As expected, Apple on Tuesday unveiled its new iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and they represent an upgrade in more ways than one. The new Apple Watch also made its debut after the iPhone announcement, giving brand-loyal consumers another gadget to add to their Apple arsenal.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage at his company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., and whipped up the kind of frothy-mouthed excitement to which Apple-holics typically respond by forming endless lines and camping out in front of one of the tech megacorp’s many retail locations by declaring, “Today, we are launching the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone.” Cook also crowed that the new smartphone models are “without a doubt the best iPhones we’ve ever done.”

Also read: What the Government Can Get From Your iPhone

So what’s the big idea? Most noticeable about the latest iPhone iterations is that they’re bigger — the screens span 4.7 inches for the iPhone 6 and 5.5 inches for the Plus version — with fancier screens and better cameras. They also require less of an investment than their pricier predecessors, ranging from $200 to $400 for the iPhone 6 (depending on storage capacity; both models come in 16, 64 and 128 GB varieties) and $300 to $500 for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Here’s more from Wired about Apple’s new arrivals:

Both phones sport new designs. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with their larger displays, now feel reminiscent of a miniature iPad. The rear of each device is smooth brushed anodized aluminum that curves softly into its glass front face rather than being completely flat on the back with largely squared-off edges—the look the past four iPhones adopted. On the front, you’ve also got the familiar Touch ID home button.

The iPhone 6 has a 1334×750 display, the 6 Plus 1920×1080 display. That’s over 1 million pixels on the iPhone 6 and over 2 million on the iPhone 6 plus. These new display sizes use a new generation of Retina display Apple is calling Retina HD. The new reengineered displays use ion-strengthened glass on top, and on the bottom, an ultrathin backlight. Even with the larger display, Apple is promising the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will have equal or better battery life than the last generation of iPhones.

We’ve heard that one before about battery life, but hey — they come in silver, gold, and black, and Apple devotees do like a slick piece of hardware. The pre-order push begins on Sept. 12, and watch for those lines on Friday, Sept. 19, when the new models hit stores.

As for the Apple Watch, here’s a play-by-play about the company’s first foray into wearable tech from USA Today’s coverage of the pep rally at Apple HQ, which featured a live performance from Apple-synced brand-name rock band U2:

2:28 p.m.: For maps, the Apple Watch gives vibrating feedback that tells you when to make the turn when using walking directions. Very cool. Users can also access contacts, making phone calls or sending special visual messages drawn on screen and sent to a friend’s watch.

2:26 p.m.: It seems Siri is incorporated into the Watch as well. A demo shows how to search for movies playing nearby. After asking Siri about what movies to watch, she will recommend films and locations. Users can also access photos from the watch.

The Apple Watch also boasts a customizable face, pulse sensors and accelerometers for fitness buffs, and will be sold in two sizes with six different band options. Also, USA Today noted that “the Watch doesn’t appear as bulky as its rivals.” What a relief.

And of course, there will be special apps custom tailored for the Watch, further ensuring that nobody needs to make eye contact with another human ever again.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson


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