Apple’s eleventh-generation iPhones, the S upgrades to last year’s iPhone X, are now official. Called the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max (and pronounced 10S, 10S Max), the new phones are loaded to the brim with a series of hardware bump ups to justify their S moniker. Here’s everything you need to know about.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Displays
Screens, like last year, continue to remain a cornerstone of Apple’s new edge-to-edge phones. There are two sizes — 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch. Both have the same Super Retina resolution, HDR support, and are OLED. The biggest change this year is the fact that they inherit the 120Hz refresh rate from the iPad Pro. That means smoother transitions and scrolling throughout the OS. Another key feature of the screens Apple is touting is that they’re made out of the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone”.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Build and Design
The designs of the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max is largely identical to their predecessor, the iPhone X. It’s an all-glass exterior that’s IP68 dust as well as water resistant. There are three color options — Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. The speakers, Apple says, now produce more immersive sound and offer a wider soundstage resembling the experience you get through earphones.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: FaceID
Like the reports revealed, there’s no in-display fingerprint sensor on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Instead, you get a quicker facial authentication thanks to according to Apple, faster algorithms. FaceID also now relatively more secure, courtesy of a more responsive Secure Enclave.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Performance
As expected, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max come with annual performance upgrades and a new A12 Bionic chipset underneath. It’s the first 7nm chip powering a smartphone and brings a host of improvements. The six-core CPU overall offers a 15% increase over yesteryear’s A11 and the quad-core GPU, a staggering 50%. While this might not greatly reflect in real-world scenarios, it is commendable that the A12 can perform 5 trillion operations per second compared to A11’s 600 billion.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Storage
With the new iPhones, Apple is also introducing for the first time, a new 512GB storage variant. Samsung did the same last month with the Galaxy Note 9 announcement. Of course, there’s still no SD card expansion on the former, though.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Cameras
Both the new iPhones have a dual-camera system on the rear which houses a wide 12-megapixel f/1.8 lens and another 12-megapixel telephoto f/2.4 shooter which enables 2x optical zoom. The former of the duo also has a new sensor and both of them have Optical Image Stabilization. On the front, there’s the same 7-megapixel selfie snapper with an aperture of f/2.2 and a faster sensor. Unlike previous-generation iPhones, you can adjust the depth-of-field manually on these new phones before or after you take the shot. There’s also a new Smart HDR mode which essentially makes it easier for you to capture fast-moving subjects. As for the videos, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max can record stereo sound.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Connectivity
One of the major highlights of the new iPhones is dual-SIM compatibility. Yes, you can finally have two SIM cards running on an iPhone. It took eleven years but it’s here. But there’s a catch. Only in China, people would be able to buy an iPhone with two physical SIM card slots. In the rest of the regions, you will have a single SIM slot and another SIM support in the form of eSIM. In addition, there’s Gigabit-class LTE too.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Battery Life
While we will have to wait for teardowns for hard numbers, Apple says the iPhone XS can last 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X and the iPhone XS Max, 90 minutes. Fast charging is available as well but you will have to buy the adapter separately.
Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Pricing and Availability
The Apple iPhone XS starts at $999 and will be available in three storage flavors — 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The larger iPhone XS Max has a starting price of $1099 and comes in the same storage configurations. Preorders begin on Friday with shipping scheduled for September 21st.