Some More Put-Together Thoughts About Today’s Apple Announcements

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

I recorded my reactions podcast this afternoon, literally minutes after the event ended, so all i had were hot takes. But now, several hours later, I’ve had time to digest everything and have slightly refined feelings on the two main products they unveiled.

Apple Watch Series 5

This is my darling product and I of course ordered one the moment they were available. But after a few hours I feel:

  • This is the first Apple Watch clearly not targeting people who bought last year’s model. Yes, I know one year updates are not super common, but each previous year’s upgrade was so significant it made the last models look, or more importantly feel old. This year, if you have a Series 4 there is basically no reason to get the Series 5, unless…
  • The always on display looks just as good as I thought it might be in the stage presentation and it’s the top reason I’m getting this. It might be enough for some folks to upgrade already as it’s a fundamental change to the product that people have been asking for since day one.
  • Rumor has it the S5 SoC in this model is the same as the S4 from last year, but with a new name printed on it. If true, it’s kind of disappointing, but also speaks to how good the Series 4 is in terms of performance. How often does Apple not upgrade the speed in a product from model to model?
  • The new two-tone sport loop bands look excellent!
  • The Milanese Loop and leather watch bands cost $99 instead of the $149 they used to be.
  • I adore the ceramic look, but can’t justify the cost.

iPhone 11 and 11 Pro

  • It’s really all about the cameras this year, like 80% of their marketing and promo pages for these phones is devoted to how amazing these are.
  • These phones look like they’re in a case, even when they’re naked. Maybe it’s because of the matte and glossy difference between the back and the camera square.
  • Oh, and that camera bump…oof. Apple stylized it a bit, but that is one hell of a gaudy bump.
  • Somehow, I think the phones look even weirder with a case on them, as the cutout for the cameras is so massive, it’s actually kind of humorous. I’d love to know why Apple went with this design of something like the S10 line that has the 3 cameras in a row and looks totally fine.
  • The “Deep Fusion” photo mode Apple teased is singlehandedly going to make me get the Pro instead of the regular old 11 this year. I was totally sold on the purple iPhone 11, but I’m too tempted by what this mode could be to miss out on it.
  • Oh, and I plan on getting the green or gold 11 Pro. The green looks unique, but I invariably kick myself for not getting the gold iPhone any year I don’t.
  • My wife watched a few videos with YouTubers talking about the phones still having notches and said “you guys spend a lot of time complaining about things literally no one else cares about,” which made me laugh.
  • The telephoto lens went from f/2.4 in the XS to f/2.0 in the 11 Pro. That’s a pretty sizable difference and should help with getting much more light into the camera. For comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus’s telephoto lens had an f/2.8 aperture.
  • Night Mode is everything I’ve wanted from an iPhone since last year’s Night Sight in the Pixel 3 (and now $399 3a!) blew me away.