Earlier last week at the special “Gather Round” event in Cupertino, Apple unveiled its latest duo of new devices — an all-new design for its smartwatch, chronologically known as the Apple Watch Series 4, as well as the iPhone Xs, Xs Max and iPhone XR smartphone upgrades. Today, we have a closer look at both devices in what could be considered the most luxurious shade available to date: Stainless Steel Gold.
Apple Watch Series 4 in Stainless Steel Gold
At first impression the Apple Watch Series 4 is a major update to the wearable, offering 30% more display through its OLED 40mm and 44mm chassis sizes. There is a plethora of color with the complications of its all new “infograph” and “modular infograph” watch faces, and they glow with a rainbow effect that’s simply dazzling. Many will notice the updated crown that strays away from the bold red dot — not unlike a Leica camera — but instead adopts a much more subdued red ring.
According to Alan Dye, vice president of user interface design, the screen extends to the very edges to maximize the amount of visible information possible and thus allowing for more usable complications, or the customizable components of information in a watch dial. The larger size thus allowed for a new curved complication design that allowed for edge-to-edge details and user data. However the UI team not only wanted to show more of each app and give the watch dial the most real estate, but they rethought even the edges and colors for Watch Series 4 to make things fresh and contemporary. Even the approach to the new live watch dials is extremely thoughout, as the team decided to go the traditional “visual effects” method of filming fire, water and vapor instead of resorting to CGI for a more realistic look.
While the Series 4 maintains the gamut of features already available in the Series 3 watch (submersible water resistance, cellular connectivity, all-day battery life), the subtle upgrades — including the stunning new shade of gold that hides just a hint of pink in certain lighting and an all-new yet “familiar” design — is what makes the Apple Watch Series 4 a consideration for upgrading. The gold actually plays well with the new “complicated” dials, further encouraging users to purchase with style in mind. Bonus points for universal watch bands, which is a huge plus for previous Apple Watch owners who were worried their 38mm and 42mm watch bands were now obsolete.
Apple iPhone Xs in Gold
The iPhone Xs as well retains the sleek nature and stylishly-crafted iPhone X size and shape, but the addition of the gold color (note that the band around the device is stainless steel, not the back which is still glass) revives the phone to luxury status. The color is a slight departure from the gold offerings found in previous iPhones — the 7 and 7 Plus models’ gold shade was certainly softer due to its aluminum chassis finish, and the 8 and 8 Plus’s rose gold was even more of a departure from the true tone of the rare metal. This iteration however shines and glimmers in the sunlight and is the closest one will get to a gold that’s pure luxury without it costing five figures and weighing exponentially more.
The speed bump and ease-of-use upgrades inherent in iOS 12 were a bit expected from Apple during the event and within our review, but the largest feature for the phone and its iOS pairing is the depth of field adjustment which, surprisingly, is exclusive to the new phones and not available on the X (just yet, at least). Camera enthusiasts have already begun to dissect the quality of the bokeh — or the out-of-focus blur in the background — but for the layman, the feature is most useful when taking portrait photos of multiple people or objects and the photographer might want both subjects to be recognizable. The novelty may wear off once casual users get the hang of it and realize the fine tuning isn’t really necessary for most real world applications.
Both iPhone Xs/Xs Max and the Apple Watch Series 4 are now available for pre-order over at Apple’s official site and your local carriers. To learn more about the new iPhone Xs Max, be sure to read our exclusive review of the flagship phone by Off-White™ designer Virgil Abloh.