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.

Af­ford­able lux­ury?

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.

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