generation. We see a clear difference in the chip, Apple S9, more powerful and the screen reaches up to 3,000 nits, a 50% improvement compared to its predecessor.
Apple also announces a high-precision, dual-frequency GPS as a star feature and, you will forgive me for being so bold, but we have been seeing dual band GPS support in Huawei watches, for example, since 2021.
But well, I’m going to talk about the iPhone, which is where there are clearly messages that, if you know the market, are surprising.
It turns out that now is the time to integrate USB-C, when the company integrated it into its laptops and iPads years ago. How many years? It was in 2018 when Apple integrated USB-C into its third generation of iPad Pro, with an Apple A12X Bionic chip, equivalent to the one found in the iPhones of the time. That was more than 5 years ago.
Additionally, something that most users will not care about, the iPhone 15 is compatible with the USB 2.0 standard, with speeds of up to 480 Mbps (about 50 MB/s maximum). But we are talking about a standard that is more than obsolete.
In fact, if you choose The iPhone 15 Pro in any of its two variants is compatible with USB 3, which allows transfer speeds of up to 10 Gb/s. Ah, but of course, not with the cable that comes in the box, you have to buy a compatible one, and, at the moment it is not clear that you do not need one certified exclusively by Apple and not a standard one, we will check it in the Review.
Another of the marketing features that Apple takes advantage of with the iPhone 15 Pro and its telephotos is to say that we have a camera that allows you to take photographs with 2X zoom, as a great novelty. And the reality is that from a 48 Mpx sensor, they cut out the central part to get a 12 Mpx photo giving the effect of that zoom.
However, they do not tell you that you do not have the optical effect of the compression of a 2X zoom and that the inherent advantages of greater luminosity and color detail of doing pixel-binning to achieve a lower resolution image are lost, which they do. They may partially retain 28mm and 35mm photographs, but not 48mm.
By the way, this is something that we have been seeing on Android phones for years, as an intermediate zoom between the main camera and the real focal length of the telephoto.
I continue talking about the camera and portrait modes. Now, finally, you can refocus and adjust the bokeh after refocusing. It is something that brands like Samsung, Huawei or even the Pixel have been allowing it to be done for years. But Apple sells it as a great novelty. And it is, but only for the iOS ecosystem.
I remember the launch of the Huawei P9 in London, the first with a dual camera and Leica optics, which already allowed re-focus when editing the photograph. And that was 6 years ago, in 2017.
I was also shocked that the phrase was used the telephoto you deserve, when they have finally integrated an equivalent telephoto, or so they promise, to the competition. I don’t know to what extent the iPhone or its users deserved it before. Huawei P30 introduced 5X zoom years ago, Samsung has a 10X zoom on its Galaxy S2X ultra.
In fact, last year was when Apple tightened the screws on the camera section, improving the sensors of the pro models and taking them to a new 48 Mpx sensor compared to the 12 Mpx that they had been using for years. So, seeing that trend, we could indeed applaud Apple for its effort, equivalent in evolution, now, to that of the rest of the top brands.
Another feature was also mentioned, Spatial Video, or what amounts to Apple’s solution to 3D recording to have its own material for its Vision Pro glasses.
This type of recording is not new either. There were a couple of generations of mobile phones that allowed this type of recording, such as the ZTE Blade V8 or the prototype tablet that I recently tested, the ZTE Nubia Pad 3D.
And I’m not going to go into detail about it. Ray Tracingbut it is something that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 already brought with it and we have had it on the market throughout 2023 as well as the Mediatek Dimensity 9200 that we tested in the Vivo X90 Pro, for example.
…One more thing – Titanium
Another of the great novelties of the iPhone 15 Pro and what differentiates them in terms of manufacturing materials from the rest of the options on the current market is its Titanium body.
This material is lighter and is noticeable in the weights of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max compared to their predecessors. However,Apple is the first to launch a Titanium mobile?
The answer (it’s going to sound like I have an Apple mania) is no. It was 2017 when Andy Rubin announced a parallel project to Android, a smartphone. Surely some of you remember the Essential Phone (PH1).
It was a smartphone with a titanium body, much lighter, and resistant to shocks and scratches than aluminum.
So, it’s not the only thing, I don’t want to go into evaluating prices compared to the new features they provide over the previous generation, nor do I want to get into the debate about whether they don’t have a charger or USB 3.0 cable.
Although, for example, it would be nice if those euros of difference in the wireWhen you buy a mobile phone for more than 1,200 euros, the manufacturer will cover it.
However, with Apple the customer is the one who decides whether to buy it or not if you want a higher transfer speed or use the real-time preview mode of photos and video on the computer that they have shown in the presentation.
For normal use, AirDrop is always at hand, which is one of the most useful features in the Apple ecosystem, without a doubt.