By Will Red
On the technology calendar, Fall is punctuated by the annual iPhone product announcements from Apple which in turn kick-starts the industry push into the holiday season. If your cell phone is out of date, or up for contract renewal, here are some new products to consider.
Xs, Xs Max, Xr iPhones
Launched last month in their annual presentation, Apple has built on the revolutionary features of the iPhone X into the newest additions to their range. The Xs is their flagship cellphone which builds on the features of the 2017 iPhone X. The Xs Max has the largest screen and battery life of any iPhone to date, while the Xr (pre-ordering starts October 19th) has some of the features of the iPhone X and Xs in a more economical package. The new Apple Watch Series 4 also has an array of health and exercise functionality plus (depending on the model) the ability to receive and make calls, just like Dick Tracy. Info: apple.com.
Galaxy S9 & Note 9
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 9 phones, Tab Tablet and Galaxy Watch are all designed to keep Samsung as the primary alternative to the Apple eco-system utilizing the Android operating system from Google. While industry and consumers wait for next year’s Galaxy S10 phone, which will be rumored to have all kinds of special features, the latest release to hold consumer interest is the larger Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Featuring an integral stylus as a tool reminds us of the Palm Pilots and Psion handheld computers of yesteryear. However, it being integral to the device makes it useful and convenient. Info: samsung.com.
With the LG V40 due for release this month, the Samsung Galaxy S9 challenger using the Android operating system is LG’s G7 ThinQ. The key selling point for the G7 is that it is reliable, middle-of-the-road and for the budget-conscious consumer a solid purchase. Info: lg.com.
Launched last month at the London Design Festival, Swiss-based company Punkt launched the second version of their anti-smartphone—the MP02. Featuring a minimalist design centered on making telephone calls and basic functionality such as 4G LTE connectivity, an address book and text messaging, the MP02 adds hotspot connectivity so that you can use the phone to access the web through another device—making it a choice rather than a reflex through an app. Battery life is excellent due to its simplicity and built-in quality is what you would expect from a Swiss-engineered device. Info: punkt.ch.
Concerned about your data falling into the wrong hands? For the ultimate in 2018 cellphone security try the Swiss-Israeli Sirin Labs android-based smartphone called Solarin. The phone also supports 24 LTE Bands and has 802.11ag gigabit Wi-Fi capability. The catch? The price point of $14,000. Take heart: Sirin Labs will be launching the Finney—a blockchain-based phone for $999. Info: solarin.com.