Acumen techno expert Aki Anastasiou looks at iPhone Xs, Xs Max, Apple Watch Series 4, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Dell XPS 13.

iPhone Xs and Xs Max  

Creating the next trillion for Apple 

Cost from R17 000 
 
Apple became a $1 trillion company in 2018 and it's hoping to gain more market share and value with the new range of iPhones and a newly redesigned Apple Watch. This monumental growth in 11 years is largely attributed to the iPhone, which was launched in June of 2007. The iPhone incidentally makes up two-thirds of Apple’s revenue and CEO Tim Cook also pointed out that they are about to sell their 2 billionth device. Astonishing growth! To put this into perspective, Apple’s market cap in June of 2007 was sitting at around $127 billion. Don’t you wish you had bought a few Apple shares back then? 
 
But I digress. Will the new generation iPhones help take Apple to their next trillion dollars? Well, consumers seem to think so, and by the sounds of it, will continue upgrading to the latest iPhone model, even though it's becoming more expensive each year. Apple introduced three new devices, the iPhone Xr aimed at a lower price point and their flagship devices the iPhone Xs and the Xs Max.  
 
All the new devices have Apple’s new A12 Bionic Chip. The power and speed of the new chip is a massive jump compared to the previous version. The 7-nanometre chip has 6.9 billion transistors, a 60% jump on the previous iPhone and can now complete 5 trillion operations per second vs the 600 billion last year. The A12 chip is an extraordinary engineering feat. What it means for you and me is that the phone is up to 50% faster, depending on which apps you use, and as much as 50% more energy efficient. One transistor in 1960 would have cost $150, today you can buy 70 000 transistors for $1 cent. Let that sink in for a bit. Hello, Fourth Industrial Revolution! 
 
Back to the phones… both the 5.8- and 6.5-inch phones have Super Retina displays, the cameras have been upgraded with even better stabilisation and faster sensors. Essentially the magic happens with Apple’s Neural Engine software together with their fancy chip that helps you take those amazing photographs.  
 
“Do I upgrade?” is the question. They are pricey, but the new chip with the screen enhancements make it difficult to resist, especially the iPhone Xs Max with that huge 6.5-inch display!  
 

Apple Watch Series 4 

New redesign with fascinating health insights 

Cost from R6 000 
 
The Apple Watch Series 4 was, for me, the most exciting product announced by Apple. The watch has been redesigned and re-engineered with some amazing technology. It has a slightly larger screen and is thinner than the previous model. It has a sensor that can detect if you fall and even has the capability of alerting an emergency responder if you don’t respond to say you’re OK. The heart sensor constantly monitors your heart rate and will alert you if your heart is too low or too high. It can also detect atrial fibrillation by analysing your heartbeat and alerting you if you have an irregular heartbeat. The new watch has the capabilities to do an electrocardiogram (ECG) using the new ECG app which also, interestingly, has FDA approval. Together with all the exercise functionality, Apple has built an impressive watch that gives us a glimpse into how we may monitor our health in the future.  
 

Samsung Galaxy Note 9  

The ultimate business phone  

Price from R18 000 
 
The newly launched Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is an exceptional phone packed with functionality. It features a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display and Samsung’s new intelligent 12 MP dual aperture lens to help you take the best photographs by automatically adjusting to light in the same way the human eye does. The Samsung Galaxy Note’s unique feature is the S Pen, a feature that Samsung brought to the market back in 2011. Having the functionality to make notes like you would with a pen and paper but on a screen digitally, has massive appeal to those who want to add notes to a photograph, a message or use the S Pen to draw things and navigate around the phone. The Note 9 now features a low-powered Bluetooth S Pen that has added functionality by pressing the button on the pen. You can take photographs by simply pressing the button or hold it down to go into selfie mode. If you’re doing PowerPoint presentations, you simply plug the phone into a screen and use the S Pen to change your slides. The Galaxy Note 9 also has a 4 000 mAh battery which will easily give you a full day’s usage! It has all the bells and whistles you would expect to find in a phone plus more. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is an exceptional phone and contender for phone of the year!
 

Dell XPS 13 

The ultimate business notebook  

Priced from R20 000 
 
If you’re looking for a high-end, very light, stylish, ultra-portable laptop running Windows then the Dell XPS 13 is for you. It's a beautifully designed laptop with an aluminium exterior and a black carbon interior around the keyboard. This is the Porsche Cayenne of notebooks. It just feels amazing. The 4K touch screen is really useful when you want to multitask while typing. The 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 makes the Del XPS 13 purr between tasks. There is hardly any lag when opening a program or email. Dell has pushed the display right up against the edges using their Dell Cinema Infinity Edge display so you actually don’t even notice the edges of the screen. With a battery life of 10 hours plus, this is a machine for any executive on the go.  

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