The New Generation of iPhone : iPhone XS, XR, XS Max
Apple announced the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. These three new iPhones officially replace the iPhone X, which Apple pulled from its store after the announcement. So if you’re looking for a new “IPhone X” this year, one of these three will have to be it. While the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have virtually the same guts, just in two different sizes, the iPhone XR is a cheaper, more colorful phone with a few compromises. The XR introduces a profound shift in Apple’s strategy by folding its “bargain” phone into the premium iPhone mix.
The iPhone XR starts at $749 for the lowest storage capacity, the iPhone XS starts at $999 — like last year’s iPhone X — and the XS Max’s 64GB model costs $1,099. The prices rise from there with each jump in internal storage. Instead of Apple’s most advanced phone breaking the $1,000 ceiling, two of these new iPhones now start at a grand or more. This is Apple’s way of testing people’s willingness to splurge on a high-end phone.
Apple has dabbled in cheaper iPhones before, with the iPhone SE and iPhone 5C, but their designs stood apart from the mainstream iPhones, and they didn’t last. Here, the cheaper iPhone XR shares the design and many of the same specs as the top-tier iPhones. It comes in bright colors and has some slimmed-down features, like a smaller battery than the new iPhone XSes. The pricing is the most attractive for iPhone loyalists. Although there’s nothing “budget” about the iPhone XR’s $749 starting price, people looking for a new iPhone this year could easily gravitate to the relatively cheaper XR.
iPhone XS and XS Max quick specs
- Two sizes: 5.8-inch (458 ppi) and 6.5-inch (458 ppi), with OLED HDR screen (Super Retina displays)
- Colors: Gold, silver and space gray finishes
- Dual camera: 12-megapixel wide and telephoto lenses
- Front-facing cameras: 7-megapixel camera will bring depth to portrait mode photos
- A12 Bionic chip: 7-nanometer processor promises to launch apps 30 percent faster than 2017 iPhones
- Storage options: 64GB, 128GB, 512GB
- IP68 water-resistance rating (2 meters depth; up to 30 minutes in water)
- Battery life: iPhone XS should last 30 minutes longer than iPhone X; iPhone XS Max claims 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X
- Dual-SIM card support through eSIM technology
- Face ID promises to work faster at unlocking the phones
- 3D Touch pressure-sensitive screen
- Stereo sound with a wider stereo field than 2017 iPhones
- iOS 12 software
- Pricing: Starts at $999 (£999, AU$1,629) for 64GB iPhone XS
iPhone XS and XS Max cameras
The iPhone XS and XS Max cameras share the same specs (see above), but don’t be dismayed. Apple promises you’ll get more from the camera than you did with the iPhone X, specifically because of the power of the A12 Bionic chip inside.
The camera’s algorithms detect people’s faces and bodies, and kick into instant red-eye reduction. Smart HDR can identify highlights and find shadow detail.
Even more interesting, you can now adjust the depth of a portrait mode photo (called the bokeh effect) after you take the photo, which gives you complete control over the blur. All editing happens in the Photos app through a slider.
iPhone XR specs: Apple’s cheaper iPhone
- 6.1-inch LCD screen with 1,792×828-pixel resolution and 326ppi (Retina display)
- Aluminum body with glass back
- Single camera: 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, with OIS (same as iPhone XS)
- Storage options: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
- Portrait mode photos through software
- FaceID with same True-Depth camera system as iPhone XS
- A12 Bionic chip
- Battery life claim: 1.5 hours more per day than the iPhone 8 Plus
- IP67 water resistance
- No 3D Touch on iPhone XR. Instead, you get haptic touch, like a trackpad
- iOS 12 software
- Colors: Blue, coral (pink), yellow, white, black, Product Red
- Price: Starts at $749 (£749, AU$1,229)