Why You May Not Need the Latest Apple Gadgets

These devices are hardly game-changers

Key Takeaways

  • Apple’s new lineup of phones, watches, and iPads are more iterations than revolutions.
  • The iPhone 13 has new cameras, but you probably won’t notice much difference.
  • The Apple Watch Series 7’s most significant innovation is that it’s a tiny bit larger.
Apple Watch Series 7 worn by a bike rider

Apple

Don’t believe the hype. You probably don’t need to upgrade to the latest Apple gadgets revealed during the company’s September event.

Apple unveiled its new iPhones, Apple Watch, and iPad mini with great fanfare, but they’re far from revolutionary. Most people will do just fine without upgrading this time around.

Tuesday's unveiling might have been one of the most underwhelming Apple events in years. The iPhone 13, Apple Watch 7, the new iPad mini, and the latest iPad offer very little in the way of new features.

iPhone 13 Won’t Change Your Life

The latest iPhone model is unlikely to make most owners of recent Apple phones run for their credit cards. There was a lot of fuss at the unveiling of the improved camera features of the iPhone 13. The iPhone 13 has a similar design to last year’s model, but with new cameras arranged diagonally.

One camera is a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, with a sensor that captures 50% more light, while the other is an ultra-wide lens. But you probably won’t notice much difference if you’re using the already excellent cameras on the iPhone 12.

Apple also is trying to sell the idea of better battery life with the iPhone 13. The company claims it will last up to an hour and a half longer than the previous model. Instead of upgrading, though, you could just buy an external battery pack.

Yes, the iPhone 13 is faster with a new A15 Bionic chip. However, I own the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and it still rips through any application I throw at it.

The product I was most looking forward to was the new Apple Watch Series 7. I own the Apple Watch Series 6, and it’s become an indispensable part of my life.

The Apple Watch Series 7 isn’t tempting me to upgrade. In recent months, there had been rumors floating around that the new Apple Watch would feature a new design. The new models have over 20% more screen area over last year’s Series 6 models, but still have a similar design with rounded edges. 

"Most people will do just fine without upgrading this time around."

The Series 7 innovation? Apple said the screen is more crack-resistant. Big whoop-de-doo. I’ve banged my Apple Watches all over the place and never once gotten a crack, so you can cross that reason to upgrade off the list. 

Oh, wait, Apple also says the Series 7 charges faster. Like most people, I charge my Apple Watch overnight and always have more than enough juice to get through the day. 

It’s nice that the Series 7 has a slightly larger screen than the Series 6, but it’s hardly making me scream with joy. After all, the only thing the bigger display seems to do is give you the ability to use a keyboard on the screen, which appears incredibly awkward.

New iPads Won’t Get Your Pulse Racing

The low-end iPad, which Apple confusingly just calls "iPad," is getting a few minor tweaks. Now, it’s got a faster A13 processor and a larger 12-megapixel front-facing camera. The latest upgrade to the iPad is also getting a wider lens, and you can choose an option with an LTE wireless connection.

new iPad mini in various colors

Apple

The refresh of the iPad is nice to have for first-time buyers, but anyone who owns a recent generation Apple tablet might be forgiven for smothering a big yawn. I doubt there will be lines outside Apple Stores for people waiting to buy an iPad with a slightly faster processor. 

The new iPad mini is the closest thing to an actual redesign that Apple is offering. It’s got a new, flatter design language, like the iPhone 12. The latest model also has smaller bezels with no fingerprint sensor on the front. 

Apple used to be known for its famous tagline, "Think Different." The new lineup of devices makes me think Cupertino is running out of ideas.

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