iPhone XS vs XS Max vs XR

How does the iPhone XR stack up to the XS and XS Max? You may be sur­prised, re­veals

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS - Michael Si­mon

Just like last year, Ap­ple an­nounced three new iPhone mod­els, but it’s not so easy to tell them apart any­more. Gone is the old-school de­sign with the home but­ton and the gi­ant bezels, and in its place are three new mod­els with iPhone X styling. (But don’t worry, if you re­ally like the old look, you can still buy an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.)

If you’re hav­ing trou­ble de­cid­ing which model to buy, we feel your in­de­ci­sion. That’s why we cre­ated this handy guide to help you sort it all out.

Size

All three new mod­els of iPhone have Ap­ple’s new ‘allscreen’ de­sign that dis­penses of the su­per­flu­ous space

above and be­low the screen and pushes the dis­play all the way to the edges. It also means you’ll have to deal with a notch at the top for the cam­era and other sen­sors, which cuts down on the phys­i­cal size. iPhone XS: 143.6x70.9x7.7mm iPhone XS Max: 157.5x77.4x7.7mm iPhone XR: 150.9x75.7x8.3mm

For com­par­i­son, the iPhone 8 Plus mea­sures 158.4x78.1x7.5mm, so even the largest 6.5in iPhone isn’t any big­ger than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion, de­spite hav­ing an inch more of screen space.

Dis­play

Here’s where things start to get weird. The iPhone XS has the same 5.8in dis­play as the iPhone X, but now there’s a new model, the 6.5in XS Max. Both of those screens use Ap­ple’s new OLED dis­play tech for what it calls “the most ac­cu­rate colour in the in­dus­try, HDR, and true blacks”. At the low end, Ap­ple has made an en­tirely new phone, the iPhone XR, which brings a 6.1in LCD screen that Ap­ple is call­ing “Liq­uid Retina”, so its ac­tu­ally big­ger than the 5.8in iPhone XS. Here’s how the three mod­els shake out.

iPhone XS: 5.8in OLED, 2,436x1,125, 458 ppi iPhone XS Max: 6.5in OLED, 2,688x1,242, 458 ppi iPhone XR: 6.1in LCD, 1,792x828, 326 ppi

The res­o­lu­tion of the iPhone XR is clearly lower than the XS, but it might not be as ter­ri­ble as it looks.

For com­par­i­son, the 4.8in iPhone 8 has a res­o­lu­tion of 1,334x750 at 326 ppi, so the screen will likely pale in com­par­i­son to the iPhone XS and XS Max. Still, Ap­ple de­fines Retina qual­ity as any­thing with a pixel den­sity above 300, so you still shouldn’t see any jagged edges. All three dis­plays fea­ture Ap­ple’s True Tone tech­nol­ogy and have a 625cd/m2 max bright­ness.

Per­for­mance

Like last year, Ap­ple isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to per­for­mance. All three phones are pow­ered by the new A12 Bionic pro­ces­sor, which Ap­ple de­scribes as “the smartest, most pow­er­ful chip in a smart­phone”. It in­cludes a new neu­ral en­gine able to

per­form five tril­lion op­er­a­tions per sec­ond for AR and cam­era ad­vance­ments, as well as a faster and more ef­fi­cient CPU and GPU. There’s also 4GB of RAM in the XS mod­els ver­sus 3GB in the XR, so that should help with mul­ti­task­ing and app launch­ing.

Bat­tery

Ap­ple doesn’t like to dis­close the ex­act ca­pac­ity of its bat­tery, but here’s what it has to say.

iPhone XS: Lasts up to 30 min­utes longer than iPhone X iPhone XS Max: Lasts up to 1.5 hours longer than iPhone X

iPhone XR: Lasts up to 1.5 hours longer than iPhone 8 Plus

Since that’s kind of mean­ing­less, here are some ac­tual bat­tery es­ti­mates.

iPhone XS: Up to 12 hours of In­ter­net use and 14 hours of video play­back iPhone XS Max: Up to 13 hours of In­ter­net use and 15 hours of video play­back iPhone XR: Up to 15 hours of In­ter­net use and 16 hours of video play­back

And fi­nally, reg­u­la­tory fil­ings have pro­vided ac­tual bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties for the three phones:

iPhone XS: 2,658mAh (vs 2,716mAh on the iPhone X) iPhone XS Max: 3,174mAh iPhone XR: 2,942mAh (vs 2,675 on the iPhone 8 Plus)

Based on those es­ti­mates and ca­pac­i­ties, the iPhone XR is the clear leader, but all three should get you through a full day of use. As al­ways, how­ever, it’ll de­pend on your needs.

