Apple today has finally revealed the much anticipated iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max and the ‘affordable’ iPhone Xr. Having seen a lot of leaks in the past few weeks, here are our thoughts of the brand new iPhone lineup – at least the high-end ones for now.
The key difference between the iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max is mainly just the overall size, screen estate and the battery this time around. Say no more to extra features for the so known ‘Plus’ moniker, instead both devices sport the same specs otherwise.
We’ve decided that the iPhone Xr – the ‘affordable’ iPhone – deserves it’s own article, so stay tuned, it’s coming very soon.
First of all, we should talk specifications and the main differences between the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max.
Both the iPhone Xs and Xs Mac comes with the new A12 Bionic chipset with 4GB of RAM and the base of 64GB storage. As you’d expect, there are 3 storage options including: 64//256/512GB variants – each upgraded variant costing $149-$249 extra for more storage.
The display on the more compact iPhone is the same at 5.8″ and it’s also the same OLED display with notch on top. The larger Xs Max also has the very same OLED display but the size is as you’d expect is 6.5″ large.
This comes as a no surprise and we’re happy to find Apple to opt for the OLED displays as they can show true black, vibrant and more natural colours. Last year’s iPhone X was praised for it’s accuracy and the new generation of iPhones will be no exception. Both devices support HDR capabilities and can now display even more and accurate colours than before. Also, both devices now support a 120Hz display that will feel super smooth while scrolling or in general, interacting with your device.
TouchID is no more, so FaceID is the primary security system to unlock the device by looking at it. It’s worth mentioning that the other life of TouchID will now only be present on Apple computers, so to say on the Macbook Pros and hopefully on the new Macbook Air – that is expected to be released at a separate event in the near future.
Both the Xs and the Xs Max kept the same camera in terms of resolution, but there are major new improvements behind the scenes. The camera on both iPhones are finally identical and have seen some major improvements. One of the most appreciated change is the option to FINALLY record in Stereo – instead of mono. This ‘feature’ is truly sad that it took so many years for Apple to include and adapt.
It’s a dual 12MP camera setup and the main sensor is now a wide-angle one with larger pixels – 1.4µm, up from 1.22µm. The aperture remains at f/1.8. The telephoto sensor is also 12MP and features f/2.4 aperture with 2x optical zoom and OIS. There are now 4 (Quad) LEDs too, meaning that it should provide a better flash to lit some scenes up in the dark.
An additional feature has been added which will allow you to change the depth of a bokeh image after taking a photo. This will allow you to set it from f/1.4 to f/16 – so you can get a much better looking image that’ll suit you the best. HDR mode has also been greatly improved to provide better lighting experience and exposure in brightly lit or dark areas.
The front camera is a 7MP (down from 8MP) sensor that seem to have less pixels compared to previous iPhones, but it promises to be much more enhanced and a lot faster than before.
Battery life is expected to be greatly improved on all 3 iPhones thanks to the new chipset and the much optimised IOS 12 system update. We’re not yet sure about the exact mAh battery sizes, but we expect the new iPhones to be more efficient and go though a full day of use without any issues.
Other features include the same Wireless charging, no headphone jack, Bluetooth 5.0 and the same old Lighting to USB-A charging cable, coupled with a 5W wall adapter. (luckily these aren’t wired as opposed to recent leaks) It really is a shame that Apple didn’t at least provide a Lighting to USB-C cable to allow their customers to charge their devices with their Macbooks – instead they have to opt-in and purchase an additional cable… It’s 2018 Apple, don’t start a new trend if you don’t follow your own.
Both the battery life and the speakers have been improved to be more efficient and sound better overall. One more thing… – (pun intended) instead of having an IP67 certificate, both iPhone Xs devices will now come with IP68 certificate.
Rumors were true, so the new iPhones will now not only support eSim, but in China Apple will release Dual-SIM iPhones too – making sure that the Asian market gets what it has been asking for for many years.
Second of all, let’s talk design.
Both the iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max resemble…well, they look identical to last year’s iPhone X. We can clearly see the “s” moniker in both devices’ names, it’s a small internal upgrade over the X from 2017. We say ‘small’ due to the fact that most people will not be able to take advantage of the faster processor, if you own a 2 year old iPhone, it really is all about the design, gesture navigation, better battery life and the great new camera that might make you want to upgrade – which is why we’d advise to wait for reviews to come out before pre-ordering one and see if it’s exactly what you’ve expected it to be.
What you might have also spot is the fact that the “Plus” name that used to differentiate the larger iPhone from the smaller one is now replaced with the “Max” name. We’re not yet sure what made Apple change things up, but if we had to guess, it would be the fact that Apple wanted to shift to a new era and try their best to provide similar features to both the smaller and the larger version of their iPhones – while not sacrificing on many features.
It’s certainly interesting to see Apple take Microsoft’s steps by ignoring the Windows/iPhone 9/9s version number and we’re not quite sure why this has happened. Hopefully we’ll hear some news about that soon.
Overall, we’re happy to see Apple finally including some new features and the new iPhone sizes in 2018, but at this very moment, we would advise against of upgrading from the iPhone X & 8 series as they’re still very capable devices in 2018 and has everything you may need.
If you have some cash to burn or coming from an iPhone 5, 5S, 5SE, 6, 6S, 7 – we however would recommend you to wait and see the reviews and consider a change. Though, at the same time we must mention that IOS 12 is just around the corner that promises major performance and stability improvements – so in that case, we’d totally understand if you wouldn’t want to spend another $400-700+ on upgrading to a brand new device.
As you’d expect, both iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will come with IOS 12 and they will be available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB capacity models in space gray, silver and a new gold finish starting at $999, £999, €1,149 (DE) and $1,099, £1,099, €1,249 (DE).
The new iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will be available for pre-order from 14 September in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UAE, UK, USand US Virgin Islands.
iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will be available from 21 September in more than 25 countries and territories including: Andorra, Armenia, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and South Africa beginning Friday, September 28.
We are a little disappointed about the new iPhone Xs and the Xs Max – not only because of their names, but also because of the lack of exciting features and changes. Sure, the much improved chipset and the camera/AR functionalities are something to talk about, but we sure would’ve love to see some other big enhancements in other departments.
What are your thoughts about the brand new iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max? Let us know in the comments down below!