It’s become a sign that the leaves will soon be falling off the trees: an Apple event with new iPhones and new operating systems. But this time, there was barely any mention of iOS, macOS, etc. It was all hardware, as Apple announced the iPhone 13 models, a new iPad Mini and iPad, and the Apple Watch 7. But mostly what we saw were cameras and more cameras.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini
If cameras don’t interest you, you’ll probably want to skip out on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini.
The rear camera layout, powered by ISP (image signal processor), has been redesigned and includes the dual-camera system, now with the biggest iPhone sensor ever. It can bring 47 percent more light. It also features a smaller TrueDepth camera system.
These cameras utilize Cinematic mode. It records people, pets, and objects with depth and focus changes. Unbelievably, focus can even be changed after photos and videos have been captured. Photographic Styles will allow you to bring your photo preferences to every photo.
Other than the cameras, there are very few updates. The iPhone 13 (6.1″) and iPhone 13 Mini (5.4″) will be available in pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT) Red. The phones have a Ceramic Shield over the Super Retina XDR OLED display, which is said to be tougher than any other smartphone glass.
The A15 Bionic chip gives both phones better battery performance, up to 2-1/2 more hours for the iPhone 13. Apple is offering the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage sizes. The iPhone 13 starts at $799, and the iPhone 13 Mini starts at $699. Both will be available on September 24.
iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
Apple brought more of the same with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max: cameras.
ISP and the A15 Bionic power the three rear cameras. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have a new wide camera, the largest ever for an iPhone, as well as a larger aperture, to improve low-light situations, and a new autofocus system. There is also a macro photography option through software that brings sharp images that Apple claims are “larger than life.”
These phones also bring Cinematic mode and Photographic Styles. Night Mode and Pro Res were introduced as well. Pro Res is an advanced video codec that’s often used as a format for commercials, feature films, and broadcasts. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max also have the Super Retina XDR with ProMotion. This allows for an adaptive refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz. The displays are in the larger sizes of 6.1″ and 6.7″ and are the brightest ever on an iPhone.
Both are available in graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options. The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at $1,099.
The iPad Mini is getting a refresh this year, and it, too, will be the beneficiary of an improved camera system.
The back camera on the new iPad Mini includes a 12MP sensor with Focus Pixels and a larger aperture. There’s also a TrueTone flash for low-light conditions. It adds ISP and the A15 Bionic chip. The ultra-wide front camera with a 12MP sensor brings the iPad Pro capability of Center Stage. The camera literally follows you as you move around and adjusts as other people move in and out of the frame.
Additionally, the iPad Mini now includes a USB-C port for faster data transfer and connects to the Apple Pencil 2. It will be offered in pink, starlight, purple, and space gray in 64GB and 256GB storage capacities. The Wi-Fi model starts at $499, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular starts at $649.
iPad (9th Gen)
While being the cheapest Apple tablet, the iPad (9th Gen) also has older features, and of course, lesser cameras.
The new iPad only has an A13 Bionic chip yet still has a 20 percent performance boost over the 8th Gen. It’s still three times faster than a Chromebook and six times more than the best-selling Android tablet, at least, according to Apple. The A13 Bionic brings machine learning, which will include Live Text in photos when iPadOS 15 is released.
The camera system allows for Center Stage. The 10.2″ Retina display brings TrueTone, adjusting the image on the screen to the color temperature of the environment.
Truthfully, it seems old, as it still has a power button and large bezel and only works with the Apple Pencil 1st Gen. The 9th gen iPad is offered in 64GB and 256B storage options in silver and space gray. The Wi-Fi version starts at just $329, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular starts at $459.
Apple Watch 7
The Apple Watch 7 has no cameras, so Apple had to bring something else to the table, mostly in form factor.
The biggest push is the increase in the display size. It provides 20 percent more screen area with borders that are only 1.7mm, which is 40 percent smaller than the Apple Watch 6. This bumps up the sizes from 40mm and 44mm to 41mm and 45mm. The wearable is also brighter when your wrist is down and 70 percent brighter indoors.
The content is optimized for this larger display. There are two larger font sizes, larger menu titles, and a new QWERTY keyboard so that you don’t have to speak into it or draw out the characters.
A redesigned front crystal is more than 50 percent thicker than the previous version, meaning less chance for cracks, yet with optical clarity that doesn’t suffer. Thanks to a new charging architecture and USB-C charging cable, the watch has an 18-hour battery and charges 33 percent more quickly.
The Apple Watch 7 is offered in seven colors, including midnight, starlight, green, and new blue. It starts at $399 and will be available “later this fall.”
It seems Apple realized where its bread is buttered. iPhones take great pictures, so this year’s products have doubled down on that. Operating systems weren’t mentioned much at this week’s Apple event, without a clear reason. New Fitness+ activities, including Pilates and Meditation, were mentioned, as was Apple TV+, specifically Ted Lasso and its Emmy nods.
Apple has received flak for moving away from hardware, so maybe announcing the iPhone 13 lineup, the new iPads, and the Apple Watch 7 was an attempt to change that perception. Read on to learn our opinion of the 2021 iPad Pro.
Image Credit: Apple Newsroom