Yes, Apple is calling its newest iPhones the iPhone 13 series. Unlucky numbers, be damned. We’re getting four new devices, from the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini through to the 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple also revealed a long-time-coming iPad mini, which looks very cute, if a little pricey, while the Apple Watch reaches Series 7, with a more expansive screen and faster charging.
It’s not a year of major device redesigns or left turns, which might make it a trickier upgrade for current iPhone 12 owners, unless they were thinking of upgrading to a bigger, more powerful pro model (or shrinking to a mini).
As was the case last year, Apple’s bleeding edge tech is in the Pro models — we’ll break down the features below — but the company is promising major battery gains across the family. It’s claiming hours more runtime, depending on the model, which will be a notable improvement, and it’s one of the (admittedly dry) improvements I am always begging to see in new iPhones.
The decision remains: Do I want the mini (now Apple has upgraded the battery) or all the camera marvels of the Pro Max? Pre-orders start Friday September 17th.
— Mat Smith
Everything you might have missed at Apple’s iPhone 13 event
Featuring adaptive screens and up to 6x optical zoom.
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have faster screens, smaller notches and new colors compared to the 12 Pro series of last year. It seems the models have evened out, too, with not much to differentiate between them, barring size, screen and battery.
They include a new Super Retina XDR display with 1,000 nits of brightness for better outdoor reading. The company said this is the brightest screen on an iPhone ever. It also features 120Hz refresh rates and will adapt when you need it that smooth. If you’re all about that battery life, the iPhone 13 Pro Max will last 2.5 hours more than last year's model, making it the longest-lasting iPhone ever. Read on for more details on that camera array.
And the iPhone mini is sticking around.
Say hello to the iPhone 13, which is nearly identical to last year's iPhone 12. There is a 20-percent smaller notch on the front for Face ID, as well as a redesigned back camera module — but by and large, it's visually nearly identical to last year’s model.
The iPhone 13 also has a bigger battery, something that should be welcome for both phones, particularly the iPhone 13 mini. All of the new iPhones feature Apple's latest A-series chip, and this year, it's the A15 Bionic processor. It's a 5nm chip with nearly 15 billion transistors that Apple says is 50 percent faster than its competition. Apple kept prices the same this year: The iPhone 13 mini starts at $699, while the iPhone 13 starts at $799.
Even Croesus is looking at that and wondering if it’s a bit much.
LG has revealed it isn’t going to leave Samsung a clear run at the “TVs so massive they occupy a whole wall” market. It has announced the new Direct View LED TV, which can span up to sizes of 325 inches in various configurations. When assembled, the screens can offer up 2K, 4K or even 8K picture quality, driven by a separate WebOS box off to one side. And yes, before you ask, LG isn’t revealing how much it costs, putting this at the pinnacle of products that you just know you can’t afford. Thankfully, LG has also revealed its rollable OLED R TV will set you back $100,000 if you just want the fanciest 65-inch TV money can buy. I’d like to remind you all, as well, that projectors exist.
It’s now a more premium model than the standard iPad
As part of Apple’s glossy iPhone 13 event, the company announced a refresh to the iPad Mini, which sees the dinky slate become a much more premium device. The 8.3-inch tablet has gained narrower bezels and a new “all screen” design, a TouchID sensor on the power button and USB-C. It will now also work with the second-generation Apple Pencil, which magnetically attaches to the side of the device. These changes put the new iPad Mini on the same level as the medium-tier iPad Air, especially since the mini now packs the high-end A15 Bionic SOC. Long story short, this probably isn’t the device you’re buying for your small kids as a “safe” device — unless you’re planning to steal it back the day after they unwrap it.
Sony will finally unlock the PS5's SSD slot for everyone tomorrow
The Remote Play app will work over mobile networks, too.
After beta testing the second major PlayStation 5 firmware update over the past few weeks, Sony is ready to roll it out to everyone. Ten months after Sony released the console, the company is finally unlocking the internal storage expansion slot for everyone. There is some fine-print about where you can install your next-gen games, however.
The speaker has a lot of new features, but it's also $50 more than the old one.
The new second-generation Beam goes on sale today for $449 and will be available on October 5th. That’s $50 more than before, in line with the other price increases Sonos announced last week. Alongside support for Dolby Atmos, it has a new perforated polycarbonate grille instead of the cloth front and more audio processing power.
In fact, this sound bar now supports the same home theater audio formats as the Arc (including Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Multichannel PCM and more), which costs twice as much as the new Beam model.
The weirder, the better.
To my horror, the GameCube has just turned 20, making me feel real old. It is, however, a great excuse to showcase our favorite games from Nintendo's slightly troubled home console. And we didn’t just go for Mario and Zelda. In fact, we got weird.