Apple Keynote 2021: four iPhone 13s, Apple Watch keyboard, and other announcements

On September 14, Apple held its traditional September conference announcing updates to its flagship products. New iPhones, iPad mini, and Apple Watch redesign – what’s new? Basically – evolutionary, not revolutionary improvements, but first things first.

iPad

Announced a new iPad of the ninth generation with a more powerful chip – A13 Bionic, with which the performance increased by about 20%. The new front camera with 12 megapixels and Center Stage debuted last year on the iPad Pro. IPad now supports True Tone, which adjusts the screen to ambient light. The device also supports the first iPad Pencil.

Read About: Apple unveils new iPad mini with breakthrough performance in the stunning new design

Price: from $ 329 for a 64GB device, sales start today

iPad mini

The tablet has received a redesign with thinner bezels, as in the iPad Pro of the latest generations, while at the same size, the device increases the screen diagonal to 8.3 inches. The new iPad mini received a USB-C and 5G port with speeds up to 3.5 GB / s. At the same time, the performance of the central processor increased up to 40%, the GPU – by 80%. There is support for Touch ID (but not Face ID), Apple Pencil of the second generation, new cameras: the main one with 12 MP and support for Smart HDR, the front one is also 12 MP, ultra-wide and with support for Center Stage.

Read About: Apple unveils new iPad mini with breakthrough performance in the stunning new design

Price: from $ 499, you can pre-order today, on sale from September 24 September.

Apple Watch Series 7

The new smartwatch also received a significant redesign with a larger display with reinforced glass and thinner bezels reduced to just 1.7mm. At the same time, watchOS has visually significantly redesigned to increase the device screen’s information content. Finally, the watch supports a full keyboard. The operating time remained the same (up to 18 hours), but the charging speed increased by a third thanks to the new USB cable: USB-C instead of USB-A.

Price: from $ 399

iPhone 13

Two versions of the iPhone 13 have announced: a 6.1-inch base model and a smaller 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini. The display is still like previous one. The body is still of aluminum, joining two glass panels. Of course, the new iPhone has a new processor, the A15 Bionic: a 5nm chip with a 6-core CPU but half the speed of the competition, 4-core graphics that are 30% faster than the competition, a 16-core neuro processor for photo and video processing.

Read About: Apple unveils iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Stabilization via sensor movement is also available, first announced last year with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The ultra-wide-angle camera now captures better in the dark. Video can directly change focus in the frame thanks to the new “cinematic” shooting mode. but the direction can also control manually or fixed on a specific object.

Apple also promises improved 5G over the iPhone 12, more in line with international standards. Battery life will also increase, with the iPhone 13 Mini by 1.5 hours versus the iPhone 12 Mini, and the base 13 by 2.5 hours versus iPhone 12. The minimum storage is now 128 GB. The maximum is 512 GB.

Price: $ 829 for the iPhone 13 and $ 729 for the iPhone 13 Mini, pre-orders starting September 17, on sale September 24, September 24

iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max also get the A15 Bionic, three updated cameras. An improved display with variable frequency support from 10Hz to 120Hz, and increased base brightness to 1000 nits. The same Super Retina XDR displays in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes. CPU and GPU capabilities are comparable to the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. but the new chip is faster for machine learning.

Read About: Apple unveils iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Cameras have added 3x optical zoom and night mode. And the primary camera now has a macro way. That allows you to shoot objects located 2 cm from the camera. In cinematic mode, you can set focus can now be charges after shooting by storing depth-of-frame information. Also added is a ProRes Video mode that allows you to shoot a 4K video at 30 FPS.

The battery life of the iPhone 13 Pro is 1.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro. And the 13 Pro Max’s is 2.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro Max.

In terms of storage capacity, the 13 Pro will range from 128GB to 1TB.

Price: $ 999 for the iPhone Pro 13, $ 1,499 for the 1TB iPhone Pro and $ 1,599 for the 1TB iPhone 13 Pro Max

All new iPhone Pro and Pro Max models will be available for pre-order in September. 22 September and on sale from September 24.

The release of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 is schedules for September 20 September. You can order your iPhone product now.

What’s unique about Apple Watch

The iconic Apple Watch is worth a separate discussion. This gadget is a must-have for those who build the Apple ecosystem. They are costly, but Apple creates a fantastic synergy between all of its devices: they work flawlessly in conjunction and complement each other. Also, the watch has excellent monitoring of the owner’s biometrics, a bunch of convenient applications, high-quality components.

