During its iPhone XS keynote, Apple celebrated a number of the device’s new features, including its A12 Bionic chip and the faster Face ID. But the company spent most of its time extolling the advancements of the device’s revamped camera.
The big change this year is Apple’s development of Smart HDR, something Google has mastered with its Pixel series. Through the combination of faster sensors, an enhanced ISP, and advanced algorithms, Apple claims that the iPhone XS can take better images than anything on the market.
To put that claim to the test, we compared it to Apple’s iPhone X, a device that’s a little older, more weathered, but no less capable of producing pleasing pictures.
By all accounts, the iPhone XS’ camera is a significant step up from the iPhone X. In addition to Smart HDR, the device’s sensor is also more than 30-percent larger, and there are depth control features that allow users to control the depth of field after the fact.
Thanks to the larger sensor and 1.4μm pixels, users should notice improved low-light detail, a big step up from last year’s iPhone X. In fact, the camera specs are more in line with Google’s Pixel 2, a phone that came out a year ago.
In our early tests, it’s clear to see that Apple has stepped up its algorithms and processing. As we’ve seen from past Apple device, the iPhone XS takes images that are pretty easy to recognize, with warm tones and softer details. When seen on a tiny phone screen, they look great, but the images will need some post-editing love to really soar on a larger computer monitor.
Another new feature with the iPhone XS is “zero shutter lag” and the doubling of “focus pixels,” what Apple is calling its phase-detect autofocus system. The zero shutter lag feature essentially snaps four images right when the camera is opened, making the device capture photos quicker than ever once you actually take a photo.
We walked around the office and took general shots we normally would take on any given day. We’ll have more thoughts on the iPhone XS’s camera once we spend more time with the device, but for you know can check out the images down below. Are the iPhone XS’s images are really that much better than the iPhone X?