Beats Pill Plus- The Love Child of Apple and Beats
The Beats Pill+ is the first iteration of the Beats Pill product line after Apple purchased Beats. Not surprisingly, the Pill+ looks much more like an Apple product compared to its predecessors.
Take color for example. When was the last time you saw an Apple product colored with Beats' very identifable red? The previous Beats Pill came in white, black, and of course red. With the Pill+ only white and black are available. Perhaps this matches better with Apple's product color scheme which lacks primary colors.
I purchased my white Beats Pill+ at the Apple Store in Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California. Unlike the crowded Apple stores that you see in the mall where it's harder to get help, shopping at the Apple Store in the headquarters is a lot more relaxing and you also get better help and more attention. The main downside to shopping at Apple's headquarters is parking which can be challenging.
I opened up the Pill+ not too far from Apple's headquarters at the Jamba Juice at Westfield Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara, California.
One of the things you can expect to change with the Beats Pill+ coming from Apple is of course its packaging. Apple has raised product packaging to an art form and the Pill+ does not disappoint.
Like a Japanese present, opening up the Pill+ is a series of unwrapping steps with each step filled with discovery and delight.
Interestingly enough, the Pill+ is wrapped with two separate removable bands. The shorter band warns you to charge up the Pill+ before using while the longer band serves as another protective layer.
The main accessories that come with the Pill+ is the quick start guide, Lightning to USB Type-A cable, a USB power charger, and a cloth carrying case for the Pill+.
The Beats Pill+ is really nice to look at. Ask any kid about what they think about Beats products and the first thing they will say is that they look really great. This philosophy about elevating product aesthetics to an art form is probably one of the reasons why Apple saw a good fit with bringing Beats into the Apple family.
Similar to the previous version of the Pill, the Pill+ retains the Beats 'b', volume, and power buttons and keeps the same cute robotic sounds when powering on and off. As you start taking a closer look at the interface ports, the Pill+ has taken a very Apple like change in direction. Apple generally believes that interface connection ports are ugly and has hidden all the interface ports behind a flexible rubber-like door at the back of the Pill+. In fact, the door has two sections, and can be made to fold such that only Apple's elegant Lighting connector used to charge your Pill+ is exposed. If you really must use the audio 3.5" input port to connect from a smartphone or power your smartphone using the USB Type-A connector, you can pull the door fully out to expose all the ports.
Also in keeping with Apple's interface preferences, the Beats Pill+ has removed NFC and added the Lightning connector. The Lightning connector is more reliable and conveniently reversable compared to the previous micro-B USB connector but Lighting cables are not as common lying around your house unless you are already an iPhone or iPad user. Instead of tapping your Pill+ together using NFC to pair, you can now use the Beats Pill+ App to play to multiple Pill+ units or have multiple people share the same Pill+. If you had purchased the previous generations of the Beats Pill, this unfortunately means that you can't pair and use them with each other.
Compared to the previous version of the Pill, you'll find that the Beats Pill+ is a nice upgrade with better sound and bass that you'd expect from a larger speaker. Even though the Pill+ has loss its lifelike pill shaped, the superior design and material makes it feel more like a premium product than its predecessors which is only befitting of an Apple product.