The debut of new Apple Watch models every year brings an assortment of non-customizable collections, which bundle in one case finish (Stainless Steel or Aluminum) with one band. If you’re interested in the new Apple Watch Series 4, you’ll have to purchase one of these collections in order to get the advantages of the Series 4’s new and bigger display, thinner size, ECG monitor, and more.
Because of this, picking a specific model can be difficult, so we’ve decided to take a look at every Apple Watch Series 4 option that will be up for pre-order starting September 14 at 12:01 a.m. PDT. Prices are taken from Apple.com in the United States.
Regarding the new 40mm and 44mm case sizes, Apple has slightly increased the height of the Series 4 cases and updated the size options to reflect that change. As a rule of thumb, if you’ve worn 38mm Apple Watches in the past, go for 40mm in Series 4, and if you’ve previously worn 42mm cases, then the 44mm Series 4 should fit you well. All previous generation Apple Watch bands will fit with Apple Watch Series 4.
- Silver with White Sport Band (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Silver with White Sport Band (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
- Silver with Seashell Sport Loop (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Silver with Seashell Sport Loop (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
- Gold with Pink Sand Sport Band (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Gold with Pink Sand Sport Band (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
- Gold with Pink Sand Sport Loop (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Gold with Pink Sand Sport Loop (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
- Space Gray with Black Sport Band (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Space Gray with Black Sport Band (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
- Space Gray with Black Sport Loop (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Space Gray with Black Sport Loop (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
Stainless Steel Case
- Silver with White Sport Band (GPS + Cellular) – $699 for 40mm / $749 for 44mm
- Silver with Milanese Loop (GPS + Cellular) – $799 for 40mm / $849 for 44mm
- Gold with Stone Sport Band (GPS + Cellular) – $699 for 40mm / $749 for 44mm
- Gold with Gold Milanese Loop (GPS + Cellular) – $799 for 40mm / $849 for 44mm
- Space Black with Black Sport Band (GPS + Cellular) – $699 for 40mm / $749 for 44mm
- Space Black with Space Black Milanese Loop (GPS + Cellular) – $799 for 40mm / $849 for 44mm
- Silver with Pure Platinum/Black Nike Sport Band (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Silver with Pure Platinum/Black Nike Sport Band (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
- Silver with Summit White Nike Sport Loop (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Silver with Summit White Nike Sport Loop (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
- Space Gray with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Band (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Space Gray with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Band (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
- Space Gray with Black Nike Sport Loop (GPS) – $399 for 40mm / $429 for 44mm
- Space Gray with Black Nike Sport Loop (GPS + Cellular) – $499 for 40mm / $529 for 44mm
Hermès Stainless Steel (all GPS + Cellular)
- Silver with Bordeaux/Rose Extrême/Rose Azalée Swift Leather Single Tour – $1,249 for 40mm only
- Silver with Indigo/Crai/Orange Swift Leather Single Tour – $1,299 for 44mm only
- Silver with Fauve Barenia Leather Single Tour – $1,249 for 40mm / $1,299 for 44mm
- Silver with Bleu Indigo Swift Leather Single Tour – $1,299 for 44mm only
- Silver with Indigo/Craie/Orange Swift Leather Double Tour – $1,399 for 40mm only
- Silver with Bordeaux/Rose Extrême/Rose Azalée Swift Leather Double Tour – $1,399 for 40mm only
- Silver with Bleu Indigo Swift Leather Double Tour – $1,399 for 40mm only
- Silver with Fauve Barenia Leather Double Tour – $1,399 for 40mm only
Alongside the collections, Apple has a number of new and sold-separately Apple Watch bands up for sale. New colors for the Fall 2018 band collection include Nectarine, Blue Horizon, and Lavender for Sport Band; Cape Cod Blue, Nectarine, Hibiscus, Storm Gray, and Indigo for Sport Loop; Peony Pink, Forest Green, Cape Cod Blue, and Ruby (PRODUCT)Red for Modern Buckle; and Forest Green and Cape Cod Blue for Leather Loop.
You can also purchase the new color blocked Hermès bands individually, starting at $339 for Single Tour and $489 for Double Tour. The new Gold Milanese Loop can be purchased on its own as well, available for $149. Head to Apple.com to check out all of these new Apple Watch bands.
In terms of pre-order dates, all models of the Apple Watch Series 4 will be up for pre-order beginning at 12:01 a.m. PDT on September 14. One week later on September 21, all Series 4 models except Nike+ will launch and begin arriving to pre-order customers.
