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iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Hands-on: It Doesn’t Get More Premium

by Brandon Russell | September 12, 2018September 12, 2018 3:45 pm PST

Apple on Wednesday introduced a new iteration of its iPhone X, dubbed the iPhone XS. When on stage, Apple CEO Tim Cook said last year’s iPhone X was its most popular smartphone ever, with a staggering 98-percent satisfaction rating. The new model should excite fans even more, thanks to an improved camera, more powerful internals and a swanky gold color.

In addition to the iPhone XS came the iPhone XS Max, a larger version that sports a massive 6.5-inch display. In a word, it’s positively stunning. It features a gorgeous screen and a premium build that has no equal. If you’re a fan of big phones, you’re going to love the iPhone XS Max.

What I found most surprising about the iPhone XS Max was it didn’t feel unwieldy or overly big. When Apple launched the iPhone 6 Plus, the device was massive, too big for me to use as my daily driver. Somehow, Apple has made the iPhone XS Max feel small despite its 6.5-inch display.

I still feel more comfortable with the 5.8-inch screen found in the iPhone XS, but I wouldn’t shy away from the size of the iPhone XS Max—it doesn’t feel quite as large as the 6.5-inch display suggests.

Some of the other upgrades Apple touted on stage were more difficult to get a feel for in Apple’s demo area. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max displays looked as vibrant as ever, and both phones were incredibly snappy to operate. I toyed around with the new photo features, where you can change the depth of field, and it all worked beautifully.

One thing we’d like to test out is battery life, which we obviously couldn’t do during our brief hands on. But our initial impression is that Apple added thoughtful new features while refining what was introduced by the iPhone X.

If you want to learn more about the features in the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, check out the announcement down below.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.