A small sin of the Apple Watch is poor autonomy outside other devices, but you need to understand in advance that this watch is required for the “apple” ecosystem. Otherwise, it is not interesting to use them, and you can get by with the accessory much cheaper.

Also Read: Apple Watch Series 7: Release date, price, features, and more

Apple smartwatches

Why children’s smartwatches are popular

Children’s watches are a huge niche, models in which have approximately the same functionality. Moreover, most of them are manufactured in the same factory as part of OEM contracts. That is, the only difference is in design, secondary characteristics, and brand.

The functionality of children’s models is limited and is aimed at remote control of the child. You can call on this watch. Through it, you can eavesdrop on the child’s surroundings, track movements, and exchange messages. This specific gadget is usually taken for young children who go to the garden or first grade, start walking in the yard independently, and visit sections.

As is often the case with intelligent devices, several parental phobias are associated with children’s watches. And it is not unreasonable: it is hazardous if information about the child’s movements and routes is available to parents and potential intruders.

In this regard, it once became known that Chinese children’s watches did not store data well – there was no reliable protection on the servers. For the eavesdropping function, smartwatches for children are even banning from schools in Germany in 2017. True, the manufacturers claim that the security problems have now been entire resolves.

Kids smartwatch

What smartwatches will look like in the future

Despite the difficult start, the market for wearable smart devices looks towards universal functionality and adequate, although not low, cost. The production of specialized models will not go anywhere: for example, the extreme traveler Bear Grylls will not buy a “station wagon” – he needs something more serious. But for most users, the fitness abilities of the same Amazfit Stratos are enough.

Universal watches will be the most in-demand, but specialized models for children and sports will also remain. Perhaps the smartwatch market will become more boring – they all become more or less the same. For example, the main difference between the Amazfit GTS and the Amazfit GTR is that the former is thinner and with a larger screen, while the latter is thicker but lasts twice as long thanks to a larger battery. Most of the functions are similar since the same software works inside.

I am sure that everyone will benefit from this direction in developing wearable devices in the end. The progress will be much more interesting than in the smartphone market, where it all boiled down to the confrontation between Android and iOS. Many manufacturers will still offer a similar set of functions but implement them in different ways.

Universal watches will be the most in-demand, but specialized models for children and sports will also remain.

One manufacturer may have models in both laconic and sporty designs: for example, the Amazfit T-Rex looks brutal and are suitable for an active lifestyle.

How to choose a smartwatch

When you understand what a smartwatch is, its use, and its relevance, you can start choosing a gadget for yourself.

First of all, you need to focus on your smartphone. If this is an iPhone, spending on an Apple Watch makes sense – bonuses from the Apple ecosystem more than paying off the overpayment. Android smartphones, in turn, are compatible with any wearable device.

You don’t have to bother with the choice of processors. The operation of the interface is stable everywhere, and there are practically no severe differences in performance.

Pedometer and sleep monitoring are available even in inexpensive smartwatches.

The type of screen is essential: in most cases, an OLED matrix is ​​enough – this type of screen has colorful, realistic colors and is comfortable in sunny weather. If you are afraid of glare, take a closer look at models that use color E-Ink displays – that is, with electronic ink, like in readers. For example, the Amazfit Bip has it.

The most important thing is to understand how much functionality is need of all. Even the most inexpensive watches measure steps and sleep phases, but only top functional models can seriously help with training. The Amazfit Stratos will do just fine.

Fashionable design usually does not significantly affect the cost, but it severely limits some parameters. For example, a large battery cannot physically fit into a thin, stylish watch. You need to immediately decide what the future smartwatch will become – a fashion accessory or a training tool.

How to care for your smartwatch

Even if the device has a reasonable degree of water resistance, it is better not to wet the purchase unnecessarily. Especially if it has damage from an accidental impact. microcracks in the glass can destroy electronics. Do not check abnormal scenarios such as diving to great depths. The water pressure at a depth below 50 m will crush the electronics. Likewise with the sauna: high temperatures can damage the device.

Some Gorilla Glass screen protectors protect the screen from breaking, but they are successfully coveres with scratches. Other generations of these materials are not afraid of scratches, but they still die with a strong impact. There is no absolute protection, so it’s best to take care of your gadget.

All smartwatches are equippes with lithium-ion batteries, which are sensitive to deep discharge. It is better not to let the clock go to zero and charge it on time. Otherwise, one day, it will not turn on at all.

At a Glance: Technics SL-1200 / SL-1210 MK7  

PER

  • Illustrious design
  • Affordable price
  • New features

AGAINST

The design has become more budgetary

Silver finish not available

Technics SL-1200 / SL-1210 MK7 is back with us. The famous series of turntables initially intended for audiophiles and quickly adopted by professional DJs is returning to the market.