While Apple Watch Nike+ pre-orders will also take place on September 14, the models will not officially launch until Friday, October 5. According to Apple’s press release, these will also face “limited availability” on that date.
On launch day, Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) will be available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, and US Virgin Islands.
One week later on September 28, the GPS model will expand to Bahrain, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Macau, Monaco, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and South Africa.
The GPS + Cellular model will be available in the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UAE. Other countries will be added later this year.
MacRumors will have coverage of pre-orders for Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max as Apple.com goes live with the new devices at 12:01 a.m. PDT on September 14, so be sure to check back to our front page for all the latest details as you wait to place your orders.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
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We’re doing a few special giveaways this week to celebrate the launch of the new 2018 iPhones, and we’ve teamed up with Pad & Quill to offer MacRumors winners a chance to win an iPhone case designed for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR.
Pad & Quill is refreshing its entire iPhone case lineup with new options for Apple’s latest devices. The Luxury Pocket Book, Bella Fino, Heritage Bella Fino, and Traveler cases have all been updated for the new iPhones.
Bella Fino case for iPhone XS Max
All of Pad & Quill’s cases are made from high-quality Full Grain American Leather with details hand-finished wood, marine-grade nylon stitching, and slim designs created to protect iPhones without adding unnecessary bulk. Many of the cases also come in multiple colors to suit a variety of tastes.
Luxury Book for iPhone XS Max
There are book-style cases with wallet options like the slim Bella Fino and Heritage Bella Fino ($89.95 to $99.95), and book-style cases with wood frames like the Luxury Book Wallet Case ($109.95) and the Heritage Pocket Book ($119.95), both of which look great and will develop a unique patina on the leather over time.
Bella Fino case for iPhone XR
The Bella Fino is the slimmer of the two cases because it holds the iPhone in place with a snap-on case, while the Luxury Book Wallet Case is thicker due to the wood frame.
Luxury Pocket Book for iPhone XS
For those looking for standard leather case, Pad & Quill has introduced the Traveler Leather Case ($59.95) for durable protection with a rugged look and no cover.
Traveler Case for iPhone XR
All of Pad & Quill’s new case options for each of the new phones are listed below, along with pricing.
- Traveler Leather iPhone Case ($59.95)
- Bella Fino Wallet Case ($89.95)
- Luxury Pocket Book Wallet Case ($109.95)
- Heritage Pocket Book Wallet Case ($119.95)
- Heritage Bella Fino Wallet Case ($99.95)
iPhone XS Max
- Luxury Book iPhone Wallet Case ($109.95)
- Bella Fino Wallet Case ($89.95)
- Heritage Bella Fino Wallet Case ($99.95)
- Traveler Leather iPhone Case ($59.95)
- Traveler Leather iPhone Case ($59.95)
- Bella Fino Wallet Case ($79.95)
- Heritage Bella Fino Leather Case ($99.95)
Pad & Quill’s new iPhone cases can be pre-ordered starting today, with the new iPhone XS and XS Max cases shipping out to customers in October and the new iPhone XR cases shipping out to customers in early November.
We have 10 of the Pad & Quill cases to give away, with winners able to choose their favorite case for their new iPhone. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.
Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.
a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (September 13) at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on September 21. The winners will be chosen randomly on September 21 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.
Related Roundups: iPhone XR, iPhone XSTags: giveaway, Pad & Quill
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Yesterday’s Apple keynote was all iPhone with a sprinkle of Apple Watch. That’s not all that surprising, but some were hoping Apple might squeeze in a long-rumored MacBook update with a more affordable price. Sad day for us, right?
But Apple’s laser-focus on iPhone might not be all bad news for Mac fans. What if Apple is saving a bevvy of Mac announcements for another announcement later this year? We don’t blame you for thinking that sounds outlandish. Stay with us — there’s some good reason to think a Mac-exclusive keynote is at least a possibility.
A lot of Macs are due for a big update
If you thought distinguishing between the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xr, just try and buy a MacBook in 2018.
We’ve written ad nauseum about how messy Apple’s current lineup of MacBook is. The MacBook Air sits at the bottom — ancient, but still selling well. Meanwhile, the 12-inch MacBook is priced the same as the base model MacBook Pro, which wasn’t included in the latest 2018 update. It’s a disaster.
