Don’t be fooled: iPhone XS is not a boring ‘S’ upgrade [Review]

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iPhone XS and XS Max
iPhone XS is more than meets the eye.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you ever watched schlocky ’70s sci-fi show The Six Million Dollar Man, you probably remember the opening sequence, during which a faceless narrator describes building a man who is “better than he was before. Better … stronger … faster.”

With the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Apple’s engineers achieved just that type of incredible transformation. They fabricated phones that look “normal,” like last year’s iPhone X. But, just like the shadowy geniuses who built the bionic man, Apple indeed made the iPhone X better, stronger and faster — thanks in large part to the A12 Bionic chip that powers the new phones’ most advanced functions. (Other hardware and software upgrades help, too.)

Just like Col. Steve Austin, the ace astronaut who got $6 million worth of bionic implants after a devastating crash, the iPhone X received massive internal upgrades to morph into the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. While it looks like the same old (excellent) device, it’s actually far more fantastic and futuristic.

It’s total a bionic blast!

Save $75 on Apple Watch, $700 on Macs [Deals & Steals]

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Refurbished Apple Watch LTE units are available.
Pick up your new Apple Watch for $75 less.
Photo: Apple

Best Buy is celebrating Labor Day weekend with some stellar discounts on Apple’s latest devices. You can save $50 on HomePod, $75 on Apple Watch Series 3, and up to $700 on Macs. Today’s Deals & Steals roundup also includes offers on other Apple devices.

Plus, you can protect your home with an impressive smart security camera for under $75, and pick up a pair of smart bulbs that won’t break the bank.

UE Boom 3 crams ‘magic’ new features into iridescent package

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The UE Boom 3 Bluetooth speaker packs great new features into a sophisticated package.
If you like Apple Music, this is the Bluetooth speaker for you.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Like a cute iMac G3 blossoming into a “simply breathtaking” iMac G4, Ultimate Ears’ Boom and Megaboom speakers just morphed into something even more wonderful.

Sporting an updated design and loads of advanced features — including a new Magic Button that puts Apple Music playlists at your fingertips — the best Bluetooth speakers around just got even better. And, surprisingly, they also got cheaper!

Logitech’s new vertical mouse packs pro features into ergonomic design

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The Logitech MX Vertical ergonomic mouse is here to save your wrist.
The Logitech MX Vertical is here to save your wrist.
Photo: Logitech

To create its new vertical mouse, Logitech borrowed from its expertise creating peripherals for players of first-person shooters. The goal? A kill shot aimed straight at the ugly heart of repetitive strain injuries.

The result of the company’s efforts is the Logitech MX Vertical. The ergonomic mouse, unveiled today, offers appealing features in a strangely beautiful design that looks something like a seashell.

Logitech’s new wireless iPhone charger solves an annoying problem [Review]

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New Logitech Powered wireless charger for iPhone eliminates the heartbreaking nudge.
Logitech's new wireless iPhone charger eliminates the heartbreaking overnight nudge.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Having a wireless charging pad on my nightstand means never having to fish around in the dark for a Lightning cable plugged into the wall. However, there’s a tradeoff: Switching to wireless charging also means I’ve awakened to a nearly drained iPhone more often than ever before.

Well, help is on the way for this admittedly first-world problem. The new Logitech Powered Wireless Charger eliminates the main drawback I’ve found when it comes to charging my iPhone wirelessly.

Your Apple Watch deserves a Proper charger [Review]

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proper
The Proper dock is minimalist, like an Apple Watch charger should be.
Photo: Studio Proper

Sadly, most Apple Watch charging stands look like utter crap. For a device beloved by Apple fans — some of the most design-savvy people on the planet — the Apple Watch accessories selection seems strangely miserable.

Some Apple Watch chargers look like old-school joysticks. Others look like Amish craftwork or the kind of 1980s rack you might see in a department store, loaded with ugly shirts nobody wants.

Save $200 on an iMac and/or $14 on AirPods [Deals & Steals]

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iMac
Save hundreds on a 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display!
Photo: Apple

In today’s edition of Deals & Steals, we show you where you can get a brand-new iMac for a phenomenal savings. And, in a similarly enticing Apple deal, you can save $14 on the rarely discounted AirPods.

On top of that, we dug up deals on a new GoPro Hero 4 action cam, an LED monitor and a pair of comfortable gaming headphones — all for insane prices!

Wood-inlay iPhone X case cures aluminum ennui [Review]

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Rustek Axis Inlay wooden iPhone case
Do you respect wood? Rustek does.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Just how much aluminum and glass can you take? If you’re a longtime Apple fan but you’re getting bored with your devices’ sleek surfaces, wood could be the answer.

In particular, wrapping your iPhone in a wooden case from Rustek might cure you of your aluminum ennui. With eye-catching graphics made of laser-cut wood veneers, these cases look really different.

Amp up your Apple Watch with Carterjett’s all-weather, silicone bands

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Carterjett Tire Tread Sport band review: A silicone band for big wrists.
Tire tracks all across your band mean all kinds of fun.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Sport band is the basic bro of Apple Watch straps. If you want something a little more rugged — and a lot less forgettable — strap on a Tire Tread Sport band from Carterjett. These sturdy silicone bands come in brilliant colors, with extra-large sizes and surprisingly small price tags.

They’re a perfect option for revving up your Apple Watch collection.