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Apple Event Highlights: iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch 4

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Much-anticipated Apple line-up will include a range of smartphones a new mini Mac and accessories. AFP

That is, in everything except the names.

Today Apple announced new Apple Watches and a handful of new iPhones that all have edge-to-edge, curved displays just like the iPhone X does.

In fact, with a body about the same size as that of the iPhone 8 Plus, only with a far bigger screen, it's oddly familiar to hold in the hand.

This includes the $1099 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max, the $999 5.8-inch iPhone XS, and the $749 6.1-inch iPhone XR. Both the new iPhones will be succeeding the existing iPhone X. But, people are already reading it as X, and that's likely to catch on. The phone, which costs more than a basic Apple laptop ($1449 in its maxed-out Max configuration), is in many ways becoming a replacement for a laptop - minus the keyboard. The iPhone is the biggest reason Apple became a trillion-dollar company; until another product fills its shoes, the iPhone remains key to its future.

The flying elephant of the new lot is the iPhone Xs Max, which sounds like it could be a new flavor of Mountain Dew, or perhaps an extreme sport.

What else does the new iPhone offer?

Is this an SNL skit?' another user commented. Williams said the new Apple Watch could help detect atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat), although he hedged that it won't "catch every instance".

The XS Max will have all those upgrades, but it's bigger. Even though its thickness got reduced and it offers more performance and features, the new watch is said to maintain the same battery life longevity as its predecessors. Deliveries and in-store availability follows a week later on September 21st.

For comparison, the iPhone XS Max is bigger even than the Galaxy Note 9, which spans 6.4 inches. The front camera is still a 7MP lens but has a 2x faster sensor and improved red-eye reduction, detail segmentation, and more thanks to the A12 chip. In short, Apple has enlarged the screen, not the phone, so our back pockets are safe. Based on some limited hands-on time, both the Xs and Xs Max run at least slightly quicker than the iPhone X I brought with me.

Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams discussed the company's health technology features that it was embedding in its new Apple Watches.

Apple revealed its new iOS 12 will be available to download on September 17 as long as you got a device newer than an iPhone 5. Like the iPhone X, the new models contain Apple's Face ID feature, which lets people unlock their smartphones by looking at them.

The new Apple watch with Global Positioning System is available for $399 and the LTE variant comes in at $499 and are both available starting September 17, with preorders starting this Friday the 14.

The cameras on the phones are, as usual, "better than ever before", said Apple exec Phil Schiller, who has uttered the same words at previous events.

Here's what you need to know about the iPhone XR.

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