iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max Release: Specifications and First Thoughts


Each year in September, the Apple Event is ever more living up to its name — it really is now one of the world’s most significant, most impactful annual events, especially for the tech industry.

Fresh from transforming the smartphone market with last year’s iPhone X release, Apple has once again taken some bold steps with this year’s update to its flagship phone range.

Alongside the updated spec versions of last year’s iPhone X (the S range, which we’ll discuss here), we’re also treated to a new type of device battling it out in the “budget” range of the smartphone market.

For quick and easy reference, here are the different prices and storage sizes of each new model released this year:

Also Read: iPhone XR Release: Specifications and First Thoughts

This article will focus on the Xs range — the key stats and our initial thoughts.

Specifications of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

From the Apple website itself:

In other words, aside from the difference in size, these phones are pretty much identical. That’s not surprising — it’s a technique Apple has been using for their smartphones since the iPhone 6.

More importantly, those looking to upgrade to these new models will want to know: what’s new? What do these phones have that last year’s X didn’t? Let’s not forget the top of the range model comes in at almost $1500. You’d expect something new and better than last year for that sort of cash.

Let’s look at the stats side-by-side for the Xs and the X.

Well, for a start, this year’s model has the same screen as last year’s, the same cameras, the same ports, the same overall shape, and the same design.

There are differences. Firstly, of course, is the operating system on which the phones are built to run, with Apple introducing iOS 12 for its 2018 models.

There’s an upgrade on the processor, from an A11 to an A12 Bionic. There’s an upgraded storage offering of a whopping 512GB and a new colour option of gold.

Finally, in terms of durability, the Xs boost the X’s water resistance from an IP67 to an IP68 rating, and the glass used to cover the phone is more rigid than that on the X.

Other than that, this phone is broadly the same as last year’s model.

Initial Thoughts

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Apple has had long success merely tweaking existing models for their “S” range of phones. The market is now fully aware of a handset’s expectations within one of these iterations — a faster experience, more storage, different sizes colourways.

And ultimately, for all its bravado and pomp, the release of this year’s X successor was always more evolution than revolution compared with last year’s total revamp.

The significant changes will come in the Xs range’s sister model, the XR. Moving into a different market segment is bold and underlines why Apple most likely sought to stay steady with the Xs range.

Pre-orders for the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max start Friday 14th of September, and the new models go on full sale on the 21st of September.

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