After releasing high-end turntables with sky-high prices in recent years, Technics is entering a more democratic segment. The turntable in a matte black finish (no silver version is expect) will be marketed.

In the UK and Europe as the SL-1210 MK7 and Japan and the US as the SL-1200 MK7.

 Construction and design

Like the SL-1500C, the SL-1200MK7 is manufactures in Malaysia, not in a Japanese factory that makes high-end turntables, and was designes using different components and design principles. The MK7 is instantly recognizable by anyone who has ever handled a Technics turntable. While other turntables sport fanciful designs and many features, the SL-1200 is austere simplicity.

The speed control on the right-hand side provides + 8/16% trim. The on/off button is located. At the bottom, left, are the 33 1/3 and 45 rpm shift buttons. A speed of 78 rpm is also supports. The strobe color you can change from red to blue. The needle is now equippies with retractable white LED lighting. The rear panel contains inputs for detachable power and interconnect cables (the latter for the phono stage).

Externally, the player looks very stylish; Signature enthusiasts will appreciate the eye-catching matte black finish. There is no silver option at the moment, but it seems that it will appear sooner or later.

The SL-1200 / SL-1210 MK7 feels a little less solid than the expensive SL-1200GR and SL-1200G models. The power and speed buttons look flimsy both externally. When pressed, the LED indicator of the needle. Which is moveable up and down, dangled a little on the test sample. We did not have an older version of the SL-1200 to compare, so we had to postpone the differences.

weight

The new turntable weighs 9.6 kilograms, which is less than the SL-1200GR (11.5) and MK6 version (11.7). The lower surface of the table is coveres with a layer of damping rubber and equipped with four monolithic legs.

For this model, a new coreless direct-drive motor has been developes to eliminate torque ripple – for maximum smooth operation. The torque remains the same as in the MK5 version – 1.8 kgf * cm, while in the more expensive SL-1200GR, it is 2.2 kgf * cm.

Equipment

Technics is adamant in its reluctance to add unnecessary bells and whistles to its turntables, but the SL-1210 MK7 has made some excellent changes. The first of these is the Reverse Play function: while holding one of the speed selection buttons, click on Start/stop – and the platter will start spinning in the opposite direction. The 78 rpm shift is performes similarly.

Technics CTO Tetsuya Itani shows how the new Reverse Play feature works on the SL-1200 MK7.

In addition, the starting torque and braking speed can adjust thanks in part to motor technology enhanced by the development of Blu-ray drives. This setup is a little more complicated and requires removing the platter to access the switches hidden inside the player. Most people are unlikely to do this thing, but it gives professionals additional room to experiment.

The SL-1200’s customization options don’t stop there. In the same hidden area, you can find a switch to change the color of the strobe backlight LED – from blue to red or vice versa. Improved needle illumination provides enhanced visibility of the needle tip compared to previous designs.

These models interconnect, and power cables are removable – to the delight of those owners who want to replace them with connectors of a higher class.

Quality of work

As always, the first impressions of a new product in a crowded showroom are just the beginning of our acquaintance. Conditions are far from ideal. Time is short. There is no possibility of comparison with similar products. But, of course, we still took the opportunity to touch the new turntable with our own hands and later hear it as part of the Technics reference system.

Suppose you like the company’s style as much as we and many others, then you will appreciate the new model. It looks awe-inspiring in a black finish. There will be a lot of buzz about the lack of a silver version, but no one will be disappointes you with the available performance.

If you put the MK7 alongside the more expensive models, the SL-1200G and SL-1200GR, it becomes evident that the design and artistry are more straightforward. But this is also logical – it is much cheaper.

  How the turntable will show itself during operation, we will find out when we get a copy for testing. 

At the Technics brand stand, the new model played great. Technics CTO Tetsuya Itani said that the sound character is “very similar” to the new SL-1500C, given that quality increases as the price rises. We listened to the SL-1200 / SL-1210 MK7 and SL-1500G turntables in a row, and the latter was distinguishes to increased detail and more significant scale. Still, outside the context of comparison, 1200 please with a balanced and musical sound.

Interim verdict

The new SL-1200 MK7, as you would expect, has delighted audiophiles. This is a worthy member of the illustrious line. Those who have dreamed of touching the stellar legacy of Technics DJ turntables will be sweet to hear about the release of a new model aimed at this audience and available at a more modest price. We understand them perfectly.

The iconic turntable benefits from this new feature update, and we are confident that the performance and sound quality of the finished product will also be at their best.