Apple 2018 Keynote Announcements: iPhone XS, XS Max, XR Release Dates And Prices; Watch 4
All of the news from Apple's big event.
Apple's big annual event to reveal new iPhones took place on Wednesday, and as expected, the company announced an array of new products coming in the near future. Apple led the event with the Apple Watch Series 4, a gorgeous-looking new version of its smartwatch. It followed that with a trio of new phones, the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.
Below, we're rounding up the essential information on all of the big announcements from the event. Surprisingly, there was nothing about new AirPods or the AirPower wireless charging mat; today's keynote dealt almost exclusively with new iPhones and Apple Watch, although we did get a release date for MacOS Mojave (September 24) and some brief talk about the HomePod.
Apple Watch Series 4
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A wide variety of new watch faces were showcased, including one that could feature as many as eight complications. There is also expanded support for third-party apps on the watch face; we saw how the MLB At Bat app could show the box score for a baseball game, for instance. Apple also highlighted the watches' louder speakers and other improvements, as well as new health-related features such as the ability to detect when the wearer falls down (triggering new options for altering emergency services or contacts).
Series 4 watches release on September 21 and will be priced at $399 or $499 for the cellular version.
Next during the keynote was the new iPhones. First up was the iPhone XS--pronounced "ten ess"--that serves as the follow-up to last year's pricier iPhone X. It features an edge-to-edge screen with curved sides, coming in three finishes: gold, silver, and space gray. It features a 5.8-inch screen when measured diagonally; despite being greater than the iPhone 8 Plus's screen size, it's actually a smaller overall phone.
The XS screen is a Super Retina OLED display featuring a 2436x1125 resolution with many of the expected features, like True Tone and HDR10 support. The phone offers Face ID, improved speakers, better CPU and GPUs, and more. It also boasts improved cameras on the front and back, which the company spent a great deal of time showcasing. The battery lasts up to 30 minutes longer than that of the iPhone X.
Pre-orders begin on September 14, with an iPhone XS release date set for September 21. It starts at $999 and comes in 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB sizes.
iPhone XS Max
Alongside the iPhone XS is the XS Max. This is the new name for what's previously been known as the Plus model--it's essentially a larger XS. It has a 6.5-inch OLED display with a 2688x1242 resolution. And again, despite a much larger screen than the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus, it's roughly the same size as that phone. The battery life offers up to 90 minutes more than the iPhone X.
Similar to the XS, its release date is set for September 21, while pre-orders begin on September 14. The sizes are the same--64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB--and it starts at $1099.
The Elder Scrolls: Blades
While not a new announcement, Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls: Blades was featured during the keynote. Todd Howard came on stage to showcase the game and what the iPhone XS's new A12 chip makes possible in terms of visual effects. He also reaffirmed Blades' release date is set for sometime this fall; it's available for pre-order now.
Alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max, which are Apple's high-end devices, the company is also introducing another new phone, the iPhone XR. This is said to offer an iPhone X-style experience (there's no home button, for instance), but it's equipped with an LCD screen, rather than the fancier OLED displayed offered on the XS and XS Max. The 6.1-inch display--with what's called Liquid Retina tech--does still extend to the edges, though.
The camera has the same tech as that of the XS and XS Max, even offering Portrait mode, but with only one camera rather than two; it's equipped with the A12 Bionic chip; and the battery life compared with the iPhone 8 Plus can last 90 minutes longer.
XR pre-orders begin on October 19, with a release date on October 26. It starts at $749, making it cheaper than the iPhone 8 Plus.