The iPhone XSiPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, Apple’s new iPhones for 2018, are officially here. While the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have virtually the same guts, just in two different sizes, the iPhone XR introduces a profound shift in Apple’s  strategy by folding its “bargain” phone into the premium iPhone mix.

iPhone XS vs iPhone X: Features and specs

The iPhone XS is Apple’s follow up to the drastically different iPhone X. As the name suggests, this time is more of an evolution than revolution. The XS bears a similar notched design but with new internal upgrades that make it technically better than but quite similar to the older iPhone X. This is not as big a jump in tech as the iPhone X was last year.But with a faster processor and, Apple says, better battery life, is the iPhone Xs worth the extra spend?

iPhone XS iPhone X
iOS iOS 12 iOS 11 or 12
Colours Gold, Silver, Space Grey Silver, Space Grey
Display 5.8in Super Retina Display (2436×1125, 458ppi) OLED 5.8in Super Retina Display (2436×1125, 458ppi) OLED
Processor Apple A12 Bionic Apple A11 Bionic
Storage 64GB/256GB/512GB 64GB/256GB
Rear camera 12Mp wide-angle, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp telephoto, f/2.4, OIS, optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, Portrait Lighting, Portrait Mode, quad-LED flash 12Mp wide-angle, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp telephoto, f/2.4, OIS, optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, Portrait Lighting, Portrait Mode, quad-LED flash
Front camera 7Mp FaceTime HD, f/2.2, 1080p video 7Mp FaceTime HD, f/2.2, 1080p video
Video recording 4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps 4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps
Biometric security Face ID Face ID
Wireless charging? Yes Yes
Waterproofing IP68 IP67
Dimensions 70.9 x 143.6 x 7.7mm 70.9 x 143.6 x 7.7mm
Weight 174g 174g
Price £999/£1,149/£1,349 £999/£1,149 ($999/$1,149)
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These phones are basically identical. They both have 5.8in notched OLED displays, dual cameras with a small bump and glass backs that allows wireless charging. They also both have stainless steel rims that house speakers, mic, Lightning port and buttons. There’s no headphone jack, as we are now all used to from Apple. This design is a big departure from older iPhones as there is no home button, with the front facing camera and sensors unlocking the phones with Face ID.

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-sensitivite 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 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)
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iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone X Specs

iPhone XS iPhone XS Max iPhone XR
Display size, resolution 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED; 2,436×1,125 pixels 6.5-inch Super Retina OLED; 2,688×1,242 pixels 6.1-inch LCD Retina Display; 1,792×828 pixels
Pixel density 458 ppi 458 ppi 326ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.7×2.8×0.3 in 6.2×3.0x.3 in 5.9×3.0x0.33 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 143.6×70.9×7.7 mm 157.5×77.4×7.7 mm 150.9×75.7×8.3
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.24 oz; 177g 7.3; 208g 6.8oz; 194g
Mobile software iOS 12 iOS 12 iOS 12
Camera Dual 12-megapixel Dual 12-megapixel Single 12-megapixel
Front-facing camera 7-megapixel with Face ID 7-megapixel with Face ID 7-megapixel with Face ID
Video capture 4K 4K 4K
Processor Apple A12 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
RAM N/A N/A N/A
Expandable storage None None None
Battery N/A, but Apple claims it will last 30 min. longer than iPhone X N/A, but Apple claims it will last 90 min. longer than iPhone X N/A, but Apple claims it will last 90 min. longer than iPhone 8 Plus
Fingerprint sensor None (Face ID) None (Face ID) None (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No No
Special features Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging; Face ID, Animoji Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging; Face ID, Animoji Water-resistant: IP67, dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging; Face ID, Animoji
Price off-contract (USD) $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB) $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB) $749 (64GB), $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB)

You can’t buy the iPhone X direct from Apple now, so the iPhone XS is a decent upgrade for the same RRP. But if you don’t care about the gold colour, larger XS Max or the promise of a tiny battery life improvement, you might want to seek out the iPhone X on a cheaper contract from a reseller.

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