iPhone Xs and Xs Max: What was announced, and what you need to know

Image: Apple

Announced alongside the redesigned Apple Watch Series 4, the new iPhone Xs and larger Xs Max are the largest, and most powerful iPhones to date. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.

For many years, Apple has typically had an ‘S’ model year that follows the major update the previous year. This year, Apple updated the iPhone X with the ‘S’ treatment with the Xs and Xs Max. These new iPhones are the largest, most powerful, and most expensive models to date.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Xs and Xs Max. If you want to learn more about the Apple Watch Series 4, read our article on it here.

Design

Apple-iPhone-Xs-line-up-front-face-09122018
Image: Apple

The basic design of the Xs is relatively unchanged from the iPhone X last year. But, this time around, there’s a larger 6.5′ inch Xs Max alongside it.

The Xs and Xs Max retain the same IP68-certified surgical grade aluminum body, and even more durable glass on the front and rear. The Xs also has the same beautiful 5.8′ inch Super Retina OLED display with a resolution of 2436×1125 and 458 pixels per inch at the front, while the Xs Max has a 6.5′ inch Super Retina OLED display with a resolution of 2688×1242 and the same 458 pixels per inch. But, this year, the Xs and Xs Max feature HDR10 with Dolby Vision compatibility, with P3 Wide Color Gamut, and a 120 Hz touch-sensing rate, which is said to improve finger detection on the display.

To power the new Xs and Xs Max, Apple has introduced the A12 Bionic chip, which is the first 7-nanometer chip in an iPhone. The CPU has six cores, two performance cores, and four high-efficiency cores. But, Apple says the new A12 Bionic chip is between 40 and 50% more efficient than A11. There is a four-core GPU that is 50% faster than last year. Paired along with the CPU and GPU is a Neural Engine. The Neural Engine is significantly faster than the previous model, with the capability of producing 5 trillion operations per second, up from last years 600 million operations per second.

According to the iPhone A12 Bionic page on the Apple website, “Our Neural Engine is built for advanced, real-time machine learning. That means iPhone Xs [and Xs Max] can recognize patterns, make predictions, and learn from experience, similar to the way you do,” furthermore adding, “The Neural Engine is incredibly fast, able to perform five trillion operations per second. It’s incredibly efficient, which enables it to do all kinds of new things in real time. And it’s incredibly smart so you can do things like jump right into immersive AR experiences. And quickly find all your pictures of dogs. Or beaches. Or babies.

Camera

Apple-iPhone-Xs-back-camera-09122018
Image: Apple

It’s no secret that the iPhone has long been the leader of smartphone cameras. This year, it is no exception. The iPhone Xs and Xs Max feature dual 12MP cameras, the top lens being a ƒ/1.8 aperture wide-angle camera, and the bottom being a ƒ/2.4 aperture telephoto lens. Behind the Sapphire Crystal lens cover, the cameras feature Apples’ six element lens, dual optical image stabilization, and Quad LED true-tone flash with slow sync. The new cameras also feature what Apple calls “larger, deeper pixels” for better low-light photography and video.

Speaking of video, the iPhone Xs and Xs Max are capable of 4K video at 30 FPS with extended dynamic range with wide-stereo playback and recording thanks to a new stereo microphone and speaker setup. Apple says by “using the four built-in mics, users can also record stereo sound to get the most out of video recordings.

If you’re a camera buff as much as I am, here’s a full run-down of the specs:

iphone-xs-camera-specs
Screenshot: Sid Ramirez, Specs from iPhone Xs page on Apple.com

New for the iPhone Xs and Xs Max is Smart HDR. According to the Apple website, “Leveraging multiple technologies — like faster sensors, an enhanced ISP, and advanced algorithms — Smart HDR brings more highlight and shadow detail to your photos.

On the front, Face ID and the True-depth camera return, this time with a 7 megapixel sensor, and thanks for the A12 Bionic chip with improved Neural Engine, the system is much quicker, and far more accurate the first time.

The Neural Engine is also equipped to handle the rear-facing cameras as well, improving your photography. According to the Apple website, “The iPhone Xdual‑camera system harnesses the unprecedented power of the Neural Engine and its ability to perform five trillion operations per second. Together with the Apple-designed ISP, it works like the world’s fastest photographer’s assistant to help turn your pictures into showstoppers.

e-SIM and Dual Sim

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max feature faster Gigabit LTE capability and introduce dual-sim capability with a digital e-SIM and a nano-sim.

Battery Life

Despite having far more computing power than older iPhones, Apple says the Xs will last up to 30 minutes longer than iPhone X, while the Xs Max lasts up to 1.5 hours longer than iPhone X. Both devices are fast-charge compatible and offer Qi wireless-charging capability.

iphone-xs-battery-specs
Image: Apple

Pricing, Storage, and Availability

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max are available in three colors: Silver, Space Grey, and a new Gold color. Both models are available in either 64, 256, or 512GB configurations. Pricing for the iPhone Xs is $999, and the Xs Max at $1099 for the 64 GB configuration. Other configurations for the Xs are $1,149 for the 256GB, and $1,349 for the 512GB. The Xs Max is $1,249 for the 256GB, and $1,449 for the 512GB model.

Apple-iPhone-Xs-line-up-09122018
Image: Apple

Pre-orders for the iPhone Xs and Xs Max begin Friday, September 14th, and available in-store and shipping on Friday, September 21st.

According to the Apple website regarding shipping to other countries:

Customers will be able to pre-order iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max beginning Friday, September 14, with availability beginning Friday, September 21, in more than 30 countries and territories including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UAE, UK, and US Virgin Islands.

iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will be available in more than 25 countries and territories including Andorra, Armenia, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and South Africa beginning Friday, September 28.

 

 

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Published by

Sid Ramirez

I usually write stuff, mostly Apple. Photographer, film major, environmentalist, techie.

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