iPhone XS & XS Max Review

Remember the early iPhones and how small they were?

If there is one thing Steve Jobs got wrong, it was thinking that no one was going to buy big phones.  He once said that people would only buy a smartphone that they could get their hands around, which is why he insisted that the iPhone screen would never be bigger than 4 inches.  Apple stuck to Jobs’ rigid thinking for a while and that gave Samsung a head start in the “phablet” market. It was only in 2013/2014 that the company realized that they were wrong and came out with the highly successful iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which came with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens respectively.  Now, with the iPhone XS and especially the iPhone XS Max, Apple has dove right into Samsung’s large screen performance market. The iPhone XS Max is huge, with a 5.8 inch screen, but the iPhone XS Max is even bigger, with a screen size of 6.5 inches besting the Galaxy Note 9 by .1″ while still feeling comfortable in the hand of someone use to holding a larger device.  As someone that enjoy’s using a larger device, I applaud bringing new competition to this niche market.  Apple also bests the Note 9 in processing power with the latest A12 Bionic processor, considered to be the best in the industry, and come with a comparable camera with featuring Smart HDR, makes them a compelling buy.



A Quick Overview of iPhone XS and XS Max Features

Apple A12 Chip


The new iPhones come with the A12 Bionic chip, which is considered to be faster than any processor used by an Android phone, even faster than the Snapdragon 845 used in Samsung Galaxy Note 9.



iPhone XS Camera


The new iPhones come with dual 12-MP cameras with bigger and deeper pixels. The cameras are as good as they can be and work particularly well in low light. They let in about 50% more light while retaining the sharpness of the older iPhone cameras. They have additional AI features that auto-adjust to different settings. Also, they come with a new Depth Control option that allows you to take clear and attractive portrait photographs.



iPhone XS Max vs Note 9


We spoke about the 6.5-inch of iPhone XS Max. That makes it one of the biggest phones out there. It’s even bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which has a 6.4 inch screen. The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch screen – big enough.  Both iPhones have an excellent build quality. Apple says that they have been fitted by the most durable glass ever made and do very well in drop tests.



Phone Battery Benchmarks


One of the most impressive aspects of these new iPhones is their battery life. The iPhone XS comes with a 2,658 mAh battery, and the iPhone XS Max has a bigger battery size of 3,174 mAh. Apple promises a battery life of 9 hours 41 minutes with the iPhone XS and 10 hours 38 minutes with the iPhone XS Max.



How much do the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max cost?

The iPhone XS starts at $999, but you will get only 64 GB of storage with that. You can buy an iPhone XS with 256GB and 512GB of storage for $1,149 and $1,349 respectively.  The iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099, but you will get only 64 GB of storage with that. You can buy an iPhone XS Max with 256GB and 512GB of storage for $1,249 and $1,449.  Looks like Apple wanted to reach the highest price milestone first as well.




The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are easily the best smartphones on the market right now as long as you are okay with iOS over Android. Given a choice between the two, we would suggest buying the iPhone XS Max – it gives you a longer battery life and has an amazing 6.5-inch display. It will be a meaningful upgrade for anyone holding an iPhone 7 or earlier.  If you are holding an iPhone 8 or later, we would recommending skipping this generation if you can resist!

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