The third quarter of 2018 has seen some major gadget releases on the consumer electronics front. Technology giants like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) held big events, announcing dozens of new products.
In this guide, we discuss the best new tech released in Q3 and beyond, covering everything from iPhone XS and Apple Watch to the upcoming Google Pixel 3 and iPhone XR.
Read on for our list of the best tech from Q3, along with a few of the key new products we’re expecting to see in Q4.
Of all the new tech industry product releases in Q3 2018, there’s probably none that can match iPhone XS in terms of impact.
Apple announced the XS and iPhone XS Max at its September iPhone event. The iPhone XS is the follow-up to last year’s iPhone X, while the XS Max sets two new records for the company: Its 6.5-inch display is the largest ever in an iPhone, while it’s $1099 starting price is the highest ever. The company and investors are hoping the XS series pays off with more sales, more revenue and a boost for AAPL stock.
Want to learn more about AAPL’s new flagship smartphones? Read our hands-on review of the iPhone XS Max here.
Apple Watch Series 4
While iPhones were the focus of that September event, the real star may have been the Apple Watch Series 4. The latest version of Apple’s smartwatch gets a significantly larger display, more processing power and a new ECG capability that opens the doors for use as a health device.
While the iPhone XS has been relatively easy to snag, the Apple Watch Series 4 quickly sold out and is now back ordered for weeks — despite a price hike of $70 compared to last year’s base models.
If that initial popularity holds, AAPL has a hit on its hands. And anything that lessens AAPL stock’s dependence on the Phone is a good thing for the company.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Apple’s iPhone XS Max isn’t the only big, expensive smartphone to hit the market in Q3.
At the end of August, rival Samsung released the latest version of the Galaxy Note, the phablet that kicked off this whole “bigger is better” trend.
The Galaxy Note 9 features a 6.4-inch display, S Pen stylus, a great camera, 128GB of base storage and a $999 starting price.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card isn’t a gadget or device, but it has huge implications for the PC gaming market — a market that was worth over $32 billion in 2017.
The GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card is aimed at PC gamers, and incorporates Nvidia’s new Turing architecture. This brings AI-assisted graphics and real-time ray tracing to gaming computers for the first time.
The result is a huge leap forward in gaming graphics, with Hollywood-level special effects.
Amazon’s New Alexa Devices
Amazon held a surprise Alexa event to close out the quarter, on Sept. 21. The company announced a ton of new products that are designed to get its personal assistant into every home.
That includes new, more capable Echo smart speakers and accessories. But AMZN also went to extremes, introducing an Alexa-equipped vehicle plug-in, an Echo wall clock and even a microwave oven with integrated Alexa support.
Amazon is going into the holiday shopping season with its strongest Alexa line-up ever, determined to keep Google and Apple from gaining ground in the smart home.
Nintendo has been making some serious coin by cashing in on nostalgia for its old game consoles and retro video games. Over the past few years, it’s sold all the NES Classic Edition and Super NES Classic Edition mini consoles it cares to make.
Sony (NYSE:SNE) decided to tap into that gold mine itself. On Sept. 19, it announced the Playstation Classic. It’s available for pre-order now, but ships Dec. 3.
For $99 buyers get a miniaturized version of the original Sony Playstation with two controllers and 20 built-in games, including classics like Final Fantasy VII.
Magic Leap One
One of the most intriguing — and secretive— startups over the past several years has been Magic Leap. In August, the company finally released its Magic Leap One mixed reality headset.
Buyers will need to have deep pockets to pick up this piece of cutting-edge technology. The “Creators” edition Magic Leap One (aimed at developers and early adopters) starts at $2,295 and at this early stage, there’s not a whole lot of content for the system. But it shows potential and still has a lot of buzz.
For the second year in a row, Apple ran into production issues that delayed the release of one of its new iPhones. This year, it was the iPhone XR that was affected.
Pre-orders for the iPhone XR start on Oct. 19. And it could turn out to be one of the biggest releases for Q4. At $749, it’s the most affordable new iPhone. Apple packed it with features including the same CPU and Face ID capability as the much more expensive iPhone XS. It’s also larger, with a 6.1-inch display (although using an LCD panel instead of OLED).
On top of everything else, Apple is offering the iPhone XR in a variety of bright colors. There are predictions this delayed iPhone could quickly become Apple’s best-seller.
Google Pixel 3
Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google division is holding an event on October 9 and it’s a given that the Pixel 3 smartphone will be announced.
We’ve already seen a lot of the new Google smartphone, thanks to a shipment that seems to have been diverted to the black market, and another phone that was left behind in a Lyft.
We know the Pixel XL is going to go the iPhone route and incorporate a notch in its display. Of course, it will be running Android 9 (Pie) and its class-leading camera is certain to get even better. The latest rumors also have Google offering an upright wireless charge stand for the Pixel 3, that would turn the smartphone into a mini Google Home smart speaker with a display.
Apple iPad Pro With Face ID
Finally, another release from Apple.
There are no guarantees, but signs are pointing to a new iPad Pro tablets coming in Q4, likely in October. These are expected to incorporate the True Depth camera introduced with the iPhone X.
That means the new iPad Pro models would support Face ID, and ditching the Home button would make for thinner bezels that allow a larger display in a smaller package.
Apple has already revealed hints in the code of recent iOS releases, including support for iPhone X-like swipe gestures on the iPad, mention of Face ID and even an icon that’s missing the home button. The question has been not if, but when, and the best guess at this point is Q4 2018.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.