The lowdown on iPhone XS, XR and Watch 4
Three brand-new models, including a low-cost option
Apple announced three new iPhones at its special September event, taking its iPhone X redesign to the next step. All three models follow the design language established by the iPhone X, which Apple sees as the future of its smartphones, and feature all-screen displays that eliminate the Home button. Largely confirming pre-event rumours, the three devices are named iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.
Let’s start with the XS and XS Max. Both come equipped with OLED Super Retina HD displays that make use of almost the entire front of the phone. The 5.8-inch OLED display of the XS has a 2436x1125 resolution with a pixel density of 458ppi; the XS Max, meanwhile, weighs in with a 2688x1242 resolution, also with a pixel density of 458ppi.
One of the best features of
the iPhone X was its Face ID system that let you unlock your phone by simply looking at it. Both the XS and XS Max are equipped with a faster version of Face ID.
The dual-camera setup on the rear of the devices has also seen a boost, with Apple working its magic on Smart HDR and clever depth of field systems. The former captures several frames every time you snap a photo and automatically combines them to create colour-rich, high dynamic range images. The latter lets you adjust the depth of field in your shots after you’ve taken them, and was one of the more impressive moments of the launch.
Both models are waterproof to a depth of two metres, feature a powerful new A12 Bionic chip, have improved battery life and integrate a dual SIM card system.
If you’ve been reading this and thinking it’s probably all too expensive, the iPhone XR will be of great interest. It’s got many of the headline features of the XS and XS Max – Face ID, Portrait Mode, all-display front, A12 Bionic chip – but squeezes them into a more affordable model.
Of course, some corners are cut – the display is LCD, for example, rather than OLED. But even here, Apple says it will blow you away. Branded as a Liquid Retina HD display, Apple claims it is the “most advanced LCD display ever in a smartphone”. It has a 326ppi pixel density, and True Tone and wide colour support.
On the inside of the XR is an A12 Bionic chip, like in the higher-end models. This is the first seven-nanometre chip inside a smartphone, allowing its internal graphics processor to be up to 50% faster than in the A11 Bionic chip. Apps will launch up to 30% faster, says Apple – but don’t forget that iOS 12 is set to speed up older phones, so you may not need to upgrade just yet.
Even the camera system of the XS and XS Max makes it to the XR – sort of. The XR has a single-lens camera, but is still able to create Portrait mode photos with depth of field effects thanks to smart software. It will also let you adjust the depth of field after you’ve snapped your pictures.
The iPhone XS starts at £999 and comes in silver, space grey and gold. The XS Max comes in the same colours and starts at £1,099 (up to a huge £1,449 for the 512GB model). The XR starts at £749 and comes in six different colours.
Even the camera system of the XS and XS max makes it to the XR – sort of
The iPhone XS and XS Max are Apple’s top offerings.
The iPhone XR packs in highend features for a lower price.