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.
The iPhone Xs went official during Apple’s event in the Steve Jobs Theater.
While the design might not seem all that different from last year’s iPhone X, the iPhone Xs raises the bar dramatically. The 5.8-inch (2436×1125) OLED Super Retina display gets assistance from a fresh chipset, tweaked dual-camera setup, and more.
Apple designed the A12 Bionic specifically for the iPhone Xs. It’s the mobile industry’s first 7nm chip, and the A12 Bionic should leave the A11 Bionic way behind. More interestingly, Apple tossed in a new neural engine that elevates artificial intelligence and machine learning. If you thought Siri was slow and not-so-smart, get excited.
The edge-to-edge screen and its notch make a return, but everyone seems to be over notch-related hysteria now. Apple won’t earn itself much criticism for this because the iPhone X started the trend, anyway.
So what’s really different? The iPhone Xs also has improved high dynamic range for its OLED panel, snappier Face ID response times, and stereo speakers that are clearer and louder. As its name suggests, this year’s iPhone borrows a lot from last year’s iPhone but does everything better.
Yet the iPhone Xs might not be your iPhone of choice this year. Another model made its global debut that’s just as premium.
This fall, the iPhone Xs Max will enter the market as well. Between them, many of the specifications are identical. But Apple’s larger flagship boasts a 6.5-inch display and thus acts as the largest iPhone ever made.
Because of its spacious edge-to-edge screen, Apple created a special multi-view mode. It lets you run multiple apps and have them accessible at the same time. Sound familiar? The iPad offers a similar experience for multitasking. On the new iPhone models, you can respond to texts on iMessage while glancing at your calendar to make plans with friends.
Both models take a big step forward in augmented reality. The dual-camera setup leverages Core ML, unlocking immersive worlds in apps like The Elder Scrolls: Blades and HomeCourt. In the latter, you can shoot hoops and have the iPhone analyze shots from anywhere on the basketball court.
If you’re not into AR, the iPhone Xs and the iPhone XS step up regular photography. The 12MP wide-angle lens and 12MP telephoto lens are joined by True Tone LED flash. Together, it should lead to industry-leading photos and videos that few other flagships can compete with.
The iPhone Xs series gain Smart HDR; however, last year’s iPhone X had its own version that sounds eerily similar. Regardless, Apple must’ve modified its hardware and software. The Cupertino-based company describes this as “a new era for photography” as a result.
Get ready for more ‘Shot on iPhone’ ads.
In a surprise announcement, Apple confirmed that the iPhone Xs is dual-SIM capable. One iPhone, two networks. That’s useful if you’re traveling domestically or internationally and need a specific wireless service for seamless connectivity. Even in the United States, the iPhone Xs will have a dual-SIM tray while most mobile devices have that feature in Asia and Europe only.
The iPhone Xs doesn’t even require a physical SIM card, though. Apple included an eSIM feature that lets you pick a wireless service and plan directly from the device.
Your storage configurations are 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB.
Following a pre-order window that opens later this week, the iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max go on sale worldwide on September 21. Your color options are Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. The iPhone Xs starts at $999 while its larger sibling jumps to $1,099.