But we know Apple has intentions of fixing this. For the better part of this year, rumors have been reaching a fever pitch about an updated, affordable MacBook. We’re hoping the MacBook Air is put to bed and the 12-inch MacBook is refreshed with updated internals and a reduced price tag.
There are a number of computers on the desktop Mac side of things that we’re waiting to hear more about, too. In a Wired article earlier this year, it was revealed that a Mac Pro is in the works, with a release window set for 2019. A report came out not long after that hinted at a Mac Mini Pro, a mini-PC that diehard Mac fans have been waiting a long time for.
Yes, the MacBook Pro has already received its 2018 update, but it was a hardware update — its design is new compared to other Macs. Other Macs, however, are due for a major update, and Apple could build a keynote announcement around them. With the poor reception of Apple’s mid-year MacBook Pro update, we can imagine Apple wants to take back control of the story surround its Mac lineup.
Will Apple update, or let them languish?
The Mac’s glory days are gone, and they probably won’t come back. Regardless of how many times we’ve complained or of how badly the laptop world needs it, the fact remains that Tim Cook has more lucrative things to worry about.
The last time a Mac received some limelight was WWDC of 2017, where the iMac Pro was announced. Before that, it was the introduction of the Touch Bar in 2016, where Apple spent a solid hour of its late-October keynote on MacBooks. It wasn’t an all-Mac affair, but it was close.
So don’t get your hopes up. A Mac-focused October event isn’t a sure bet. After all, Apple has plenty of others products waiting for updates that’ll be fighting for stagetime in a hypothetical late-October keynote. There’s the HomePod, the AirPods, the iPad Pro, and the Apple TV. That’s a lot of products to make wistful, Jony Ive-narrated videos for.
But maybe — just maybe — we’ll get a round-up of product announcements in late October that at least includes a redesigned $1,000 MacBook. If we get just that, I’ll call it good and wait patiently for 2019.
- Mac Mini could make a comeback this year with a rumored refresh
- A MacBook Air with Retina display and Mac Mini “Pro” could arrive this fall
- Refreshed MacBook Air and iPad Pro are absent from Apple’s website leak
- The best MacBook
- Don’t like the Touch Bar? Too bad. Apple’s new Macbooks make it almost mandatory
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
There’s no way to avoid knowing a new iPhone has been released, and Apple’s new range of iPhones is perhaps its best ever. 2018’s iPhones continue with the iPhone X‘s bold style, bringing the gorgeous bezel-less look to three new sizes of iPhone — the iPhone Xs, the iPhone Xs Max, and the iPhone Xr.
But with the iPhone X’s good looks come with similar vulnerabilities — a massive screen is beautiful, but that means there’s even more screen to crack and that metallic body is easy to dent. So if you’re gunning for Apple’s new mid-sized iPhone, then you might want to consider investing in some protection to stop your expensive new phone sprouting cracks and chips. While the iPhone Xr has only just been revealed, accessories manufacturers are already offering lots of cases to keep your precious phone protected. Here are the best iPhone Xr cases to keep your baby beautiful.
Otterbox Commuter Series ($50)
Protection is exceptionally important, but it doesn’t mean much if you can’t fit your phone in your pocket when you need to. Otterbox‘s Commuter Series is crafted to sidestep that problem. Made from a dual-layer system of shock-absorbing TPU and hard polycarbonate (PC), the Commuter is all the protection you’d expect from Otterbox, with a slim profile that’s easy to slip in and out of a pocket. It’s exceptionally protective, thanks to the two durable materials, but Otterbox takes it a step further with port covers that keep out dust, and the addition of non-slip grippy sides that help you to keep hold of your phone. Like most Otterbox cases it’s not cheap — but it’s some of the best protection you can buy.
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Moshi Capto ($30)
Looking for a slim case that’s also packed with cool features? Look no further than Moshi‘s Capto case. It comes with good protection for a slim case, using a hard shell to provide military grade MIL-STD-810G protection against drops, as well as a raised bezel to protect the device when laid down. But the real magic comes from the strap on the back. When not in use, it clips to the back of the case, holding flat against your phone. But give it a tug and you can wrap it around your finger, using it to keep a tight hold of your iPhone and avoid dropping it. You can also clip it into place as a kickstand for watching your favorite media on the go. With additional utilities but no added bulk, the Capto is a great way to protect your slim iPhone XR.
