There isn’t another phone on the market quite like the iPhone XS. Here, we said it! It’s unashamedly huge, seriously expensive, and jams pretty much every high-end feature into a surprisingly svelte package. At first glance it might appear that not much has changed from the iPhone X which is physically true and also the ‘S’ year iPhones are always a pretty incremental upgrade. However, under the hood, the new iPhones are rocking some new improvements including the Apple’s latest next-generation A12 Bionic chip. But is it really worth the upgrade? let’s find out.
This review would be primarily focused on the iPhone XS but everything, for the most part, will apply to the iPhone XS Max unless I say otherwise, I’ll make it clear. So let’s jump straight into the review.
Starting things off with the design, iPhone XS Max is almost identical to the last year’s flagship. If you would put iPhone XS next to the iPhone X, you will not be able to spot any difference as there aren’t any except for the fact that the camera module on the iPhone X is slightly smaller compared to the one on iPhone XS.
However, if you buy the XS Max you will get a massive 6.5-inch phone that stretches across the palm and also feels a little bit thicker Also, the iPhone XS has two more visible antennae on the stainless steel band, one on the top right above the camera module and the other one at the bottom kind of cutting into the speaker grille giving it. weird asymmetrical look. The rest of the design and material is same, you get the iPhone’s glass and stainless steel design with an edge-to-edge OLED display having a controversial notch cutout.
The display is also exactly the same as the last year but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the consumers as Apple is already at the top of its hardware games and is only upgrading what really needs to be upgraded. So basically it is an OLED panel with Quad HD resolution and 448 ppi.
However, things have been improved when it comes to dynamic range increasing it up to 60% to get better HDR 10 and Dolby Vision effects. In day to day use, we didn’t notice anything looking really different compared to the iPhone X but the display is already really impressive. The colors are still more natural over competition and don’t feel rich but that’s how Apple likes to keep it.
So this is the place where the new iPhones really start to shine. Both the devices are powered by Apple’s new A12 bionic chip which is based on a 7-nanometer process featuring 6 core two of which are power cores and the others are optimized for efficiency.
The new processor is combined with 4 Gigs of RAM which makes this device 15 to 20 times faster compared to the iPhone X. You can opt for 64/128/256 Gigs of internal storage. There’s also a new ‘Neural Engine’ in the mix, enabling your phone to become more intelligent, learning as you use it. This allows processing in layers so that the device can identify things on the screen, whether that’s appending an Animoji to your head in real time during a FaceTime call, or to improve the quality of a photo as you’re taking it. It is hard to explain the benefits of the new chipset but if you want to dive into the world of augmented reality these extra transistors on the chipset really help out.
Also, taking a look at the Geekbench CPU testing the iPhone XS scores 1000 more than the iPhone X and has a total of 11,481 which is higher than any other phone in the market. There is also increase in graphical performance which can be noticed in games as you get more frame rates even in more typical iPhone games bring, such as Elder Scrolls: Blades, where you’ve got incredible gaming prowess mixed with high-level effects within. The battery is another tiny improvement, it is a Non-removable Li-Ion 2658 mAh battery. They are still one-day phones although now thanks to the new iOS 12 you actually get better screen on time. In our test, we were easily able to get 4 to 4.5 hours of screen on time which is pretty impressive.
Aside from the specs, the most hyped new upgrade for these phones is the camera. The on paper megapixel count is the same as last year but you get slightly larger sensors resulting in better low light performance. Both the back cameras are 12 megapixels, the main one is f/ 1.8 and the other telephoto lens is f/2.4. They both are also optically stabilized.
Generally, the photos are great as you would expect. The HDR is now also really improved and aggressive. The color science, dynamic range, sharpness, contrast and all the other key things are also right on point. The portrait mode on the iPhone XS is also getting some serious hype, now the phone literally uses the difference in distance between the cameras and Apple software to create a depth map to segment images into different layers and distances to get a more natural bokeh instead of just detecting the edge of the subject and blurring out the whole background. The selfie camera is 7 megapixels f/2.2 32mm wide angle shooter which captures some really detailed pictures too.
Overall the new iPhone is a really impressive device and is one of the best phones out in the market that you can get your hands on right now but if you already own an iPhone X then it is not worth the upgrade, I’d suggest you to simply upgrade to iOS 12 and enjoy all the same features and should wait for the next big iPhone. For the rest the new iPhone is totally worth upgrading, you will get the latest and greatest A12 bionic chip along with 4 Gigs of RAM and serious camera improvement.