iPhone 11 review roundup: Great cameras make for great upgrade

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Iphone11
It's all about the cameras.
Photo: Apple

The very first iPhone 11 reviews are out, which means it’s time to find out whether that $699+ you just spent on an upgrade was worth it. And you probably won’t be surprised to hear the results.

Apple’s most affordable iPhone this year, just like its predecessor, is a hit with critics. It is getting heaps of praise for its improved cameras, even longer battery life, and bolstered performance.

There are a few complaints, however. Find out what reviewers think of the iPhone 11 right here.

Energizer’s thick new phone packs an insanely huge battery

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Energizer Power Max P18K Pop
Only Energizer would build a phone with an 18,000 mAh battery
Photo: Energizer

There are people who say they want a phone with the biggest battery they can get, but Energizer proves them wrong. Its latest device sports over 6 times the battery capacity of the iPhone XS Max, but to pack in that much power it’s almost three times as thick as Apple’s current flagship. 

Apple often integrates ideas from rival products into its handsets. That’s not likely to happen this time. 

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 might just double your money.
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
The first iPhone with ProMotion?
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
There are over 1.4 billion active Apple devices in the world.
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 a total 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
Apple Watch is one of many products that will be hit.
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.