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Incipio Reprieve Sport ($40)
Incipio is well known for making solid protective cases, so it means a lot when Incipio says this is its most protective case. But despite that accolade, it’s a fairly subtle case. A clear polycarbonate back allows your phone’s style to shine through, while still keeping it protected. The outside is ringed with a tough but flexible TPU bumper that will help absorb shocks from falls. There are reinforcements at every corner, further bolstering the areas most likely to hit the ground first during a fall, and it’s been drop-tested up to 12 feet. It’s ideal for people who might be a bit accident prone, and who want protection without losing their phone’s style.
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Mous Limitless 2.0 ($40)
Being slim and stylish, you might expect that Mous‘s Limitless 2.0 case isn’t as defensive as larger, bulkier cases can be. But Mous has leveraged some pretty awesome technology to craft the protective and good looking Limitless 2.0. and claims that the case will provide solid drop protection. It’s made from a material called Aeroshock; Mous’s cases are injected with micro crystals that expand into micro pockets of air when subjected to high temperatures. These pockets of air form thousands of tiny airbags within the case, minimizing the shock caused by impacts by dissipating energy within the case. The back panels are made from real materials, including bamboo, carbon fiber, and real shell. It might seem like it’s on the expensive side, but the Limitless 2.0 case is worth the outlay.
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Lifeproof Fre ($90)
The iPhone Xr has an impressive IP67-rating for dust and water-resistance, but you still don’t really want your phone to get wet. So if you know your phone is going to come in regular contact with water, consider investing in a completely waterproof Lifeproof case. The Fre’s resume is certainly impressive — Lifeproof claims it’s proof against drops from up to 2 meters, completely sealed against water, dust, snow and more (even the ports and speakers are fully sealed), and it offers 360-degree protection with a built-in screen protector. It’ll protect your phone against immersion in up to two meters of water for up to an hour. It’s not the cheapest case around — but it’s less expensive than a new phone.
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Olixar ArmaRing ($19)
The Olixar ArmaRing is a tough case that isn’t afraid to show it off. It’s made from two distinct layers that add to the case’s toughness. The first layer is a soft and absorbent TPU core that wraps around the phone, adding grip and excellent resistance against drops and bumps. The second is a hard polycarbonate (PC) shell that clips over the top, providing a rigid backbone that helps to resist other damage. But that’s not all — the back of the ArmaRing contains a ring that can be folded out. You can either loop a finger through for extra grip, or use it as a handy kickstand. It’s tough, has its own rugged style, and you can’t argue with that price.
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Totallee Thin ($25)
This case isn’t just thin — it’s Totallee thin! Awful jokes aside, this is a very good case to keep your iPhone Xr safe if you want slim protection to see off a variety of everyday threats. Totallee’s thin case is just 0.02 mm thick, weighs 0.1 ounce, and is completely branding free for that minimalist look. It’s not going to be as good at protecting against drops as other specialized cases, but it does offer excellent scratch-protection, as well as additional grip. There’s a raised lip around the camera to keep your lens safe, and it comes in multiple varieties. Leather offers sophistication, the glossy finish gives a minimal sheen, and matte allows Apple’s logo to shine through, loud and proud. Good all-round, fuss-free protection.
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Snakehive Leather Wallet ($30)
Looking for sleek executive chic? Look no further than this wallet case from Snakehive. It’s made from European full grain cowhide nubuck leather, so you can be sure you’re getting the real deal. Your phone is held in place by a plastic shell inside the leather, while the inner lining of the case is made from soft leather that won’t scratch or damage your phone’s screen. It folds all the way around your phone, ensuring full protection when not in use, and the inner lining also comes with space for up to three credit cards or some spare cash, enabling you to leave your wallet at home. Since this is real leather, your case won’t look exactly like the one in the picture — but it’ll develop its own patina as it ages, adding to its unique style.
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Case-Mate Karat Mother of Pearl ($50)
Who needs minimalist and subtle style when you can have a case that’s literally covered in bits of pearl? If you can’t get enough loud style, then Case-Mate’s Karat series is perfect for you. It’s made from genuine materials encased in clear resin, to ensure that your shine never wears off or gets obscured. And it’s more protective than you’d think, with drop protection tested up to ten feet, and flexible sides that aid grip. It’s nicely finished, with metallic buttons and anti-scratch technology — and it comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s one of the pricier cases on this list, but with bold good looks and excellent protection, it’s still a good choice.
