Everything You Need to Know About Apple's Newest iPhones

Meet the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, Apple’s New Gold Standard


September 12, 2018 Tech By Photo by Eric Yang
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Last year’s iPhone X has been mimicked and copied so many times by numerous Android manufacturers in the last year. Clearly, with imitation being the highest form of flattery, the iPhone X and its design were a hit. Now, Apple is bringing its iPhone X-esque design to the next generation of iPhones. There are three – the iPhone Xs, the iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone XR – and all are unique.

Of the new smartphones, I’m guessing that most people will opt for the iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max. Not because they’re more affordable – they’re not and besides, that’s the iPhone XR’s party trick – but because they are better smartphones. Better screens. Better cameras. Better capabilities. And yes, more expensive. Basically if you bought last year’s iPhone X and you wanted to upgrade to the latest and greatest, you’re going to want either the iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max. As you could’ve guessed, the iPhone Xs Max is essentially a “Plus-sized” version of the iPhone Xs, but there are some other key differences between the two phones.

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Small or Big iPhone? Which Do You Prefer?

Like last year’s iPhone X, both the new iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max have OLED, Super Retina HD displays. They’re the most beautiful screens ever put in an iPhone. The difference is size. The iPhone Xs has a 5.8-inch display, which is the same as the iPhone X, but if you want a Plus-size smartphone you’re going to want the iPhone Xs Max. It has a 6.5-inch display, which is the biggest display ever on an iPhone. The new and more affordable iPhone XR’s 6.1-inch LCD screen strikes an interesting middle ground.

The Most Powerful iPhone Ever, Thanks to the A12 Bionic Chip

The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max both pack what Phil Schiller calls the “most powerful chip ever in a smartphone” – the new A12 Bionic processor. It’s the industry’s first 7-nanometer chip and it has a 6-core CPU and a 4-core GPU, making it up to 50-percent faster than last year’s A11 Bionic Chip. Both new iPhones also have an updated machine-learning system, allowing it work 9-times faster than the iPhone X, but also use just one-tenth the energy. Basically, if you thought the iPhone was fast and good for playing games and AR apps, the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max will take it to a whole new level.

The Gold iPhone Is the New Status Symbol

The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will both be available in three colors: gold, silver, space grey finishes. This is the first time that any iPhone is available in a gold finish, meaning that it’s definitely going to be a new status symbol; if somebody is about to ask which iPhone you have and they see the gold finish – they’ll know you have the latest and greatest. (The new and cheaper iPhone XR doesn’t come in a gold finish.)

You’re Gonna Have a Tough Time Cracking (or Breaking) Them

Both the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have what Apple is calling the most durable glass that’s ever been put in an iPhone. Each is IP68 rated, too, which is an improvement over last year’s iPhone X. Even though you’ll probably still want to invest in a iPhone case, these new models will theoretically be even tougher to break.

A New, Even Better Camera System

The iPhone Xs has what Phil Schiller called a “brand new dual-camera system” consisting of two 12-megapixel rear cameras and a front-facing 7-megapixel camera. The A12 Bionic process powers a new image signal processor, allowing the camera to take even better photos thanks to a new feature called “Smart HDR.” This gives photographers zero shutter lag, greater depth control and a much better portrait mode. You’ll be able to adjust (and remove) things like focus and background blur. And you will also be able to adjust the depth of field in a photo after it is taken. It’s worth noting that both the iPhone Xs and Xs Max have the same exact camera system – going “big” doesn’t mean better anymore.

Key Camera Specs

Rear-camera system: Dual 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras
Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture
Telephoto: ƒ/2.4 aperture
Other features: 2x optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x; dual optical image stabilization

A Longer-Lasting Battery

One of the big advantages of the A12 Bionic processor and its next-generation Neural Engine is that both the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max are smarter and more energy efficient. Yes, the battery is better. The iPhone Xs supposedly has a battery that lasts 30 minutes longer than the X. And the iPhone Xs Max can last up to 90 minutes longer than the iPhone X.

Dual-SIM Compatibility

Both the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will support two SIM cards; there will a physical SIM card just (like you use with current smartphone) and also an integrated e-SIM. If your carrier supports e-SIM, this means that your one iPhone will have two numbers. Essentially, you can have a work phone and your normal phone all in one. No need to buy an extra phone. This is the first time any iPhone has supported dual-SIMs, so it’s a big deal.

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone Xs starts at $999 and the iPhone Xs Max starts at $1099. You’ll be able to pre-order both this Friday, on September 14th, and they’ll ship a week later on September 21. Both the iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs will be available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB models.

No More Headphone Jack. No More iPhone X

With the launch of the iPhone Xs, Xs Max and XR, Apple also did something a little under-the-radar – it altogether killed the iPhone X from its product line. It discontinued the iPhone SE and 6s, as well, which were also the last two iPhones you could buy that still had traditional headphone jacks. Additionally, the new iPhone Xs, Xs Max and XR all won’t ship with a headphone dongle, meaning Apple is stirring every iPhone owner towards an even more wireless future.

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