iPhone XR review: Why buy anything else?

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iPhone XR review: With a great screen, cameras, battery life and Face ID, the iPhone XR is a nifty smartphone.
With a great screen, cameras, battery life and Face ID, the iPhone XR is a nifty smartphone.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XR is typical Apple. It’s an entry-level phone with a bunch of premium features. Jony Ive just cannot cut corners, even if he wanted to. This is no plasticky, cut-rate phone built to meet a price point. It’s a primo phone with primo features (and a primo price tag, TBH). It just happens to be the cheapest new iPhone in Apple’s lineup.

The XR delivers everything customers care about: a big, beautiful screen; great cameras; long battery life; and Face ID.

The iPhone XR is arguably Apple’s most interesting smartphone of 2018 because of this slightly odd bundle of budget/premium features. It’s arguably a $1,200 phone in a $750 package.

For a chance to win a brand-new iPhone XR, enter our free giveaway here.

iPhone XS Max easily outlasts rivals in new battery test

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iPhone XS Max battery test
Despite the smallest battery, iPhone XS Max lasts longer.
Photo: Mrwhosetheboss

Apple promises that the iPhone XS Max delivers better battery life than any other iPhone. It also lasts longer than rival devices in between charges, according to a new battery test.

Apple’s most expensive smartphone to date easily outpaces the Sony Xperia XZ3 and the new Google Pixel 3 XL. It even manages to last a little longer than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 — but there is a catch.

Apple Watch Series 4 packs smaller batteries than Series 3

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Apple Watch Series 4
You’ll still get around 18 hours in between charges.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch Series 4 lasts up to 18 hours on a single charge — just like its predecessors — and it somehow manages that with significantly smaller batteries.

An official Product Information sheet confirms Apple’s latest wearables have around 20 percent less battery capacity than Series 3 devices. It’s a testament to the power efficiency of the new components.

Is iPhone XS battery life really better?

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iPhone XS gaming
Battery tests disagree with Apple's claims.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple promises that you’ll get better battery life if you upgrade to the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max. Their cutting-edge A12 Bionic chips and power-efficient Super Retina displays should mean that they last longer than any other iPhone in between charges.

But is that really the case? One battery test has found that last year’s iPhone X actually has more stamina than its successor.

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

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iPhone XS and XS Max
Will the iPhone XS and XS Max save Apple's Q4?
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!

Apple Watch Series 4 review: So good it’ll make your heart race

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Apple Watch Series 4 Infogram Watch Face
The Series 4 comes with some great new watch faces, like this information-packed Infograph face.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

I have a new best friend. It’s the Apple Watch Series 4. Boy, do I love this miraculous little machine.

The new Apple Watch really is wonderful. As with everything else, speed makes it so much more fluid and seamless. The display is gigantic and awesome! There’s so much technology packed inside, it’s a sci-fi marvel.

I took it for a long bike ride to test it out. Here’s what I found.

Series 4 vs. Series 3: Which Apple Watch is right for you?

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Apple Watch Series 4
Our comparison will help you decide.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch Series 4 is now available to preorder ahead of its official launch on September 21. It’s packed with new features, but considerably more expensive than its predecessors, with prices starting at $399.

Last year’s Apple Watch Series 3 is also still available. It’s not quite as impressive as the latest model, but it’s now more affordable at $279.

Which one should you buy? Find out right here in our 2018 Apple Watch comparison.

You’ll be surprised by what fans really want from the next iPhone

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iphone
What’s on your wish list for a future iPhone?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

What do you want from Apple’s next iPhone? A faster processor? A better camera? A truly edge-to-edge screen without the controversial notch?

All of these things would make for nice improvements, but they’re not what most fans are asking for from their next iPhone. Better battery life is actually what tops the wish list in a survey of 1,665 Americans.

How to get Low Power Mode on your Mac right now

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This rare photo shows the moment that Michael came up with the idea for K.I.T.T's Turbo Boost.
This rare photo shows the moment that Michael came up with the idea for K.I.T.T's Turbo Boost.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iOS Low Power Mode is fantastic, letting you squeeze the most possible uptime from your iPhone or iPad. But what about the Mac? Why isn’t there a Low Power Mode for MacBooks? After all, they’re just as likely to be used away from power as an iPad.

Well, here’s some good news. Using third-party software, it’s easy to put your Mac into Low Power Mode whenever you like. You can get around a third more battery life using an app called Turbo Boost Switcher.

Looks like iOS 11.4.1 really did fix iPhone battery drain

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iPhone 6 with a dead battery
Worry no more! It seems the latest iOS update repaired the battery woes of some iPhone users. Well, probably.
Photo: Apple

Many iPhone user experienced quick battery drain problems with iOS 11.4. This week, Apple introduced an operating system update designed to fix bugs with its predecessor. Did that take care of the complaints?

Comments posted online generally seem to show that iOS 11.4.1 squashed this battery bug. Not everyone agrees, though.