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Silk Wallet Slayer Vol. 2 ($25)
Wallet cases are great, but not every wallet case also has to be a folding folio. Silk’s Wallet Slayer Vol. 2 isn’t a folio case, but it does function as a wallet thanks to the stylish “backpack” on the case’s rear that can carry up to three payment cards or spare cash. It’s still thin, despite that addition, and it’s made from a tough material that should last your iPhone Xr’s lifespan. The Wallet Slayer Vol. 2 comes with extra-grippy sides, and also comes with a slot parallel to the card holder that functions as a kickstand. Just insert any credit card, and it’ll hold your phone in landscape — perfect for viewing on the go. Airbags in each corner help to resist drops, and a free screen protector competes the protection.
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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
The new iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR have been announced, and the pre-order day is coming right up. If you live in the U.K., how do you go about ordering one, and where can you do so? Here’s our simple guide to getting your hands on a new iPhone as quickly as possible.
If you live in the U.S. and want to grab a new iPhone, then our guide on how to do so is right here.
Pre-order, price, and release dates
The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will be available to pre-order from 08:01 U.K. time on the morning of September 14, with the release coming on September 21. The iPhone XR is coming a little later, with pre-orders starting on October 19 and the release date on October 26.
How much will you pay? Initially, the prices are likely to remain consistent regardless of where you buy one. Should you decide to buy directly through Apple, then the prices look like this:
iPhone Xs — Our hands-on review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
- iPhone Xs 64GB: 1,000 British pounds
- iPhone Xs 256GB: 1,150 British pounds
- iPhone Xs 512GB: 1,350 British pounds
iPhone Xs Max — Our hands-on review
iPhone Xs Max Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
- iPhone Xs Max 64GB: 1,100 British pounds
- iPhone Xs Max 256GB: 1,250 British pounds
- iPhone Xs Max 512GB: 1,450 British pounds
iPhone XR — Our hands-on review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
- iPhone XR 64GB: 750 British pounds
- iPhone XR 128GB: 800 British pounds
- iPhone XR 256GB: 900 British pounds
Buy through Apple
The prices above represent those recommended by Apple, and if you decide to buy through the online Apple Store or an Apple retail store, then this is the price you’ll pay up front. If you visit an Apple Store, then Apple offers an ‘iPhone Payments’ plan, where you can pay for your new iPhone over 20 months. You get an unlocked phone, and it’s interest free too.
- iPhone Xs: Starting at 46.50 British pounds per month
- iPhone Xs Max: Starting at 51.50 British pounds per month
- iPhone XR: Starting at 34.00 British pounds per month.
Apple Stores also offer the iPhone Upgrade Program, where a similar monthly payment plan provides annual upgrades to the newest iPhone model. Each phone has an upfront payment of 70 British pounds, then a monthly cost. You’re required to trade-in your existing iPhone for every upgrade.
iPhone Upgrade Program:
- iPhone Xs: Starting at 56.45 British pounds per month
- iPhone Xs Max: Starting at 61.45 British pounds per month
- iPhone XR: Starting at 41.45 British pounds per month.
Apple also offers a separate trade-in program, so you can reduce the hassle of selling your phone privately. Prices vary, but a 256GB iPhone X in good shape will fetch 550 British pounds directly through Apple.
If you’d prefer to buy your new iPhone with a contract, then you’ll want to check networks. All four major networks will offer the iPhone Xs, the iPhone Xs Max, and the iPhone XR.
- EE: Register here for an alert when iPhone Xs and Xs Max pre-orders open.
- Three: You can register here for the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, and for the iPhone XR. Three has said it will stock all iPhone Xs and Xs Max models, and all colors of the iPhone XR.
- O2: The network will stock all the new iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and iPhone XR models. Register for pre-order updates here.
- Vodafone: Register for updates on the iPhone Xs and Xs Max pre-order here
You don’t want to go to a network, and you don’t want to deal with the Apple Store, where else can you get your new iPhone? Luckily, several high street and online retailers will stock the new range. At the moment, most are only requesting you sign-up for more details; but we expect prices to match Apple’s.
- Argos: The iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and the iPhone XR are listed on Argos’ website, and as expected, you have to pre-register your interest. Argos told Digital Trends the company will have a 12-month buy now, pay later option.
- Clove Technology: The online retailer lists all three new iPhone models, and unusually, already has the prices attached too. They match Apple’s recommended prices, and you must register for updates.
- Carphone Warehouse: The retailer will stock the black, silver, and gold iPhone Xs and Xs Max, with all memory options. Pre-register here for updates.
We’ll update here with more offers, and when retailers other than Apple announce prices and release dates.
