Well, it’s that time of the year again — the September/October period is when the folks at Apple refresh their product lineup for the holiday season, and this year we’re spoiled for choice in the best of ways.
During their “Time Flies” event last month, Tim Cook and team made some expected announcements for the Apple Watch and iPad, but also snuck some surprises like the Apple Watch SE and a redesigned iPad Air.
Apple’s lineup is more comprehensive than its ever been, but more choices also come with more considerations. It can all get a little confusing for more casual consumers, so here’s a lowdown of which one you should get:
Honestly speaking, the Apple Watch Series 6 isn’t that much of a step up from the Series 5 — the most significant addition this year is a blood oxygen sensor, which — while definitely useful for some — won’t be a major selling point for most.
With that said, however, the Series 6 has essentially taken the place of the now-discontinued Series 5, and with the price unchanged there’s no reason not to get it if you’re looking for a flagship Apple Watch.
If the S$599 price tag is a factor, then you might want to consider the new Apple Watch SE, which comes in S$180 cheaper than the Series 6. The SE is equipped with the same S6 processor as the Series 6, which means that you’re not losing out on anything in the performance department.
What the SE does lose out on is more premium features, like the aforementioned blood oxygen sensor, ECG app and always-on display (the latter being a particularly painful omission). It truly is a case of “you get what you pay for”, and if any of those are important to you, then we’d recommend spending the extra cash and going for the Series 6.
It should also be noted that Apple is still selling the Series 3 for S$299, but in our opinion the product is on its last legs and you’re better off spending the extra S$120 to get the SE.
The TL;DR: Which Apple Watch to get depends on what you currently own: If you’re using a Series 4 or 5, the blood oxygen sensor alone isn’t enough to warrant an upgrade to the Series 6, and you can probably get one or two more years of mileage out of your current device.
If you’re using a Series 3 and below, however, moving up to the Series 6 makes a lot more sense. The Apple Watch’s most significant upgrades seem to be behind them, and it’s probably a good time to cash in on the features introduced in the Series 4 and Series 5.
And if you’re looking to get an Apple Watch at the lowest possible price, you should be getting the Apple Watch SE at the very least to future-proof your purchase.
With four options in their lineup and two being recently refreshed, the question of which iPad to get is a little more complicated than the Apple Watch.
On the entry-level side of things you have the new 8th-generation iPad and 5th-generation iPad Mini, which was released last year. Both are similarly priced, equipped with an A12 Bionic Chip and compatible with the 1st generation Apple Pencil, so which one to get really boils down to your preference of size.
One aspect where the two deviate, however, is keyboard compatibility — the iPad is compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard while the iPad Mini is only compatible with bluetooth keyboards (i.e Apple’s Magic Keyboard or third-party ones), so the larger iPad does have a slight advantage when it comes to convenience.
On the flip side, the iPad Pro remains at the top of the performance hill with its A12Z Bionic chip. The recently-announced iPad Air (available later this month), on the other hand, is a solid middle ground for those who want a more powerful iPad, but don’t want to shell out more than S$1,000 for an iPad Pro.
Like the Apple Watch SE, the iPad Air does lose out on a few features like Face ID and an extra ultrawide camera, but these are things that you can honestly do without. The iPad Pro does comes in a larger 12.9-inch form factor, so you’ll have to spring for Apple’s most premium offering if real estate is a point of consideration.
The TL;DR: In our opinion, the iPad Air — especially with its iPad Pro-esque redesign — will be the best choice for most people. Like the iPad Pro, it’s compatible with Apple’s more premium peripherals like the Magic keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil, and its new A14 Bionic processor means that it’ll be relevant for at least the next few years.
With that said, the iPad and iPad mini are also valid choices if you’re on a budget. Having used both personally, we have to say that any iPad in the current lineup will have no problem in the performance department, so at the end of the day it really is a matter of size and what peripherals you want to use.
So who is the iPad Pro for, then? People who insist on having the most specced out iPad possible, and digital artists who’ll benefit from the extra screen space, we suppose.
Apple surprisingly did not unveil a new iPhone during their September event, but we might not have to wait much longer to see the 2020 edition of the popular smartphone.
You see, Apple is holding another online event — titled “Hi, Speed” — on the 13th of October, and all signs are pointing towards the new iPhones being unveiled then (what else could it be, really?).
The rumour mill suggests that — in addition to the usual successors to the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max — Apple will also be unveiling a new “mini” variant with a 5.4-inch screen as well. The phones will probably also utilise the A14 Bionic chip that was introduced in the iPad Air.
Of course, this is all just speculation at this point, so it’s best to just wait out and watch the official announcement tomorrow. We’ll definitely be taking a look at the new iPhones when they’re eventually released, so watch this space.
Feature Image Credit: Vulcan Post