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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Techilicious by Rajiv Makhni: Should you upgrade to the new Apple iPhones?

Is the annual cheer fest for the new iPhones based on fact? Or do we always fall for hype?

brunch Updated: Sep 28, 2019 23:50 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
With three new iPhones and the next-gen Apple Watch and iPad, audience reacted as if the holy grail has finally been found
With three new iPhones and the next-gen Apple Watch and iPad, audience reacted as if the holy grail has finally been found
         

It was said that Steve Jobs deployed a reality distortion field every time he took the stage. He was able to mesmerise his audience with conversational hypnosis that could make normal products and features seem like a gift from the gods. The effect of that trick seems to be trickling down. Every year, at Apple’s annual pilgrimage new iPhone event, the audience seems to give a standing ovation and cheer at seemingly ordinary new features. This year was no different. With three new iPhones and the next-gen Apple Watch and iPad, the global audience reacted as if the Holy Grail had been found. The big question that needs to be answered (as it’s the most widely asked one of me for the last few days) is if the new Apple iPhones are truly worth upgrading to. Let’s take a simple, unbiased look into it.

What’s New on the iPhone 11?

The iPhone 11 (upgrade to last year’s iPhone XR) has two cameras at the back (XR had one), better battery life (it was already good on the XR), a powerful A13 bionic chipset (serious horsepower), new colours and a lower, more aggressive price (something unheard of from Apple). I had called the XR the hidden gem in Apple’s portfolio. The 11 becomes even better.

What’s New on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max?

Besides the add-on moniker of Pro, there are four things that stand out. A much brighter Super Retina XDR screen, three cameras at the back instead of two, much battery life (finally!) and the previously mentioned A13 chip. A new matt green colour as well. Prices remain as stratospheric as before.

That’s All?

With Apple, it’s not about the number of things they add, but what they add, how it works and how it changes your life
With Apple, it’s not about the number of things they add, but what they add, how it works and how it changes your life

With Apple, it’s not about the number of things they add, but what they add, how it works and how it changes your life. In looks, design, performance, battery, price and optics, the iPhone 11 is now way better than even the much higher-priced iPhone XS. The dual lens optics work well and the front camera with its 4K video and slow motion (thus leading to a new kind of selfies, the ‘slofie’) is excellent. The 11 becomes one of the first ever Apple products that can be termed as value for money. But it’s the iPhone 11 Pro twins that scale a much higher peak. I can safely declare that with the triple camera and the software and algorithms built within, this is one of the best cameraphones ever.

Why Doesn’t Apple Add More?

After all, it’s the richest tech company in the world! It can have five rear cameras, a pop-up front camera, in-display fingerprint scanner, a new iPhone pencil, a folding screen, and really blow everyone’s mind?

Aah. The question I am asked every year. Simple answer.

1. Apple doesn’t add too many flashy gimmicky features that may have a major learning curve and alienate its core audience in the US and Europe. Unlike Asia, which demands jaw-dropping innovation every few days, users there like the safety and comfort of what they know. 2. Apple also doesn’t add features for the sake of it. Every single thing must be poison tested to the point of exhaustion before it makes it to its phones. Do they play too safe? Yes. But it’s what defines the company and will continue to do so.

So should I upgrade to the new iPhones?

Are you already an iPhone user? If yes, then there is no question that the additional performance, battery life, optics and camera results on the Pro series make it easy for me to recommend an upgrade.

Not an iPhone user but always wanted to be? The iPhone 11 is a great start point. With the right offers and discounts, the 11 could well become Apple’s best offering in the Indian market.

Does Apple play too safe? Yes. But it’s what defines the company and will continue to do so.

Deeply entrenched in the Android Domain? Then you should continue. Even with all the additional features, new iPhones aren’t compelling enough to do an OS switch.

Next year Apple will again announce its next generation of iPhones. Hopefully the audience will give them a standing ovation due to true innovation and not the reality distortion field at play :).

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

Techilicious appears every fortnight

From HT Brunch, September 29, 2019

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First Published: Sep 28, 2019 21:34 IST

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