Rear cam­era

The iPhone XS and XS Max both have the ex­act same dual cam­era setup, while the iPhone XR has a sin­gle cam­era like the iPhone 8.

iPhone XS/XS Max: Dual 12Mp wide-an­gle (f/1.8) and tele­photo cam­eras (f/2.4), dual op­ti­cal im­age sta­bi­liza­tion, 2x op­ti­cal zoom iPhone XR: 12Mp (f/1.8), Op­ti­cal im­age sta­bi­liza­tion

As you can see, the cam­era ar­ray on the iPhone XS and XS Max is vastly su­pe­rior to the iPhone XR, but the main lens is ac­tu­ally the same on all three mod­els. We’ll have to wait to see how that trans­lates to re­al­world shoot­ing. Even with­out the sec­ond cam­era, how­ever, you will still get Por­trait Mode with ad­vanced bokeh and Depth Con­trol, Por­trait Light­ing, and Smart HDR, as well as 4K video record­ing and slo-mo video sup­port for 1080p at 120- or 240fps.

Front cam­era

The front cam­era is the same on all three de­vices: 7Mp TrueDepth cam­era with f/2.2 aper­ture. They all in­clude Por­trait Mode, Por­trait Light­ing, and Smart HDR.

Bio­met­rics

Since the home but­ton has been re­moved, all three phones in­clude Face ID for un­lock­ing. Ap­ple says the sys­tem has been tuned to be faster, and with iOS 12, you’ll be able to add a sec­ond face as well.

Stor­age

Ap­ple has added a third stor­age op­tions to the iPhone lineup, but you have dif­fer­ent op­tions on the iPhone XR com­pared to the two XS mod­els.

iPhone XS: 64-, 256-, 512GB iPhone XS Max: 64-, 256-, 512GB iPhone XR: 64-, 256-, 512GB

The iPhone XS mod­els both max out at 512GB, the most stor­age Ap­ple has ever of­fered in a phone. The

XR has the same 256GB that the iPhone 8 of­fered at the high end, but adds a new 128GB tier in the mid­dle. Half-a-ter­abyte is nice and all, but most peo­ple won’t have any rea­son for that much in­ter­nal stor­age.

Charg­ing

All three iPhones fea­ture wire­less charg­ing, but you’ll need to buy a third-party pad, since AirPower is still miss­ing in ac­tion. Sadly, all three phones ship with the same 5W charger, so you’ll need to buy a £49 30W charger along with a £19 USB-C-to-Light­ning cable to get fast charg­ing.

Colours

Where last year’s iPhone X only came in black and sil­ver, Ap­ple has greatly ex­panded its pal­ette this year.

iPhone XS: Black, sil­ver, gold iPhone XS Max: Black, sil­ver, gold iPhone XR: White, black, blue, yel­low, co­ral, gold, (Prod­uct) RED

Price

Here’s the mo­ment you’ve all been wait­ing for: What do these things cost? While none of the new iPhones start as low as the £599 iPhone 8, there should be a new iPhone for ev­ery bud­get, as­sum­ing you have lots of money to spend on a new phone.

iPhone XS: £999, £1,149, £1,349 iPhone XS Max: £1,099, £1,249, £1,449 iPhone XR: £749, £799, £899

Ver­dict

If you ab­so­lutely have to have the best of the best, then the iPhone XS Max is for you. It’s not cheap, but it has the big­gest screen Ap­ple has ever made, with lots of RAM, a big bat­tery, tons of stor­age. The smaller iPhone XS is a great phone too, based on early re­views, but the de­ci­sion to buy there is a lit­tle murkier. For one, the dif­fer­ence be­tween it and the iPhone XS Max is only £100 and you get way more pix­els on the big­ger phone. But the big­gest ques­tion is over the iPhone XR. We haven’t had a chance to look at the phone yet, and since it costs £250 less for the same pro­ces­sor, main cam­era, and longer bat­tery life, it’s prob­a­bly a good idea to wait.

The iPhone XS uses Ap­ple’s new OLED tech

The iPhone XS has a 12Mp dual cam­era sys­tem

The iPhone XR is avail­able in a va­ri­ety of colours

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