- Apple iPhone Xs: News, release, specs, and more
- Here’s how to buy the brand-new Apple iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr
- Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR: All the hands-on photos you could ever need
- iPhone XS Max hands-on review
- iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and iPhone XR: 5 things we love, 5 things we hate
From improved Face ID to the A12 Bionic, the iPhone XS is looking darn nice.
Apple held a small event at its headquarters yesterday. Perhaps you heard something about it? A new watch was announced! And a few phones, too.
All joking aside, Apple’s fall hardware event was actually pretty great. The Apple Watch Series 4 looks miles better than any Wear OS device on the market, and even though it’s Apple’s “budget” option, the iPhone XR looks stunning. However, in this article, we’re focusing on the iPhone XS.
The XS is this year’s flagship iPhone, and even though it’s not running my operating system of choice, there are are a few features it has that I’d love to see come to an Android phone.
A notched display that doesn’t have a chin
Ever since the original iPhone X came out last year, it seems like every Android OEM has been in a mad rush to throw notches on their phones, too. While some devices like the OnePlus 6 and Essential Phone have notches that are considerably smaller than the one on the iPhone X, there’s one thing that notched Android phones have that the iPhone X and XS don’t — a chin at the bottom of the screen.
The purpose of the notch is to give you more screen real-estate while getting rid of traditional bezels. Apple’s able to achieve this by curving part of its displays underneath themselves and the end result is still stunning. For some reason, Android manufacturers have yet to pull this off.
Some phones like the Pixel 3 XL try to justify the notch and chin with dual front-facing speakers, but seeing as how the iPhone XS crams in stereo sound without a chin, that argument starts to break down very quickly.
Just like the iPhone X before it, the iPhone XS returns with Face ID and no fingerprint sensor in sight. Plenty of Android phones have introduced their own version of face unlock since last September, with many of them actually working faster than Face ID’s performance on the X (at the cost of security, of course).
Apple says that Face ID on the iPhone XS is “faster and easier to use” compared to the X, and while we still aren’t sure how much faster it actually is, that’s awfully encouraging considering that Face ID already works quite well in its current form.
In addition to that, Face ID still rules above any face unlock system we’ve seen on Android for one big reason — app support.
Unlocking your phone with your face still takes a touch longer compared to a fingerprint sensor, but when you’re already actively using your phone, face verification makes so much sense for apps like 1Password, Apple Pay, etc.
Google’s yet to make a face verification system that can act as a method of unlocking apps, and until that day comes, Face ID will continue to be the leader when it comes to facial recognition.
Manual depth-of-field control for portrait shots
One of the most prominent camera features we’ve seen over the last year is portrait/bokeh mode. Android phones like the Pixel 2 tend to outperform the iPhone X in these regards, however, the iPhone XS has a trick up its sleeve that could make Apple the portrait king — Depth Control.
After you take a portrait photo with the iPhone XS, you can manually change the depth of field to adjust the blurred background effect to your exact liking.
Samsung offers something similar with Live Focus on phones like the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9+, but for whatever reason, few other OEMs have adopted it. I, for one, would love to see that change.
Add that together with other camera improvements, such as improved color accuracy and reduced noise for low-light photos, and the iPhone XS sounds like it’ll be the go-to phone for folks obsessed with portrait photography.
A12 Bionic chip
While the Snapdragon 835 from last year was no slouch, Apple’s A11 Bionic chip proved to absolutely crush it. Qualcomm’s made big improvements with the 845, but once again, the A12 Bionic has us drooling with its massive potential.
Even though the A11 Bionic was already the fastest mobile CPU we’ve ever seen, the A12 Bionic boasts:
- Up to 50% faster graphics performance
- Up to 50% lower usage with its efficiency cores
- Up to 15% faster main performance cores
- Improved image processing
Apple will never bring its in-house chips to Android, but a guy can dream, right?
Apple’s Taptic Engine
This isn’t new to the iPhone XS (it’s been around since the iPhone 7), but even so, Apple’s Taptic Engine continues to destroy every Android phone’s own haptic feedback.
To be honest, haptic feedback isn’t something that really comes to mind when comparing phones that you want to buy. However, when you consider that it’s something you feel every single day from notifications, typing, and more, it really is a big part of your day-to-day experience.
If you’ve never used an iPhone with a Taptic Engine, go to your local Best Buy right now and try it out. It’s incredible. Every touch, tap, and swipe comes to life because of it and it really does add an entirely new feeling of depth to the iPhone.
