iPhone XS vs XS Max vs XR vs X
Of course, the XS doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It has a ton of rivals, including those made by Apple.
iPhone XS vs XS Max
The XS has a bigger brother, the XS Max. For an extra $100, you’ll get an further 0.7-inches of screen. The XS Max has a higher resolution, but the same number of pixels per inch, so the sharpness is like-for-like.
This extra screen size makes it over half-an-inch taller, plus a third-of-an-inch wider. It weighs 7.34 ounces, compared to the XS at 6.24 ounces.
If you really want this extra screen size, go for it. You’re already spending a grand on a phone, so an extra $100 won’t make that much difference. But, we struggled at times to use the XS with one hand, so it might be worth trying out the XS Max in store, before committing your life savings to owning one.
iPhone XS vs XR
Apple also debuted the iPhone XR with the XS. The XR is now the cheapest new model in the iPhone line-up, starting at $749.
It features a lot of the same tech, only really losing out to the iPhone XS’ screen and dual-cameras. It makes do with a lower-resolution LCD display and a single rear camera.
However, you get the same processor and camera software. It should stand the test of time, just like the XS. If you want an incredible new iPhone, and don’t mind having a great, but not class-leading camera, or don’t intend to watch a lot of films or TV shows that need the XS Max screen, we’d opt for the XR.
iPhone XS vs X
But, what if you already own an iPhone X? Should you bother with the upgrade? Simple answer – no.
In truth, it’s difficult to suggest a compelling reason to buy the XS if you already have the X.
Sure, there are lots of incremental updates and improvements, but not enough to make it stand head-and-shoulders above its predecessor. The new camera tech is neat, sure. The processor sees it perform better in the most testing situations – but you won’t notice the difference when texting, browsing or emailing.
Even the battery life improvements are a mixed bag – it lasts 30 minutes longer overall than the iPhone X, but the you get an hour less of talk time and an hour more of video playback. All told, we’d probably wait for the next iPhone to upgrade.