Some phones like the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9 have OK feedback, but the Taptic Engine still runs circles around them. And when you get to more affordable phones, specifically the OnePlus 6 and Essential Phone, the feedback is so bad that you’re better just turning it off rather than subject yourself to that kind of torture.
Android OEMs, if you learn anything from Apple, let it be that it’s worth putting the time and money into good haptic feedback systems that don’t feel like they’re from 2010.
What do you want to see?
How about you? What features from the iPhone XS would you like to see in an Android phone? Sound off in the comments below and let me know!
Google Pixel 3: News, Rumors, Release Date, Specs, and more!
Apple’s new flagship starts at $999.
On September 12, 2018, Apple held an event at its Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino to unveil its brand-new hardware for the latter part of the year. While there Apple Watch Series 4 and iPhone XR look awfully interesting, the main focus was on the iPhone XS.
This is the successor to last year’s iPhone X, and this time around, is joined by a larger sibling in the form of the iPhone XS Max. Both the XS and XS Max offer minor improvements compared to the X, including a faster CPU, better image processing, longer battery life, and faster Face ID.
Looking through the AC forums, there are a lot of people that have plenty of thoughts to share on yesterday’s announcements.
09-12-2018 04:48 PM
I’ve only recently (9 months ago) went from android over to Apple and invested heavily in their ecosystem, I.e. iPhone, MacBook Pro etc etc and having seen the absurd prices of the Xs Max I think i won’t be buying any new products anytime soon. The watch alone has increased by £70 over last years model and they are near enough pricing me back to the android market.
The keynote just seemed very…
09-12-2018 05:51 PM
$1,099 for a 64GB iPhone XS Max (what kind of name is that???) is absolutely ridiculous. Why would anyone pay that price for a 64GB phone???
I am with you. I don’t miss my iPhone X at all. I am really happy with my 512GB Note 9.
09-12-2018 06:31 PM
I’m going back and forth between Note 9 and Max. The Apple adherents are extremely angry on their boards as many want the the big OLED but Apple is squeezing them. Personally 128 gb is just as useful as 256 gb….to me anyway. I’m not going to fill either up. But since Apple is not offering 128 gb the choice involves in effect a difference in price of about 25%. Huge. I kind of like to change…
09-12-2018 10:23 PM
I’ll be getting the wife the new iPhone XS for her birthday next month, because she does Apple. I personally prefer my Note 9, but it’ll be interesting to do a hands on comparison.
Now, we’d love to hear from you! As an Android user, what do you think about the iPhone XS?
Join the conversation in the forums!
Small but significant changes come to your notification shade with Android Pie.
One of the best features of Android is its notification system. It uses the best ideas from companies that originally got it right, like Palm and Nokia, then blends them into a display of information and rich content that we have all come to rely on. Because the notification system is very important for a handheld device that’s supposed to keep you in touch with the world around you, it’s also constantly being improved. Android Pie is no exception.
Android notifications improve every year. Here’s what happened with Android Oreo.
A new look
Your notifications can (and often do) look very different depending on which company made your phone. That’s also part of Android’s notifications — they are customizable by the developers that built Android itself, as well as app developers that know best what notifications their apps should generate. Phones from manufacturers that tend to follow Google’s lead, like Motorola and Sony, things will be softer, rounder, and more colorful with Android Pie.
Gone are things like grey lines to act as separators, and instead your status bar — which also has a new look to accommodate display notches — won’t become part of the shade when it’s drawn. Instead, the shade transforms into a card interface with round corners and bright icons for quick settings, and a second card for the actual notification content. The bright colors and round corners will be subject to individual tastes (and debate) but it’s evident that someone at Google spent a lot of time and attention to detail here.
The change looks more drastic than it is, and that’s likely by design, too. Android’s notification shade doesn’t need to be rebuilt or changed too much at once. That’s how you ruin a good thing. Instead, time should be spent to find the perfect interface to show us what we expect to see. Android has matured.
Smart replies using Google’s machine learning algorithms come standard with Android Pie. Your phone parses the content of a message when it shows a preview in the notification, and as a result, you are given three smart replies you can send with a single tap. These have been supported since Android 8.0, but now Google is building them into the notification system for all app developers to use. You can, of course, choose to ignore the suggestions and type you own reply directly from the notification if you like.
And you may very well be able to use the notification shade without opening your messaging app. Pie brings changes that identify the sender and display the last few lines of the conversation at the top of your phone. The new Person class can fetch user details from your contacts and show avatars, nicknames and other information about who is talking. It even works for group messages.
When you want to reply, there is no need to open the app. Everything you need is available at the bottom of the shade including things like saving as a draft, mark as read, delete, and reply just like the reply field in the app itself. For those of us who tend to send short and sweet messages, it’s like having a second miniature version of the app in your notifications.
Only what you want to see
Pie brings much better control over notification fine-tuning. You’ve always been able to stop an app from notifying you completely, but as Android’s notification system gets better, tools like choosing which type of notification you see from an app improve, too.
Anytime you get notified you can long press it, then tap the information icon in the top right. That takes you to the apps settings page, which you can also reach through device settings under Applications or Apps & Notifications depending on which type of phone you have.
Once on an app’s settings page tap the Notifications listing and you’ll have control over what categories of notifications you want to see, and how you want to be notified.
Goodbye, Mr. Annoying
With Android Pie, the “APP_NAME is using battery” message that has bugged so many users is now a thing of the past. You can still look into the battery usage through the settings should you need to do so, but seeing that YouTube is using the battery because it has not yet been closed by the system isn’t going to haunt you any longer.
Do Not Disturb has once again been tweaked with Android Pie. You can now change out Do Not Disturb settings in a way that makes sense.
Long-pressing the Quick Settings Do Not Disturb icon gives you the option to toggle what gets muted, exceptions to the general rules, and schedule when Do Not Disturb is automatically enabled.
We’re not sure how manufacturers will make changes here, but it’s nice to see bare-bones Android have a little more control over what’s an important feature for a lot of us.
Notifications are one of Android’s long-standing strengths. Google always makes improvements when a new version of Android rolls around, and with Android Pie they’ve done a great job.
We can’t wait to see what our favorite developers can do with these new tools!
Updated September 2018: Android 9 Pie is officially out! We’ve gone through the settings and checked out all the goodies.
Android 9 Pie
- Android 9 Pie review: Greater than the sum of its slices
- Everything you need to know about Android 9 Pie!
- Will my phone get Android Pie?
- How to get Android 9 Pie on your Pixel right now
- Join the Discussion
Do it yourself.
The newest Kano kit is a do-it-yourself touchscreen computer that will teach you how to put the computer together, turn it on, learn some basic coding, play games, and more. The Computer Kit Touch is already out there on the Kano website, Amazon, and other places. It sells for $279.99 and you can get it now from Kano or wait until October 1 if you order from Amazon.
The kit starts with a step-by-step storybook that walks you through the process of putting your new computer together. It uses words and pictures, and it’s designed to be used by children so anyone can learn from it. When you get to the end of the book, you’ll have a fully functional Raspberry Pi computer with a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen and a wireless keyboard. The computer has the Kano OS already on it, a storage capacity of 16GB, and a three hour battery life. You’ll even build your own speakers.
Making a touchscreen computer from scratch seems awesome, but Kano has been doing this for years and has plenty of kits to choose from. If your main curiosity is in learning how to build a computer or some basic coding, or you just want something fun and nerdy to do with your kids, then you can get other kits like the 2017 Kano Computer Kit for less than $105. Or if you want to learn a bit of magic, try the Kano Harry Potter Coding Wand for $99.99.
The Computer Kit Touch comes with a one-year warranty and a lifetime of help.
See on Amazon
The headphones will cost the same as the exisitng Bullets V2.
We’re expecting the OnePlus 6T to be announced at some point next month, and when that happens, we now have confirmation that a new accessory will be launching alongside it — the Type-C Bullets earbuds.
The Type-C Bullets are being marketed as an upgrade of the current Bullets V2 wired earbuds, and while the biggest change is with the 3.5mm connector being replaced with USB-C, the Type-C Bullets have a few other improvements, too.
OnePlus notes that sound quality on the earbuds is better than what’s offered with the V2. The earbuds have a professional DAC from Ciruss Logic that offers a higher dynamic range, lower noise floor, and a more minimal loss of sound quality.
To make the earbuds more durable, OnePlus has added an aramid fiber to the wire that enables them to be more resistant to stretching.
The Type-C Bullets earbuds will be released alongside the OnePlus 6T which OnePlus says is “projected for Q4 2018.” More specifically, earlier rumors have hinted at an October release. When the Type-C Bullets do launch, they’ll cost $19.95 in the United States and £15.99 in the UK (the same price as the Bullets V2).
OnePlus 6T: News, Rumors, Release Date, Specs, and more!